Ballon D’Or 2018 Betting and Odds Preview

ballon dorWhile the Ballon D’Or market for 2018 does have an odds on favourite, this bet could be of more interest to the casual punter than it’s been in recent years. The reason for that is that finally, the battle to win isn’t just a straight fight between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Both men feature highly in the betting for this year’s award but for once, we have a new favourite.

Man to Beat

After picking up the player of the tournament trophy at the 2018 World Cup, Real Madrid’s Luka Modric becomes favourite for the Ballon D’Or and you can currently pick up the Croatian at best industry odds of 2/5 with SportingBet.

It would be a logical step for the midfielder to claim that second individual trophy and aside from his brilliant displays in Russia, Modric also enjoyed a stellar year at domestic level. His Real side picked up a third successive Champions League trophy and the Croatian has been the ‘engine room’ behind his team’s success on the European and international stages.

Lagging Behind

luka modric

Luka Modric

Cristiano Ronaldo comes into the awards night in the unusual position of second favourite and you can claim Juventus’ new signing at a top price of 15/2 with MarathonBet. CR7 was also part of that successful Real Madrid side before crossing to Italy but in the World Cup he was largely disappointing.

A hat trick in the opening game against Spain augured well for Ronaldo supporters but weak displays after that have pushed the Portuguese down the Ballon D’Or betting.

France’s World Cup squad now start to move in on this market and there are three names listed towards the top of the betting. Raphael Varane is available at 8/1 with SportingBet, Kylian Mbappe is on offer at 9/1 with BetFred while Antoine Griezmann completes the trio at 10/1 with MarathonBet.

Of those three, Griezmann is the most familiar and would seem more likely to challenge the favourites but Mbappe has cemented his reputation as the most exciting young talent in world football and he could be primed for a shock.

Outsider Shock

Lionel Messi is as short as 11/1 in places but elsewhere, he carries an industry best of 28/1 with MarathonBet. By his standards, the Argentinian had a better World Cup but his side were poor overall and we were denied the chance to see Messi progress deep into the tournament.

Behind the Barcelona forward, things really start to move out into the outsider category.

Unlikely Punts

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

The nominations for the 2018 Ballon D’Or have given us a host of names but is there anyone likely to come through and deliver a real shock? The closest player to Lionel Messi in the betting is Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and he is listed at best odds of 50/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.

Philippe Coutinho is quoted at 66/1 with 10Bet and SportPesa while Eden Hazard follows at a top price of 80/1 with BetFred. Brazil’s Neymar is on offer at 100/1 with MarathonBet and despite Harry Kane winning the Golden Boot at Russia 2018, the England striker is also available at 100/1, this time with BetFred.

We keep moving until we get to a number of rank outsiders including Isco, Jan Oblak, Marcelo, Ivan Rakitic and Karim Benzema. All of those players can be found at the same top price of 250/1 with MarathonBet. It seems unlikely that we’ll get a winner from so far out so it’s time to consider our verdict.


lionel messi

Lionel Messi

We’ve noticed for this bet that there is a big disparity in many of the prices. The bookmakers are normally in harmony with each other but for this bet they just can’t seem to agree. That huge, 17 point variation for Lionel Messi is a case in point but there are many additional examples.

Antoine Griezmann’s prices range from 5/1 to 10/1 so the message is to check your bookmaker carefully before placing a bet.

The market may settle down as we get closer to awards night on December 3rd but the clear favourite will remain in place. The 2/5 on Luka Modric to win is a best industry price at present and if you like a small profit, there are many good reasons to get behind this.

Shocks are unlikely with this award and we have to go back to 2007 before we find a winner who wasn’t either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Kaka was the recipient back then and it’s rare to find any surprises with outside bets coming through.

There will be some support for Ronaldo and fans of Messi will see exceptional value in those 28/1 odds from MarathonBet. France were World Cup winners so we cannot discount any of their side and it is tempting to seriously consider Kylian Mbappe who played such a big part in his country’s success.

Mbappe’s time will come but for now, we have to agree with the odds setters here. Luka Modric has been one of the most underrated players in the game for some time now and he finally got some overdue recognition with the Golden Ball trophy at Russia 2018.

We think that this recognition will extend to the Ballon D’Or and while the price of 2/5 isn’t exactly exciting, it’s a winner for us and a profit’s a profit.

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