Euro 2021 largely played to expectations in the group stages. There were a couple of upsets and some surprising results, but there weren’t any shocking early exits or squads that tumbled further down than expected in their group standings. That allowed bettors to capitalize on trends, identify favorable odds and make some solid bets.
But the Round of 16 — now that provided soccer fans with some serious surprises.
First, the Netherlands fell to the Czech Republic, an upset that we predicted in our Round of 16 betting preview. After that, the chaos continued with an insane day that saw Spain beat Croatia in an absurd fashion, while Switzerland knocked out the reigning World Cup champion, France, in the tournament’s first penalty-kick shootout.
And on the final day of the Round of 16, England knocked off Germany 2-0 in one of the most highly-anticipated matchups of the tournament to date.
The exits of France, Germany and the Netherlands took out three of the six teams with better than 10-1 odds to win the tournament ahead of the Round of 16. And France had been the tournament favorite, so a new favorite has emerged for the first time at these Euros.
Who will win Euro 2021? With just eight teams remaining, the picture is getting clearer. Here are the best bets to make and sides to trust as the tournament quarterfinals arrive.
Euro 2021 odds
All odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
England (+205) is the new tournament favorite after France’s elimination. Three other teams have odds better than 10-1 — Spain (+320), Italy (+370) and Belgium (+700). All three of those teams are on the same side of the bracket, and Italy and Belgium play one another in the quarterfinals.
Denmark (+1000) is the only team with mid-tier odds, as the rest of the teams remaining are considered long shots to win. The Czech Republic (+2500), Switzerland (+2500) and Ukraine (+3300) have the longest odds to win the tournament.
Euro 2021 expert picks
Best bet to win Euro 2021
England (+205). England is the new tournament favorite after knocking off Germany 2-0. The English benefitted from a sloppy German effort in the final third, but they have established themselves as the team to beat on the right side of the bracket.
England’s test moving forward isn’t that daunting. They already knocked off the toughest opponent on their side of the bracket in Germany. They get to face Ukraine in the quarterfinals and then will take on either Denmark or the Czech Republic in the semifinals. England should have an advantage over all three of those squads, so they should have a chance to make it through to the final.
Some may balk at betting 2-1 odds on England after they were roughly 6-1 or 7-1 earlier in the tournament, but the value is still there for them. They are a solid all-around team with an easy path to the final and have yet to concede a goal at the tournament.
Belgium (+700). Picking anyone on the left side of the bracket is a risk given the tough competition that each side is facing. Spain may have the easiest path remaining, but Belgium is a nice sleeper pick to win the title.
The Red Devils are one of the more experienced sides in the tournament and they have generally had good form during the Euros. They had their share of issues against Portugal — they were outshot 24-6 on the day (5-1 on target) — but they still escaped with the win despite dealing with injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard.
Belgium’s potential path to a title could feature games against Italy, Spain and England. That’s no easy task, and the team is dealing with some injuries, but it has good depth. So, even if De Bruyne and Hazard have to miss time, they can fill the void with some experienced, talented veterans.
Certainly, Belgium is no lock to win the tournament, but the Belgians have the fourth-best odds to win and are the No. 1-ranked team in the world. It’s worth taking a shot on them, especially as a foil to England. Because if both make the final, you’ll automatically profit.
Best bets to finish top 2
Denmark (+330). If you’re looking for a good way to fade England, betting Denmark to make the final is intriguing. The Danes should beat the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. That would put them through to the final four of the tournament, which they’re heavily favored to make (-215 to make the top 4).
Then, the question becomes, can Denmark beat England in the semifinals? England is a tough opponent, but Denmark has demonstrated great form in recent matches. If it continues to play well, the Danish squad could make a run to the title game. Taking the Danes as the underdog to win the far weaker side of the bracket is an appealing move, though betting them to win the tournament at this point isn’t recommended.
Quarterfinal games to bet
England (-204) vs. Ukraine. There’s not much value with England here, but Ukraine is clearly the weakest team remaining in the field. The Ukrainians managed to beat Sweden and put forth a great effort, but they got a bit lucky in making it through. Sweden went down to 10 men in the 99th minute of extra time and Ukraine took advantage, netting the second-latest goal in Euro history to earn the 2-1 win.
That said, England is no Sweden. The English have more attacking power with Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish and Harry Kane on their team and that trio will cause plenty of issues for Ukraine.
Ukraine will need a terrific effort from goalkeeper Heorhiy Bushchan to have any chance of winning. His English counterpart Jordan Pickford hasn’t conceded a goal yet in this tournament though, so it will be very difficult for Ukraine to break through and score.
England certainly has the upper hand in this matchup. While the odds aren’t great, it might be a chance to parlay it with other bets on this list to improve the odds.
Denmark (+106) vs. Czech Republic. The Czechs have been one of the Cinderella teams of the tournament so far, as they knocked off a heavily favored Netherland squad in the Round of 16, but they had a bit of good fortune in that game. Matthijs de Ligt picked up a red card in the 52nd minute that made the match an 11 on 10 affair for the Czech Republic. The Czechs scored twice after that to pull off the upset.
The Czechs have been in decent form in this tournament, but they’re running into a highly motivated Danish side in this one. Denmark is playing for Christian Eriksen in the wake of his on-field cardiac arrest and it crushed Wales 4-0 in its Round of 16 game. Mikkel Damsgaard has done a fine job filling in for Eriksen while Kasper Dolberg showed he is a goal-scoring option after scoring two in the last game.
Additionally, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is rounding into form. He has allowed just one goal in Denmark’s last two games.
Denmark should have a good chance to beat the Czech Republic with an offense that’s beginning to click and a motivational edge in tow. Perhaps Czech star Patrik Schick (below) can keep his scoring streak going, but Denmark should still have a clear advantage, so getting the Danes at +106 is nice value.
Quarterfinal upset special
Belgium (+245) over Italy. The Italians have performed well during the Euros, but they had a devil of a time dealing with Austria. Italy needed extra time to defeat the David Alaba-led squad and were lucky that Marko Arnautovic was offside on a second-half goal that could’ve given Austria the win.
Belgium’s team comes with some concerns as well. Notably, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard are dealing with injuries picked up against Portugal and may not be healthy enough to play in the quarterfinal. Even still, the Belgians have solid depth including Yannick Carrasco and Dries Mertens that can help fill in for those players.
Will the Belgians be as explosive if De Bruyne and Hazard can’t play? No, but they’ll still be the best team that Italy has faced in this tournament by a fair bit. And given the struggles Italy had breaking down Austria, it may have similar issues against Belgium.
Of the underdogs in this round, Belgium is probably the most appealing. The Red Devils have the talent needed to make a run to the final, so why not bet on the experienced side to take down a relatively young Italian team?
Quarterfinal game to avoid
Spain vs. Switzerland. Spain has finally found its scoring touch the last couple of games, netting a total of 10 goals against Slovakia and Croatia. However, betting on them at -148 to beat Switzerland isn’t exactly appealing.
Spain should have an advantage over Switzerland in terms of skill. But France did as well, and Switzerland sent the reigning World Cup Champions home.
Yes, France wasn’t in its best form at this tournament, but Spain hasn’t been either. The Spaniards blew a two-goal lead in the final five minutes plus stoppage time against Croatia before emerging with the extra-time win. Against a Swiss team that’s in better form than the Croatians were, they could have more trouble, especially with Haris Seferovic and Xherdan Shaqiri creating scoring opportunities.
Spain certainly could win this game, but it’s by no means a lock. As such, sitting this one out is probably for the best.
Golden Boot race odds
There are four players in the Golden Boot race with better than 10-1 odds to take home the trophy.
Golden Boot best bets
Cristiano Ronaldo (+110). There’s nothing exciting about betting a player whose tournament has come to an end, but with Ronaldo, you at least know what you’re getting. You’re getting five goals, which is currently good enough for first place.
Could Schick (4 goals), Lukaku (3 goals) or Sterling (3 goals) overtake Ronaldo? Sure, it’s possible. At the same time, Schick and Lukaku are facing tough tests in the quarterfinals and could be eliminated while Sterling will need a couple of goals to tie Ronaldo. So, Ronaldo is a safe bet because he has a cushion — albeit a small one.
If Ronaldo was still playing, these odds would be a no-brainer, but even with his tournament over, betting on him isn’t a bad move.
Raheem Sterling (+500). Sterling is the most intriguing option of the top four. He has fairly long odds and the fewest goals of the bunch, but he also is playing on the weaker side of the bracket. That gives him an edge on Lukaku, who has to face Italy in the quarterfinals and could be eliminated as a result.
Meanwhile, Schick is on the weaker side of the bracket as well, but he’s playing for the Czech Republic team. The Czechs may have trouble competing with Denmark, so his chances of being eliminated in that game are higher than Sterling’s are against Ukraine.
Sterling is worth a shot at 5-1. England has a good chance to win the title and Gareth Southgate seems to trust him.
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