Hi Everyone, welcome to my preview of the OLBG Top Goal Scorer market for the up coming World Cup in Russia, please feel free to add you comments at the bottom and let me know what you think and who you're backing.

World Cup Goal Scorer Observations

Major variations in World Cup Goal Scorer Betting markets, with the better-known bookmakers generally a lot shorter for the favourites than some of the other less well-known bookmakers.

Unibet seem to lead the way on the majority of larger priced players & outsiders. Prices were correct as of the last week of March 2018.

World Cup

Argentina:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer: Lionel Messi (7)
Current Overall Goal Scorer: Lionel Messi (61)

Betting:
Lionel Messi 9/1 Unibet
Sergio Aguero 25/1 Multiple Bookmakers
Gonzalo Higuain 40/1 Unibet

Notes:
Made hard work of qualification, but some vital draws saw them just make it. They didn't score anywhere near as many as perhaps expected in the qualifying. A group containing Nigeria, Iceland and Croatia, should yield some goals, but do not underestimate their reliance on Messi and his absence often noted. Since 1994 have only got past the Quarter Final stage (2014 runners up)

Australia:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Tim Cahill (11)
Current Overall Goal ScorerTim Cahill (50)

Betting:
T. Cahill 750/1 with Unibet

Notes:
played 20 games (inc play-off) on their journey to Russia. They only lost twice but too many draws saw them end up in the playoffs. They have only made the last 16 once so are a swerve for the Golden Ball betting when looking at the players. In a group with Denmark, Peru and France. Will do well to finish runner up.

Belgium:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerRomelu Lukaku (11)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Romelu Lukaku (33)

Betting:
Romelu Lukaku 25/1 with BetVictor
Eden Hazard 50/1 with BetVictor
Dries Mertens 60/1 with 188BET

Notes:
Undefeated in qualification (9 wins & 1 draw). Scored plenty (including 9 vs Gibraltar) to get a total of 43 in 10 games. In a group with England, Panama and Tunisia and could score a few with a number of premier league players keen to score against England too. Only reached Semi Final’s once in 12 attempts so a little work to do but with Lukaku they can certainly score plenty.

Brazil:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Gabriel Jesus (7)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Neymar (53)

Betting:
Neymar 11/1 with Unibet
Gabriel Jesus: 20/1 Betfred
Coutinho: 80/1 Bet365

Notes:
After losing their opening games in qualifying they didn't lose again through the qualification process (18 games) . Failed to score only twice in those games and averaged over 2 goals per game. Plenty of chances in this market but the bookies have you covered.

Columbia:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerJames Rodrigues (6)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Radamel Falcao (29)

Betting:
James Rodriguez 60/1 with BetVictor
Radamel Falcao 50/1 with Betfred

Notes:
Only averaged 1.15 goals per game which compared to a number of other teams was not so good, Falcao was not present for all the games an excuse perhaps but one to swerve most likely this time round in the goal scorer market


Costa Rica:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerMarco Urena (4) & C Bolanos (4)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Brian Ruiz (23)

Betting:
Brian Ruiz 750/1 Unibet
Marco Urena 500/1 Unibet
Joel Campbell 500/1 Bet365


Notes
In a group with Brazil, that in itself should say enough about the team’s chances, Switzerland and Serbia also look stronger. Very limited appeal.

Croatia:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerAndrej Kramaric (3)
Current Overall Goal ScorerIvan Rakitic (14)

Betting:
Mario Mandzukic 125/1 Unibet
Andrej Kramaric 150/1 188BET

Notes:
One of the lowest scoring teams qualifying from the Europe they scored more than 1 on only 3 occasions. Despite Mario’s clear ability he might well struggle to score without the service he gets from the world class players at club level.

Denmark:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerChristiaan Ericsson (10)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Nicholas Bendtner (30)

Betting:
Christiaan Ericsson 100/1 Unibet (and others)

Notes:
After losing their first game in qualifying they then didn’t lose again. They beat the Republic of Ireland comprehensively in the 2nd leg of the play off (1-5). Tottenham’s Ericsson has played a starring role in this campaign and perhaps a lively outsider if and it’s a big if they get through the group.

Egypt:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Mo Salah (5)
Current Overall Goal ScorerMo Salah (33)

Betting: Mo Salah 60/1 Unibet


Notes:
In a group with Russia, Saudi and Uruguay, if Mo turns up in the mood he has taken the PL by then anything can happen. He has admittedly better players in the Liverpool squad and they’ll need more than a bit of luck.

England:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Harry Kane (5)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Jermaine Defoe (20)

Betting:
Harry Kane 17/1 Unibet
Jamie Vardy 80/1 Unibet
Jesse Lingard 100/1 PaddyPower
Marcus Rashford 100/1 PaddyPower

Notes;
Undefeated in qualifying with 2 draws and 8 wins, they were nothing if not solid in the qualifying process. That said I am not sure many will fancy us to get too far with the current squad or do it scoring plenty of goals. Despite the short price on the likes of Kane it would be a big swerve for me.

France:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Oliver Giroud & Antoine Griezmann (4)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Oliver Giroud (30)

Betting:

Olivier Giroud 40/1 multiple markets
Antoine Griezemann 16/1 BoyleSport
Andre Lacazette 50/1 BetStars
Kylian Mbappe 40/1 with Coral

Notes:
France are one of my fancies for the tournament at the moment, I like what they have creatively in the squad with Griezmann, Pogba, Lemar all feeding Giroud, Lacazette and Benzema. They’ll score plenty in a group containing Australia, Denmark and Peru, question is whether they can keep them out in the latter stages.

Germany:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Sandro Wagner & Thomas Muller (5)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Thomas Muller (38)

Betting:
Thomas Muller 30/1 Unibet
Timo Werner 20/1 Unibet
Sergio Wagner 50/1 188BET

Notes:
Won all 10 qualification games, scoring stacks on the way through with 49 goals and 6 clean sheets to boot. The group looks ok with Sweden, Korea and Mexico and I do think they as per usual will go a long way in the tournament.

Iceland:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Gylfi Sigurdsson (4)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Gylfi Sigurdsson (19)

Betting:
Gylfi Sigurdsson 400/1 Unibet

Notes:
7 wins from 10 ensured a good qualification and scored 2 or more in 7 of those so they do get goals, but in a group with Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia they might well struggle to get out of the group so a swerve for me on the betting front.

IR Iran :

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerSardar Azmoun (11)
Current Overall Goal ScorerSardar Azmoun (23)

Betting:
Sardar Azmoun 750/1 Unibet

Notes;
Undefeated in their qualification to the WC, but I would quantify that being against Qatar and Uzbekistan. No real prospect here for Iran - sorry.

Japan:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Kesuki Honda (7)
Current Overall Goal ScorerKeisuke Honda (36)

Betting:
K Honda : 200/1 PaddyPower
S Kagawa 250/1 188BET

Notes:
Look to have a tough group to get out here with Poland, Senegal and Columbia, you’d be hard pushed to find anyone worth backing in the Golden Goal market but worth noting they scored 2.4 goals per game in qualifying.

Korean Republic:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Son Heung-Min (7)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Son Heung-Min (25)

Betting: Son Heung-Min 250/1 Unibet

Notes:
With Sweden, Mexico and the free scoring Germans all in the groups, I don’t see the KR playing any sort of role in the Golden Boot market

Mexico:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Hirving Lozano (4)
Current Overall Goal ScorerJavier Hernandez (49)

Betting:
Javier Hernandez 100/1 Unibet
Carlos Vela 500/1 888Sport

Notes;
Lost their last qualification match away at Honduras to put a dent in their undefeated record, they do hold a goal threat with the likes of former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela and West Ham United forward in the ranks, but I am not sure they’ll get the second place ahead of Sweden.

Morocco:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer K Boutaib (4)
Current Overall Goal ScorerAyoub El Kaabi (10)

Betting:
K Boutaib 247/1
Hakim Ziyech 400/1 Unibet

Notes:
Spain and Portugal should have the group qualification tied up which limits the appeal of the betting for Morocco but any jitters from either of those two then Morocco could seize that moment.

Nigeria:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerVictor Moses (3)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Obafemi Martins (18)

Betting:
Victor Moses 500/1 Unibet
Ahmed Musa 750/1 Unibet


Notes
Undefeated in the qualifying process (only 8 games) but not taking on anyone of particular note excluding Cameroon. Only failed to score in 1 of those 10 games.

Panama:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerGabriel Torres (3)
Current Overall Goal ScorerTejeda & Perez (43)

Betting:
Perez 750/1 Unibet
Tejeda 500/1 Bet365
Gabriel Torres 750/1 Unibet

Notes:
No obvious chance of progression or too many goals with Belgium and England in the group.

Peru:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Edison Flores & Pablo Guerrero (5)
Current Overall Goal ScorerPablo Guerrero (32)

Betting: Pablo Guerrero 200/1 Unibet

Notes:
Only qualified after beating New Zealand in the playoff round. But currently no.11 in the world (March 2018), so a bit of a confusing message there, but in a group containing France and Denmark they might struggle


Poland:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Robert Lewandowski (16!)
Current Overall Goal ScorerRobert Lewandowski (52)

Betting:
Robert Lewandowski 35/1 188BET
Arkadiusz Milik 150/1 Unibet
Kamil Grosicki 725/1 10bet

Notes:
Beaten only once in qualifying by Denmark (4-0) and scored a fair few goals in the process (27). Not the toughest of groups to get through with Senegal, Columbia and Japan all good on their day but so are Poland so there might be some value in their players.

Portugal:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Cristiano Ronaldo (15)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Cristiano Ronaldo (81)

Betting:
Cristiano Ronaldo 14/1 188BET
Andre Silva 100/1 PaddyPower

Notes:
They scored 32 goals in the qualifying section, with CR7 taking care of almost half of them so there is a clear reliance on his contribution this year if Portugal are to go well. He could with a that contains Iran and Morocco (+Spain) have a few goals going into the last 16.

Russia (HOSTS):

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Fyodor Smolov (6 goals in 2017/18)
Current Overall Goal Scorer A Kokorov & Smolov (12)

Betting:
A Kokorov 200/1 Unibet
F. Smolov 125/1 888Bet

Notes:
Without any group qualifying it’s tough to judge but in recent weeks they have been beaten by France and Brazil so tough to back beyond the group (contains Egypt, Saudi and Columbia) if they even make it out.

Saudi Arabia:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerMohammad Al-Sahlawi (16)
Current Overall Goal ScorerMohammad Al-Sahlawi (28)

Betting:
Al-Sahlawi 150/1 BetVictor (expect better from others if odds requested!)

Notes:
Little chance given to Saudi, most places not putting prices up for their attackers so that should tell you where their chances lie.

Senegal:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerDiouf / Sakho / Mane (2)
Current Overall Goal ScorerMoussa Sow (18)

Betting:
Sadio Mane 200/1 Unibet
Diafra Sakho 150/1 188BET
Moussa Sow 150/1 188BET

Notes:
Quite fancy Senegal to get out of the group, with the forward line they have but from a Golden Boot it’s a swerve, it was clear they have a team that all chip in and don’t have a talismanic forward like other nations.

Serbia:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Alex Mitrovic (6)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Dusan Tadic / Alex Mitrovic (12)

Betting:
Mitrovic 500/1 Unibet
Dusan Tadic 750/1 Unibet

Notes:
One defeat in the qualifying in a group that included Wales and ROI so did well to get through. They might just fancy themselves to follow Brazil out of the group but still from a betting perspective for me are a swerve.

Spain:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Morata / Isco / Costa / Silva (5)
Current Overall Goal ScorerFernando Torres (38)

Betting:
Alvaro Morata 33/1 BetVictor
Diego Costa 40/1 Unibet
Isco 66/1 WilliamHill
David Silva 100/1 Unibet (and others)

Notes:
Recent form has seen them take a massive step forward in terms of form battering Argentina 6-1 in a friendly (they were without Messi - see Argentina for more). Scored 36 goals and only drew 1 game in qualifying (v’s Italy).

Sweden:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerMarcus Berg (8)
Current Overall Goal ScorerMarcus Berg (18)

Betting:
Marcus Berg 200/1 multiple sites

Notes:
Will most likely follow Germany out of the group and walk into the winners of another group, so enthusiasm has to be tempered a little and history shows generally they don’t make it past the last 16. Without the mercurial Zlatan this time round I am not taking too much interest in the Golden Boot race for any Swedish player.

Switzerland:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerHaris Seferovic (4)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Haris Seferovic (11)

Betting:
Haris Seferovic 300/1 Unibet


Notes:
They might fancy themselves to get out the group behind Brazil but with a general lack of top draw goal scorer since the retirement of Frei, they’ll be hard pushed to get involved in the Golden Boot

Tunisia:

Qualifying Top Goal Scorer Yusef Msakni (3)
Current Overall Goal Scorer Yusef Msakni (14)

Betting:
Yusef Msakni 150/1 BetVictor (no prices on any other sites)

Notes:
Little interest from me, didn’t score many leading into Russia and with England and Belgium in the group I think there’ll be little interest from me.

Uruguay:

Qualifying Top Goal ScorerEdison Cavani (10)
Current Overall Goal ScorerLuis Suarez (50)

Betting:
Edison Cavani 30/1 Unibet
Luis Suarez 30/1 Unibet

Notes:
Egypt, Russia and Saudi are in the group so Suarez ad Cavani who are so prolific for their club sides should get a few goals in the early round. Question is will they go far enough for either/both of those to get 5 or 6 goals to get in contention

World Cup Facts & Stats

  • 2300 goals have been scored in 20 different world cup tournaments

  • 1200 different players have scored in the World Cup Final tournament

  • There have been 29 different top goal scorers

  • Germany has 7 of the top 22 all-time top World Cup goalscorers

  • Miroslav Klose all-time top World Cup goal scorer with 16 goals

  • No one has won the title of top goal scorer twice

  • 19 different nations have won the top goal scorer

  • 5 winners from Brazil (most)

  • 19 from Europe (Germany x3 are top)

  • 10 South America

  • England have only won it once (Lineker in 1986 - 6 goals)

  • 6 goals have been enough to win the top goal scorer title in 7 of the last 10 years

  • There have been 3 occasions when there has been a head heat (‘62, 94, 2010)

  • Record in one tournament was Just Fontaine (Fra) who scored 13 in 1958

  • The host nation has won the Golden Boot 5 times in history (‘50, ‘62, ‘78, ‘90, ‘06)

  • In 4 of the last 5 events the Golden Boot winner’s team has made the Semi Final (the exception was 2014 when James Rodrigues went out in the QF)

Last 5 World Cup Top Goalscorers:

  • 2014 Brazil: - James Rodrigues - Columbia - 6 Goals.

  • 2010 South Africa: - Muller (Ger) / Villa (Spa) / Schneider (Ned) / Forlan (Urg) - 5 Goals.

  • 2006 Germany: - Miroslav Klose - Germany - 5 Goals.

  • 2002 S. Korea/Japan: - Ronaldo - Brazil - 8 Goals.

  • 1998 France: - Davor Suker - Croatia - 6 Goals.

Top of the Market (Best & Worst price)


World Cup Top Goalscorer Highlighted Value:

Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) 25/1 BetVictor:

You have got to be having a bit of Romelu. He will if fit start every game for Belgium. He scored 11 in qualifying, which was stand out form. He’s started to find some form in the latter part of the season with Man Utd, if Belgium get a bit of fortune with the draw in the last 16 and Quarters he could go very well.

Sergio Aguero 25/1 Multiple sites

Expected to be crowned Premier League champions in the coming weeks so likely to be rested for the odd game with City and this could keep him fresh coming into the Tournament. Feeding off the Messi supply machine, providing he gets game time ahead of Higuain this looks a fair price

**BEST BET**Olivier Giroud 40/1 PaddyPower (and others):

Always seems to do the business for France, has 30 goals and is prolific in international terms whether off the bench or starting (he does this for club too). He has scored 8 goals in his last 12 games for France (he didn’t play all those minutes (890 out of 1080). France expected to go a long way in the tournament. There are no others I think are this good value.

Eden Hazard 50/1 Unibet:

Has scored 6 goals for Belgium in his last 8 games. Reports he is perhaps looking for a move from Chelsea so this WC could be a bit of a shop window for him. He is always involved around a dead ball situation might be a bit of value

Philip Coutinho (Brazil) 80/1 Bet365

Bit of an outsider as generally forwards get the goals in the WC, but we did see last time with James Rodriguez that attacking midfielders can get involved. Coutinho scored 4 in qualifying events, takes the penalties a lot of the time for Brazil and at 80/1 I am interested with Brazil expected to go a long way in the tournament

David Silva (Spain) 100/1 PaddyPower

Was joint top scorer for Spain in qualifying in line with 3 other Spanish players so looking as good as ever. Club form for City has been just as good with the likes of Costa in the low 20’s surely David at 100’s is value…. Right?

Market Movers & Shakers - June Update


  • Lionel Messi (Barcelona) : 9/1 in March now 10's with Betfair

  • Neymar (PSG) : Generally lengthened in odds with double digit odds widely available.

  • Ronaldo (Portugal) : still mainly available at 12 or 14/1 with a few markets edging out to 16/1

  • Antoine Griezmann (Athletico) : Generally shortened with 16/1 no longer around. All markets no bigger than 12's

  • Harry Kane (Tottenham) : Pretty static, still generally 16's with most firms.

  • Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) : market closed up now 16-20/1 rather than 10's that Betfair were showing.

  • Gabriel Jesus (Man City) : Unibet the only market now offering 20's now generally 14/1 or 16/1

  • Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd) : 25/1 long gone - now top price 20/1 with Unibet

  • Luis Suarez (Barcelona) : Unibet still have Luis at 30's rest of market shortening up in 22's and 25's

  • Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) : Out to 33/1 with a couple of firms but generally on the drift a little from opening prices

  • Alvaro Morata (Chelsea) : **DIDNT MAKE FINAL SQUAD**

  • Sergio Aguero (Man City) : Market static of Sergio 33's still around in places.

  • Edison Cavani (PSG) : Majority of markets now into the 20's with only Unibet putting up 30's

  • Robert Lewandowski (Bayern) : drifted for most firms, pushing him out to 33's in most places (from 25's)

  • Killian M’Bappe (PSG) : 40's not around anymore, most markets shortened into 33/1 or similar

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