The Highlights

  • England’s Harry Kane (5 goals) is the favorite at 7-4 odds to win the Golden Boot.
  • Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku are tied with 4 goals apiece.
  • Russia’s Denis Cheryshev (3) and Spain’s Diego Costa (3) are the only other players with more than two goals.

As we enter the Round of 16, Harry Kane leads the way to the Golden Boot with five goals despite playing in only two group matches.

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Romelu Lukaku has put up four goals, also in just two games, and is tied with Cristiano Ronaldo, who did not miss a group match. Ronaldo is also a bit fortunate to be playing a fourth game after nearly getting a red card toward the end of the Iran match.

None of the top scorers is a bad bet right now, but is there a longshot worthy of a wager? Here’s a look at the odds from 5Dimes.

 

Oddsmakers clearly aren’t worried about Russia’s Denis Cherysev, listing him with 100-1 odds even though he has scored three goals. I’m also not keen on him, but there are a couple longshots who may at least give you a chance.

Harry Kane (7-4)

Kane holds a one-goal advantage over both Lukaku and Ronaldo, and England are -175 favorites to advance past Colombia. In the quarterfinal, England would likely be favorites against Switzerland or Sweden as well, making Kane’s plus-money odds to be leading scorer very enticing.

Romelu Lukaku (4-1)

Belgium rolled through their first two matches, and Lukaku put up two goals in each before sitting out the England game. They are hefty -450 favorites to advance past Japan, and with a game total of 2.5 goals, he could add at least one more. Unfortunately, Brazil would be their next likely opponent, making it harder for Belgium to progress. Despite that potential scenario, he’s still not a bad bet.

Cristiano Ronaldo (5-1)

Goals could be hard to come by for Portugal with Uruguay on the slate next, and overall the team did not play well against inferior foes Iran and Morocco. That’s a bit concerning entering the Round of 16, but you can never count out Ronaldo somehow finding the back of the net.

Keep in mind that he’s on a yellow card and would be suspended for the quarterfinal if he picks up another against Uruguay.

Diego Costa (17-2)

Costa already has three goals, and Spain are big favorites to progress past Russia in the Round of 16. A difficult quarterfinal matchup could await with Croatia, but they’re on the fortunate side of the bracket and expected to make a deep run. At 17-2 odds, there’s easily a case to be made for the Spain striker.

 

Neymar (25-1)

Neymar has only one goal so far, but oddsmakers are still high on Brazil getting to the final. He would need at least four more goals in a maximum of four games just to tie where Kane is now.

Leo Messi (30-1)

I’m already (unfortunately) on Messi at 11-1 from the start of the tournament, but obviously Argentina’s path is now very difficult, starting with France in the Round of 16. They’re listed at 15-1 to win the World Cup and don’t look like a team ready to lift the trophy, although I would not dismiss their chances completely.

Luis Suarez (35-1)

Suarez is certainly capable of scoring against a shaky-looking Portugal squad, but Uruguay would likely be underdogs in the remaining three matches if they did make a deep run.

Philippe Coutinho (40-1) and Eden Hazard (45-1)

If you’re looking for a longshot, Coutinho and Hazard are both worthy even though Brazil and Belgium could square off in the quarterfinal. They each have two goals and their teams are big favorites to win in the Round of 16. If both advance as expected, you’ll get a minimum of three matches for one of them.

Coutinho has been spectacular for Brazil so far and not afraid to shoot from anywhere. Hazard has similar star quality and always seems to be involved in Belgium’s goals. Betting on both players is where I see the current value.

Credit:

Getty Images. Pictured: England’s Harry Kane

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