We’ve covered the vast majority of the main markets for Euro 2016, and already millions of pounds has been spent on the tournament.
Will England end 50 years of hurt? Will France make it a hat-trick of major titles on home soil? Can Spain clinch an unprecedented third consecutive European Championship crown? So many questions…..and all will be revealed in the next few weeks.
But there’s still a bit of time to place those all-important wagers, and we’ve been digging around those niche markets that have gone largely untroubled thus far. Why? Because there’s plenty of value to be had….
Betfair and Boyle Sports are offering a most assists market that looks incredibly vibrant, and there’s no surprise to learn that Mesut Ozil is the favourite here (7/1 Betfair, 12/1 Boyle).
The German created 19 goals in 35 appearances for Arsenal this season – the best return in Europe. He will benefit here from linking up with the prolific Thomas Muller, while the likes of Mario Gotze, Julian Draxler and Mario Gomez all know where the goal is. He looks a smart investment then given the Germans should go deep into the competition.
Other viable options here include Kevin de Bruyne (16/1), who was the chief architect at Man City and will have Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke, Marouane Fellaini to work with, amongst others, while a huge each way option could be Poland’s Arkadiusz Milik (50/1), who created seven goals in qualifying for the not inconsiderable presence of Robert Lewandowski.
Name the Semi Finalists
While there are often shocks and surprises in European Championships, we can still make a decent educated guess as to who will progress to the last four of the tournament.
On the right-hand side of the draw we have to go with Germany and France; they stand out like a pair of sore thumbs there, with only Belgium offering any real resistance.
Things are less clear cut on the left-hand side of the draw, although on the extreme left Spain should feel confident of overcoming the likes of Romania and Poland in their initial knockout phase matches.
The second quarter appears to be a straight shootout between England, Portugal and Italy. The Italians are the worst they’ve been in decades; there really is little to promote their chances. Portugal rely heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo and were turned over recently by England in a rather lachrymose friendly, and so – optimism bias apart – this is a fantastic opportunity for the Three Lions to reach the last four of a major tournament for the first time in two decades.
So, we’ll be taking the Spain/England/France/Germany quadruped in the Name the Semi Finalists market at a whopping 50/1.
Lowest Scoring Group
An interesting market this, and of course we’re taking on a bit of a leap of faith with it. But we really like Group A, which features France, Romania, Switzerland and Albania at 11/2 for this honour.
Hosts France will be nervy at first in this group phase, and all three of their opponents here are rather pragmatic in their approach. Romania didn’t lost a game in qualifying, scoring eleven and conceding just five in ten outings, while even Albania’s conservative approach ensured they only conceded five in eight. The Swiss will look to keep things tight before using the pace of Breel Embolo on the counter attack, so expect plenty of 1-0s here.
Highest Scoring Group
You could make a case for two in this market: Group C (19/5) and Group D (9/2).
In Group C you have Germany, Poland (nobody scored more than them in qualifying), Northern Ireland and Ukraine. So we’d expect the Germans and the Poles to beat the other two sides comfortably, before playing out a low-scoring contest themselves. Interestingly though, the Ukraine conceded just four goals in qualifying and could put a spanner in the works.
More appetising is the ‘group of death’, which features Spain, Croatia, Turkey and the Czech Republic. Just look at the goals scored/conceded in qualifying: Spain (23/3), Croatia (20/5), Turkey (14/9) and the Czech Republic (19/14). What we particularly like is that it is an open group, so all four teams will fancy their chances of qualifying, and it could go down to the final round of matches. As such, goals should follow.