With the World Cup just around the corner, we look at the betting for the top goalscorer, which is one of the most popular markets among pre-tournament punters. Will it be a big-name player that leaves Qatar clutching the Golden Boot trophy? Or will we see a surprise winner of one of the most prestigious individual awards?
Read on for our guide with betting tips suggestions and full World Cup top goalscorer preview.
Ahead of this renewal of FIFA’s showpiece event, punters are spoilt for choice when it comes to tried and tested goalscorers. There are lots of big names at the head of the market, that’s for sure.
As things stand, it looks like Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe will enter the tournament as joint favourites to bag the most goals at 10/1. These are two goal-getting machines, one of whom finished the last World Cup as the top scorer, so that’s no surprise.
Joining Kane and Mbappe near the head of the top goalscorer market are prestigious players such as Lionel Messi, who is just 12/1 to be the top scorer, Neymar, who is currently available at 14/1 and France’s Karim Benzema, who will feature in a World Cup for the first time since 2014.
For some, Cristiano Ronaldo, in what is sure to be his last World Cup, will be worth a bet at 20/1 while Romelu Lukaku is next on the list at 25/1.
The value options
If you’re anything like me, when it comes to pre-tournament bets like this, you’ll want something at bigger odds. The great thing about this World Cup is that there’s so much attacking talent set to be on show that there is no shortage of viable top scorer options at sizable odds.
Argentina are currently second favourites in the World Cup betting odds to go all the way in Qatar and it’s easy to see why. With the genius of Lionel Messi wearing the armband, the Argentines come into this World Cup off the back of a big win at the Copa America last year and their squad looks very settled, which is a big plus.
The player who could be the man when it comes to notching plenty of goals is Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez. The 25-year-old hitman looks likely to start up front on a regular basis and it would be little surprise if he scored with regularity at this tournament.
In Serie A last season, Martinez notched 21 times in 35 appearances for Inter, while he scored 17 the season before. He has also scored nine goals in his last 17 games for his nation, plus another three at last season’s Copa America. It is fair to say that the forward knows his way to goal, while he is certainly not shy when it comes to shooting, averaging 4.00 shots per game in the last year.
In 2022, he also averages 0.75 goals per 90 minutes for Argentina, which for our money, is enough to make him a viable top scorer play at 25/1.
Liverpool’s signing of Darwin Nunez was widely scrutinised in the summer. There were questions over whether he was good enough to score goals in the Premier League, and he’s certainly gone through something of an adjustment period. He has now scored five league goals in 10 appearances, while he has also notched three in the Champions League.
It’s fair to say that Nunez heads to the World Cup in fine form having scored three goals in his last four games for Liverpool. He was also on target in his last game for Uruguay, which came against Canada back in late September.
If we dig a little deeper into the stats, then Nunez really does start to stand out. At the very least, he looks overpriced at 50/1. For starters, the big man is in the top 2% of forwards in world football when it comes to non-penalty goals per 90 minutes in the last 12 months. That is not a stat to ignore.
What is also great about Nunez is his willingness to shoot. In the last year, he has fired off an average of 4.66 shots per 90 minutes. Very few players in the game can match that, so don’t be surprised if we see the Uruguayan causing keepers plenty of trouble over the next few weeks.
Finally comes Steven Bergwijn. Fans of the Premier League, particularly Tottenham may laugh at this one, but since returning to his native Holland, Bergwijn has come alive. His efforts for the national team in recent times have been pleasing too, so much so that 66/1 looks like a good price.
The 25-year-old goes to Qatar having scored in his final pre-tournament game for Ajax, for whom he has scored eight goals in 14 league appearances this term. He also notched twice during the group stages of the Champions League.
What’s interesting is that Bergwijn will have the benefit of lining up alongside several Ajax teammates, many of whom he already has a great rapport with, particularly Davy Klaasen and Steven Berghuis.
In a Netherlands shirt, Bergwijn, who for club and country during the last year has averaged an eye-catching 0.68 open-play goals per 90 minutes, has scored five in his last eight.
If you are looking for an explosive player who has sharpened his goal-scoring weapons in recent times and who is something of an outlandish shout at a big price, then Steven Bergwijn is your man.
So these are our three betting tips suggestions against the field to be top World Cup goalscorer. You can bet these selections each-way, generally at ¼ odds for 4 places:
- Lautaro Martinez @ best odds of 25/1 with Bet365 and William Hill.
- Darwin Nunez @ 50/1 with Bet365 and William Hill.
- Steven Bergwijn @ biggest odds of 66/1, again with either Bet365 or William Hill.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.