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Argentina superstar Lionel Messi isn’t ceding any ground to France standout Kylian Mbappé in the World Cup Golden Boot odds market.
Messi netted a penalty kick to open the scoring in Tuesday’s 3-0 semifinal rout of Croatia. He now stands tied with Mbappé for the most goals in this tournament at five.
Further, Messi assisted on a goal, and he’s now the favorite to win the Golden Ball award as tournament MVP.
The Golden Ball and Golden Boot odds are on the move after Leo’s epic semifinal performance. Let’s dive in!
Argentina’s Lionel Messi scores goal vs. Croatia in 32′
Watch Argentina’s Lionel Messi scoring a goal against Croatia in the 32′ in the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup.
RELATED: How to Bet France-Morocco
Messi still hasn’t caught up to Mbappé in BetMGM’s World Cup Golden Boot odds, but he’s closed the gap. Prior to the Argentina-Croatia match, Mbappé was a -190 favorite (bet $10 to win $15.26 total) to win the award. In the aftermath of Messi’s performance against Croatia, Mbappé shortened to -155 (bet $10 to win $16.45 total).
Messi is now the +160 second choice (bet $10 to win $26 total), followed by France’s Olivier Giroud (+1000, bet $10 to win $110 total), who has four goals thus far.
“Mbappé is a better winner for us compared to Messi, but handle hasn’t been as strong as expected on the award,” BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee said Tuesday afternoon.
Magee said Messi is the popular play of late at BetMGM. But overall, it’s a pretty close race in betting on odds to win the Golden Boot. Mbappé is getting 17% of tickets and 22% of the money, while Messi has seen 16% of bets and 19% of money.
Magee implied that Mbappé remains the favorite based on the prospect of what he could do Wednesday against a perceived overmatched opponent in Morocco. In the second semifinal’s three-way betting — the result after 90 minutes plus injury time — France is a -200 favorite and Morocco a healthy +550 underdog, with Draw at +270.
“Mbappé could rip Morocco to shreds tomorrow,” Magee said.
Pre-tournament, Mbappé was +700 to win the Golden Boot, while Messi was +1200.
2022 WORLD CUP TOP GOAL SCORER ODDS (at 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: +10000 (bet $10 to win $1,010 total)
Andrej Kramarić, Croatia: +15000 (bet $10 to win $1,510 total)
Hakim Ziyech, Morocco: +20000 (bet $10 to win $2,010 total)
Enzo Fernandez, Argentina: +25000 (bet $10 to win $2,510 total)
Antoine Griezmann, France: +25000 (bet $10 to win $2,510 total)
Marko Livaja, Croatia: +30000 (bet $10 to win $3,010 total)
Ousmane Dembele, France: +30000 (bet $10 to win $3,010 total)
Lautaro Martinez, Argentina: +40000 (bet $10 to win $4,010 total)
* odds as of 12/13/2022
On the ball
As for the Golden Ball, Mbappé was favored to win the award over the weekend, but those odds have flipped. Messi is now BetMGM’s prohibitive favorite to win the Golden Ball at -400 in the wake of Tuesday’s game. Those odds are currently off the board and unavailable to bet as of writing this piece.
Messi’s status as a hefty favorite was due not only to his five goals thus far but his three assists. Mbappé has five goals and two assists.
“Lots of handle there on Messi. He’s probably a loser for us, definitely coupled with Argentina lifting the trophy,” Magee said. “Even if France wins [the tournament], I have a hard time seeing FIFA not give Messi the Golden Ball, with this probably being his last World Cup.”
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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