With the 2018 FIFA World Cup now little over two weeks away, we are starting to see more and more betting options hit the board at multiple sportsbooks.
One such betting market to open up recently has been centered around top team goalscorer and the betting options and value is plentiful.
We’ve already covered Top World Cup Goalscorer betting markets but these new markets opened up by Sportsbook are very, very interesting. We all know about the Neymars, Thomas Müllers and Antoine Griezmanns of the world, but the World Cup features 32 teams and some of those teams that may not get as far as, say, Germany, Brazil or France still present some great value and these markets are a prime example.
With options for every side heading to Russia, there is a ton of great betting options here. That said, here are three that certainly caught my eye and that I will be investing in to lead their team in goals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Bet on the 2018 World Cup here
Senegal: Sadio Mané (+200)
I don’t know if the following statement is a “hot take,” but here it goes: Senegal is going to be good at the 2018 World Cup.
The side features some quality players plying their trade in European football’s top leagues: Napoli’s hulking centerback Kalidou Koulibaly, Salif Sané (who moved from Hannover to Schalke), Monaco’s attacker Keita Baldé and, the biggest star of all, Liverpool’s thrilling Sadio Mané.
A wager on one of world football’s most electric attacking players to lead his team in goals at +200 is worth a shot. Mané is one-third of Liverpool’s dynamic attacking trident which also features Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Brazil’s Roberto Firmino.
Mané bagged 10 goals in 29 Premier League appearances for Liverpool but was even more lethal in Champions League where he scored 10 in just 11 games.
With 14 goals in 51 caps for Senegal, Mané brings blistering pace to the lineup on either side of the striker in Senegal’s attack-minded 4-3-3 and is a deadly threat with either Baldé or M’Baye Niang lined up out wide on the other side.
He’s the oddsmaker’s choice to lead Senegal in goals at +200 but the price is a good one. Group H also features Colombia, Poland and Japan and it will be a tough one to escape, but, on paper at least, this Senegal side looks absolutely rapid. The possibility of an upset or two and a ticket to the Round of 16 is a real possibility here. If that’s to happen, Mané will be the main man.
South Korea: Son Heung-min (+225)
For a guy who scored 12 goals for Tottenham in the Premier League, four goals in Champions League, and a guy who led his nation in World Cup qualifying with seven goals, +225 feels like a gift from the betting gods.
Son can play anywhere in attack but is best served as a wide player. As of this writing, South Korea played a friendly (a match in which Son scored) against Honduras and he was lined up alongside Hee-chan Hwang in a striker partnership in South Korea’s 4-4-2.
Again, it doesn’t matter where he plays, Son scores goals and he has a knack for scoring in big spots. The 25-year-old has 21 goals in 64 caps for the senior team and scored from a slew of positions for Spurs in what was a very good 2017-18.
I don’t expect South Korea to go particularly far, but I don’t expect them to be held off the scoresheet in all three group games. Son will score in Russia.
Iran: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (+400)
While Rubin Kazan’s Sardar Azmoun is the oddsmaker’s favorite to lead Iran in scoring with odds of +250, it is AZ Alkmaar’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh that has some of the better value in these markets at +400.
It’s worth a punt on the 24-year-old after a stellar campaign in the Eredivisie, where he was the league’s leading scorer with 21 goals and he also chipped in with 12 assists.
Jahanbakhsh also contributed with a pair of goals in Iran’s qualifiers against Qatar and India where he lined up wide right in the attacking band behind Azmoun in their version of a 4-1-4-1 setup.
If Iran is to compete in a tough Group B, which includes Spain, Portugal and a tricky Morocco side, goals will have to come from Azmoun and/or Jahanbakhsh. Both score at high levels in domestic football but Jahanbakhsh is a tricky winger who can take on most defenders, is perfectly capable with either foot and has a penchant for pile drivers outside the box.
At +400, this is great value and if just watching Jahanbakhsh wasn’t enough, backing him to lead Iran in goals is good reason to check out this side in the group stages.
Bet on the 2018 World Cup here