One of the side contests in any World Cup Finals is the one for the Golden Boot, awarded to the top goalscorer in the competition. We analyze this highly sought after prize to maximize the value in your soccer betting during this world class tournament.
The Golden Boot
The Golden Boot finds its way to a wide range of players. Some, like Ronaldo and Gary Lineker, are household names. Others, like Just Fontaine, who scored a record 13 goals in one tournament, fade into the mists of time. And others, such as Italy’s Toto Scillaci, are forgotten almost before the next tournament comes around.
In modern times, the winner has usually scored six goals in the World Cup, although in the last two the decision has gone to a player who scored only five. In those two tournaments, both of the winners were German and both of them, Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose, will be back again. Indeed, they are currently the only strikers slated to play for Germany and with both available at over 40.0 there is some very good value to be had there.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi is currently favourite in this market at 9.0 pretty much across the board. That price obviously reflects just how hard it is to find a winner at this stage, but at the same time it suggests perhaps a little too much reliance upon one particular player. In fact, his team-mate Sergio Aguero at 19.0 with Paddy Power looks a much better bet, given that the goals are likely to be shared between them.
Another player who looks overpriced is Uruguay’s Luis Suarez. He has, of course, had an exceptional season in the English Premier League and he was also one of the stars of the 2010 tournament in South Africa. However, the winner of the Golden Boot has always come from a team who made it out of the qualifying groups and Uruguay, drawn with England and Italy in Group D, are by no means certain to do that. Even at 19.0 with Bet365 there’s too much risk in backing him.
Neymar da Silva Santos Jr.
Brazil’s Neymar has been strongly backed and is down to 15.0 pretty much across the board. Again, this looks a slightly short price for a player who pretty much does have the expectations of his nation on his shoulders, does not have the greatest of injury histories and who is so far and away the main threat for his team that he will be very heavily marked.
By far the best bet in this market, therefore, would be Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Although, like Neymar, he is a bit of a one man strike force, evidence shows that he can handle that and still score regularly. He scored all four of Portugal’s goals in their playoff win over Sweden and has been their most reliable marksman for several years now. At 15.0 with the likes of BetVictor he looks the best value here.
For Your Consideration
Finally, a word of warning. First of all, make sure that your chosen bookmaker will pay out this soccer pick in the event of a tied contest. It has only happened twice, in 1994 and 1962, but on that latter occasion no fewer than six players shared the title. Second, be careful who you back. Some markets are offering odds on players such as Belgium’s Christian Benteke who have been ruled out of the tournament by injury. Others – and this will become increasingly relevant in the coming couple of weeks – offer prices on players who have been left out of their nation’s provisional squad, such as Brazil’s Kaka.