World Cup Props Predictions: Top Goal Scorer by Country
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 5/31/2010
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For most countries in the World Cup, there are odds available on who will lead the team in goals throughout the entire tournament. It’s like wagering on the Golden Boot prop but for specific teams. And the props list the entire roster, too, including the option of betting on there being no goals scored by that country. Here is a breakdown of the odds for the top goal scorers from the following countries. Odds are listed from Sportsbook.com
The obvious favorite here is Lionel Messi at +150 to lead his country in scoring. This is one of the few favorites who look to be a solid bet. Messi knows the importance of this World Cup for his country after consistently mediocre international showings over the past decade. Messi has the will and ability to take it upon himself to ensure quality strikes. Gonzalo Higuain at +240, Sergio Aguero at +650 and Carlos Tevez at +700 are other options, but Messi will have the most frequent and best opportunities.
Perhaps the hardest country to handicap is Brazil both for the sheer amount of top-level footballers it possesses and the fact that the team is expected to score goals in droves this tournament. The total for goals set in this World Cup for Brazil is 10.5, tied for the most with Spain. Luis Fabiano is the favorite at +160 after his five-goal performance in the Confederations Cup. Kaka, the star of the Confederations Cup, is listed at +400 and Robinho at +400 and Nilmar at +550 are also threats to produce goals consistently. The bet here is Kaka because of the great value at +400 and because of coach Dunga’s reluctance to bench his star player even with games in hand.
With 27 players to pick from (plus the option of betting on no goal scorer at +20000), listing Wayne Rooney at +137 is making quite the statement. On a team that features elite finishers Frank Lampard (+450) Steve Gerrard (+800) and Peter Crouch (+800), Rooney has little value. Jermain DeFoe had three goals in limited playing time in qualifying and is a nice dark horse at +800. With so many scoring threats England will likely not have a player in the running for tournament leading goal scorer but individually DeFoe, Gerrard and Crouch are all solid bets at those odds.
No country may have had more diverse scoring than Italy when it won the World Cup in 2006. Defender Marco Matterazzi had more goals (2) than top striker Alberto Gilardino (1), who enters this World Cup with the best odds to lead the team in goals (+260) and the most career international goals (16). The scoring will likely be spread out again this year. Other Italians in the running include Vincenzo Iaquinta (+550) and newcomers Antonio Di Natale (+450), Giuseppe Rossi (+600), Giampaolo Pazzini (+800). Italy is known for its defense and no matter how far it advances no player should be expected to produce anymore than four goals. It likely will take no more than three goals to win this bet and the advantage goes to Iaquinta. He and Gilardino are the only two with previous World Cup experience and Iaquinta has proven to be a better finisher on the club level in Serie A.
If ever there were to be a two-horse race in this prop it exists with Spain’s dynamic scoring duo of David Villa and Fernando Torres. Villa is the favorite at +125 with Torres close behind at +225. It’s tough to imagine anyone else on the World Cup favorites to match the scoring of Villa and Torres. International play is an entirely different animal than club play and Villa has shined the brightest for his country. The edge here goes to Villa and his 37 career international goals compared to Torres’ 23.
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