Ballon D’Or Betting 2017

The nominations are in and on December 7, we will know the name of the player who has landed the prestigious Ballon D’Or award for 2017. Judges will choose from a shortlist of 30 and it’s a list that contains many familiar names along with the occasional ‘left-field’ suggestion.

There is quite an active betting market attached to this too so who have the bookies got in the frame as the best performing player across this calendar year?

Setting the Pace

The Brazilian international Kaka won this award back in 2007 but since then, the Ballon D’Or has been dominated entirely by two men. Cristiano Ronaldo took the title the following year and the Real Madrid man has won on three further occasions and is the current holder of the award.

His rival at Barcelona, Lionel Messi, has won on five occasions in the interim so perhaps it’s no shock that these two are installed as the favourites at the top of the market. It may, however, be a surprise to see that there is a significant gap between the two men.

Ronaldo is way out in front here and the Portuguese international can be picked up at best odds of 1/4 with SkyBet with Messi lagging behind at a top price of 6/1 with Winner Sports. The two men seem so evenly matched and the reason for the gap in the prices could be due to a reported leak and a photo that purported to show CR7 with this year’s award.

It’s hard to comment but the photo hasn’t been confirmed and the obvious question to ask is whether bookmakers will keep their markets open if they felt that a winner has already been identified. Additionally, Cristiano Ronaldo’s best price has also eased from 1/12 from 1/4 so that could be another indicator that the 2017 Ballon D’Or winner has yet to be decided.

Chasing from Midfield

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s former Barcelona team mate completed a world record move to PSG in the summer but Brazilian international Neymar is a distant option here at best odds of 33/1 with both SkyBet and Winner Sports. Clearly he’s a quality player but hasn’t achieved that much in the game to suggest it’s time to break the Messi / Ronaldo monopoly.

Following on is Gianluigi Buffon who has sadly been denied the chance to bow out in style on the international stage at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The legendary Italian stopper is available in this market at a top price of 50/1 with SkyBet and many would say that he is more deserving of the award than the two favourites.

Following on is Tottenham’s Harry Kane at 80/1 with SkyBet. The England striker and captain has enjoyed another incredible campaign that ended with yet another Golden Boot award in the Premier League but the lack of trophies and winner’s medals for either club or country is likely to count against him.

Left at the Back

Neymar

Aside from Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Buffon and Kane, the remaining 25 nominees all start with three figure prices. French international striker Antoine Griezmann is the first of these at 100/1 with SkyBet and Winner Sports while the same bookmakers have 100/1 next to the name of Eden Hazard.

With those figures in mind, is there any possibility of a shock in this year’s event?

Much is expected of teenage French forward Kylian Mbappe who is also at 100/1 with SkyBet and Winner Sports but while the youngster has huge potential, it’s surely too early for recognition of this magnitude.

Others at the same level who have achieved more in the game include Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema at 100/1 with Winner Sports and N’Golo Kante, who is a double winner of the English Premier League with two different clubs – Leicester City and Chelsea. Kante also won the Football Writers Player of the Year award in England at the end of 2016/17 and is available in this market at 100/1 with SkyBet.

In fact, the majority of nominees are at that 100/1 figure until we get to Luka Modric at 200/1, David De Gea at 300/1 and Edinson Cavani at 500/1 – all of those prices are with SkyBet.

Trends

While we already know that multiple winners of the Ballon D’Or are quite common, it’s no surprise to learn that none of this year’s nominees, aside from Ronaldo and Messi, have ever won it. So, if there is to be a shock then it would have to come from a first time champion.

Results from previous years show that the winner doesn’t need to have claimed a major title and tournaments such as the World Cup and the European Championships are generally overlooked. The journalists who vote are simply looking for who they think is the best, most exciting and naturally gifted player in the world right now and when you take that criteria on board, the lockdown that is currently in place between Messi and Ronaldo makes perfect sense.

Verdict

Many would argue that there are players who are more deserving of the award than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Neither man is a world cup winner and, in the case of Messi, we’ve yet to see him at his best in a major tournament.

There is Gianluigi Buffon with his years of service to club and country who emerges as a strong candidate but is way behind in the betting markets. Others, such as Neymar, Kane and Griezmann may take the award in years to come but it’s a little too early right now.

As for this year’s winner, we’re not completely convinced about the reported leak but we do feel that Ronaldo is preferred by the judges and his achievements with Real Madrid, who became the first side to successfully defend the Champions League, can only help to see him claim the prize.

Odds of 1/4 look way too short but take them if you are OK with a modest profit as CR7 appears to be the man to beat once again.

Best Bet:

  • Cristiano Ronaldo to win the 2017 Ballon D’Or at 1/4 with SkyBet.
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