Harry Kane ended Russia 2018 with the Golden Boot award and the England striker is the favourite to claim the individual prize once more in Qatar
As the World Cup in Qatar edges ever closer, one of the most intriguing markets surrounding the tournament is that of the Golden Boot winner.
In finding a worthwhile selection to back as the competition’s top scorer two factors are of vital importance: group stage opponents and longevity in the tournament.
A player whose nation has received a favourable group stage draw with lower-ranked, unfancied opposition is more likely to be able to score plenty of goals.
Similarly, a footballer of great talent is unlikely to finish as top scorer unless his team reach the latter stages of the World Cup.
World Cup top scorer latest odds
The winner of the Golden Boot in Russia 2018 was England captain Harry Kane, and the Tottenham striker is bet365’s favourite to end the competition as the most prolific marksman once again.
The 29-year-old is offered at 7/1 (8.00) and the Three Lions should be able to dominate their group made up of USA, Iran and Wales.
Kane ended the previous tournament with six goals and that seems to be the magic number in terms of the Golden Boot.
In eight of the last 11 World Cups, the top scorer has ended with six strikes.
Next in the betting comes Kylian Mbappe at 9/1 (10.00) with the Paris Saint-Germain forward hoping to help France become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend the title.
Les Bleus will fancy their chances of racking up the goals against Denmark, Tunisia and Australia in Group D and if Mbappe is on form he could be in pole position to win the Golden Boot after the group stages.
Mbappe though has competition in his own side, with Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema aiming to make an impact at only his second World Cup.
The Real Madrid man is priced at 12/1 (13.00) the same odds as Neymar and Lionel Messi.
In what is likely to be his international swansong, Messi will be desperate to deliver, and the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner could get off to a strong scoring start as Argentina face lowly Saudi Arabia.
Where Messi goes, Cristiano Ronaldo is usually not far behind, and the veteran forward is priced at 16/1 (17.00) to end the tournament with the most goals.
Ronaldo has been in poor form this season, having not featured much for Manchester United and with Portugal facing a tough group including Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana there is little to make us think the 37-year-old can claim another individual honour.
World Cup top scorer value bets
There are plenty of interesting value bets to be had either outright or each way, with each way selections seeing the odds quartered but paying out if the player finishes in the top four of goal scorers.
For an outright value bet, Vinicius Junior looks to offer sensational value at 33/1 (34.00) with the Real Madrid forward having improved immeasurably in front of goal over the last year.
The 22-year-old has 21 goals for club and country in the calendar year and was the matchwinner in the Champions League final in May underlining his big game credentials.
For an each-way selection backing Spain striker Alvaro Morata at 40/1 (41.00) looks like being a highly tempting option.
The former Chelsea forward is Atletico Madrid’s top scorer this season and in the European championships last summer he scored three goals in six games.
A similar haul at the World Cup could well see him make the top four in terms of goal scorers.
For even bigger odds, Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez could be an attractive option at 50/1 (51.00) with the Liverpool man hitting form and playing in a strong La Celeste team with high hopes of reaching the latter stages.
Odds correct at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.