There’s much more to World Cup odds than just betting on who wins these matches – or betting on the Draw, as I like to do. Just as with events American bettors are more accustomed to, the prop bet markets are boundless in World Cup betting.
Two popular markets are Golden Boot odds and Golden Ball odds. The Golden Boot goes to the player who scores the most goals in the tournament, while the Golden Ball goes to, ostensibly, the tournament MVP.
This year, it might just be one player snagging both honors, as France star Kylian Mbappé is currently favored to win both of the coveted awards.
Can the young star accomplish what hasn’t been done since Salvatore Schillaci of Italy did in the 1990 World Cup? Let’s jump into the odds.
Mbappé is tearing it up in the World Cup. Through four matches – three in the Group State and the Round of 16 – he has five goals. He notched two goals in France’s 3-1 victory over Poland on Sunday to open the Knockout Stage.
Further, Mbappé has assisted on two more goals, and the combo of scores and assists demonstrates why the Frenchman just might win both awards.
FOX Bet offers props on both markets, but the Golden Boot is getting the bulk of the attention.
“Mbappé is our biggest liability by a mile for Golden Boot winner,” FOX Bet sports trader Tieme Wesselink said. “He opened around +300. After his goal in the first game, he shortened up a little (+250). After his brace (two goals) in the second group match, he moved to be the clear favorite (-175).”
Indeed, against Denmark, Mbappé netted both of France’s goals in a 2-1 victory, with his 86th-minute tally breaking a 1-1 tie.
Mbappé (now -189 at FOX Bet), Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Richarlison are reasonably close in Golden Boot ticket count, with Mbappé at 15%, Messi at 14% and Richarlison 13%. But money behind those bets is a different matter, with the French standout netting a whopping 58% of all cash on that prop.
By comparison, Messi and Richarlison are seeing about 4.5% of money apiece.
RELATED: Golden Boot Tracker
At BetMGM, which only offered Golden Boot for most prolific World Cup goalscorer, it’s been a two-man chase in tickets and money. Mbappé, who opened at +700 (7-1) and is now the strong -190 favorite, is No. 1 in bets and dollars drawn, followed by Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.
Messi has three goals thus far, along with one assist. In the Round of 16, Messi netted Argentina’s opening goal in a 2-1 victory over Australia. Messi is currently the +900 third choice in Golden Boot odds, behind Brazil’s Richarlison at +700.
Richarlison slammed home two goals in Brazil’s Group Stage 2-0 opening win over Serbia. He netted his third in the 4-1 rout of South Korea in the Round of 16.
“Our liability/handle on the Golden Boot isn’t anything crazy. Messi is the only loser for the book right now,” BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee while noting Mbappé is a small winner for the book. “Pretty much all those with three goals right now are our biggest winners – Richarlison, Olivier Giroud, Bukayo Saka and Cody Gakpo.”
Giroud is the +1800 fourth choice, Saka the +3300 eighth choice and Gakpo the +2200 sixth choice.
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.
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