Argentina superstar Lionel Messi is not giving up any ground on French standout Kylian Mbappé in the World Cup Golden Boot odds market.
Messi scored a penalty to open the scoring in the 3-0 semi-final defeat of Croatia on Tuesday. He is now tied with Mbappé for the most goals in this tournament with five.
In addition, Messi assisted on one goal, and is now the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or as the tournament’s MVP.
Ballon d’Or and Golden Boot odds are in flux after Leo’s epic performance in the semi-finals. Let’s dive in!
Argentina’s Lionel Messi scores a goal against Croatia in the 32nd minute
Watch Argentina’s Lionel Messi score a goal against Croatia in the 32nd minute at the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
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Messi has yet to overtake Mbappé in BetMGM’s World Cup Golden Boot odds, but he has closed the gap. Before the Argentina-Croatia match, Mbappé was a -190 favorite (bet $10 to win $15.26 in total) to win the award. After Messi’s performance against Croatia, Mbappé was reduced to -155 (bet $10 to win $16.45 in total).
Messi is now second choice at +160 (bet $10 to win $26 total), followed by France’s Olivier Giroud (+1000, bet $10 to win $110 total), who has four goals so far.
“Mbappé is a better winner for us compared to Messi but the handling has not been as strong as expected in the award,” BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee said on Tuesday afternoon.
Magee said Messi is the popular play of late at BetMGM. But overall, it’s a pretty tight race when betting on the odds to win the Golden Boot. Mbappé gets 17% of the tickets and 22% of the money, while Messi has seen 16% of the bets and 19% of the money.
Magee hinted that Mbappé remains the favorite based on the prospect of what he could do on Wednesday against a perceived overmatched opponent in Morocco. In the three-way betting for the second semi-final, the result after 90 minutes plus stoppage time, France is a -200 favorite and Morocco a +550 underdog, with a draw at +270.
“Mbappé could tear Morocco to pieces tomorrow,” Magee said.
Before the tournament, Mbappé was +700 to win the Golden Boot, while Messi was +1200.
2022 WORLD CUP TOP GOAL (on FOX Bet) *
Kylian Mbappé, France: -125 (bet $10 to win $18 total)
Lionel Messi, Argentina: +150 (bet $10 to win $25 total)
Olivier Giroud, France: +900 (bet $10 to win $100 total)
Julián Álvarez, Argentina: +1400 (bet $10 to win $150 total)
Youssef En-Nesyri, Morocco: +10,000 (bet $10 to win $1,010 total)
Andrej Kramarić, Croatia: +15,000 (bet $10 to win $1,510 total)
Hakim Ziyech, Morocco: +20,000 (bet $10 to win $2,010 total)
Enzo Fernandez, Argentina: +25,000 (bet $10 to win $2,510 total)
Antoine Griezmann, France: +25,000 (bet $10 to win $2,510 total)
Marko Livaja, Croatia: +30,000 (bet $10 to win $3,010 total)
Ousmane Dembele, France: +30,000 (bet $10 to win $3,010 total)
Lautaro Martinez, Argentina: +40,000 (bet $10 to win $4,010 total)
* odds from 12/13/2022
On the ball
As for the Ballon d’Or, Mbappé was favored to win the award over the weekend, but those odds have changed. Messi is now BetMGM’s prohibitive favorite to win the Ballon d’Or at -400 after Tuesday’s game. These odds are currently off the board and not available for betting at the time of writing this piece.
Messi’s status as a hot favorite was not just due to his five goals so far, but his three assists. Mbappé has five goals and two assists.
“A lot of handling Messi. He’s probably a loser for us, certainly along with Argentina lifting the trophy,” Magee said. “Even if France wins [the tournament]It’s hard for me to see FIFA not giving Messi the Ballon d’Or as this will probably be his last World Cup.”
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and a senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He is based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys playing golf in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas
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