AFCON top scorer betting: Osimhen amongst early favourites

Players like Mohammed Salah, Victor Osimhen, Riyad Mahrez and Vincent Aboubakar are all likely to be near the summit of the AFCON top scorer betting market. But who is the outright favourite?

The African Cup of Nations is just a matter of months away from kicking off in the Ivory Coast, and some of the world's best players will be leaving their clubs in favour of representing their countries with immense pride and excitement.

Major teams such as Egypt, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Morocco will be gunning for glory, and feeling hopeful that their star players can help fire them to the most coveted trophy in Africa.

Victor Osimhen of Nigeria celebrates
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AFCON top scorer betting – our projection

Victor Osimhen (favourite)

Osimhen has established himself as one of the deadliest strikers on the planet over the past 12 months, with his 26 Serie A goals helping Napoli claim a first league title since 1990. Over that time, he has also netted 20 times in just 27 appearances for the Super Eagles.

Therefore, it's no surprise that he's going into the African Cup of Nations as one of the most feared and adored strikers by punters, because he is simply a finishing machine.

From simple tap-ins to bolts out of nothing, Osimhen can rescue even the most difficult of situations. He can easily damage the two lower seeds in Group A, while even the hosts should be considered fair game, on the evidence of a 3-0 loss to Zambia earlier this year.

Mo Salah Egypt kit
(Credit: Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa) – Photo by Icon sport

Mohammed Salah (second-favourite)

While Salah did only score twice for Egypt during their run to the final in 2021, the Egyptian captain has somehow become only more ruthless in front of goal for Liverpool. And despite getting older, looks to be ageing like a fine wine in the final third.

Egypt have finished as runners-up in two of the past three tournaments and have not had their name etched onto the trophy since 2010. And with Salah now 31 years old, this could be his final and best chance of securing the top honour in African football.

Aboubakar Cameroon kit
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Vincent Aboubakar

It wouldn't be a list of potential top scorers at the African Cup of Nations without including the last tournament's Golden Boot winner. Vincent Aboubakar scored eight times in 2021, and showed just last December what he's capable of by scoring twice and getting an assist during Cameroon's World Cup adventure.

While the 32-year-old Cameroon captain is reaching the twilight years of his career, he's still a very capable striker.

Mahrez vs Somalia
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Riyad Mahrez

The former Manchester City could be one of the more interesting options, but it will depend a lot on how far he can drag his Algerian teammates through the tournament, given the group they've been handed, he's got a chance.

Algeria find themselves in Group D alongside Angola, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, so they will back themselves to win that group, and with Mahrez being handed a more central striker role in a recent friendly against Somalia could be just what he needs to get more amongst the goals, although his record of 30 in 87 international matches is nothing to be sniffed at.

Patson Daka of Zambia
Patson Daka could be one of the underdogs to watch (Credit: Muzi Ntombela/Sports Inc) – Photo by Icon sport

Other candidates

The group stages look very tasty indeed for AFCON with Nigeria and Ivory Coast being drawn into Group A, meaning that both Osimhen and Sebastien Haller will have at least one very tough game in which to rack up their tally for the tournament.

Group C also looks pretty interesting, as Cameroon and Senegal look to battle it out for the top spot. While that certainly provides a recipe for entertainment, there is also the chance that someone from a nation less accustomed to the limelight may be able to step forward and become the tournament's surprise package.

Watch out in particular for Guinea's Serhou Guirassy, who made an incredible start to the 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign for Stuttgart. We also consider the likes of Zambia and Leicester man Patson Daka to be amongst the outside contenders, despite both him and Guirassy representing nations that were drawn from the second-lowest pot for the finals.

Aaron Hindhaugh

Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.