Euro 2016 Odds Preview, Futures Book Update, Analysis and Soccer Picks

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 3:10 PM GMT

The tournament’s host nation France facing Romania from Stade de France in Saint-Denis in a Group A affair which sees Les Bleus as predictable heavy chalks in a good match in which to start a Parlay.

Introduction
Expanded from 16 teams to 24, the 2016 UEFA European Championship—more commonly known as Euro 2016—begins with Group Stage play on Friday when tournament host France (+300 to win Euro 2016, at Ladbrokes) facing big longshots Romania (+26,000, 888sport) at Stade de France in Saint-Denis (3 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. PDT/21.00 CET; Odds: France -280, Romania +950, Draw +360, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) in a Group A match and the tournament's lidlifter. Although recent meetings between the two have been surprisingly close—4 of the L5 meetings have ended in Draws—France has never lost a competitive match to Romania which played to a 1-1 Draw with the French at this Site in Saint-Denis back in a 2009 FIFA World Cup qualifier, while Les Bleus shut out Romania, 2-0 at the Stade de France in 2012 Euro Qualifying action. France won this Tournament as host in 1984 and with players like Paul Pogba (+1000 to be Player of the Tournament, at Bet365), Antoine Griezmann (+1400 to be Player of the Tournament, Bet365) and Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), the French, led now by Head Coach Didier Deschamps, will be a very tough out in this monthlong tournament and could very well end up repeating as Host-Champions like they did back in 1984.

The tournament kicks into high gear with three matches this coming on Saturday (June 11: Switzerland-Albania, Slovakia-Wales and Russia-England), three matches on Sunday (June 12: Turkey-Croatia, Northern Ireland-Poland and Ukraine-Germany), three on Monday (June 13: Czech Republic-Spain, Republic of Ireland-Sweden and Italy-Belgium)—probably the weekend's best matchup between GK Gianluigi Buffon (+6600 to be Player of the Tournament, at BetVictor) and Italy and Chelsea's Eden Hazard (+2000 to be Player of the Tournament, at Coral) and Belgium (+1800 to win Euro 2016, Bet365)—and then two more on Tuesday (June 14: Hungary-Austria and Iceland-Portugal) as new UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and A Seleção see their first action of the tourney against a game Icelandic side in the French City of Saint-Etienne (Iceland +550, Portugal -160, Draw +260, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). Here are the highest current Futures Book odds from the Oddschecker screen for the 24 nations in this highly anticipated European football tournament:

Highest Odds to Win Euro 2016 (Oddschecker, June 6)
France +320 (Ladbrokes, NetBet)

Germany +500 (Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfair, Betway, Marathon)

Spain +550 (Boylesports, BetBright, Sportingbet)

England +900 (SkyBet, Totesport, Betfred, Stan James, 888sport, Coral, Bwin, 32Red)

Belgium +1100 (Bet365, Sportingbet, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betway)

Italy +1800 (PaddyPower, Coral, William Hill, Betfair)

Portugal +2000 (Totesport, Stan James, Betfred, William Hill)

Croatia +2900 (BetBright)

Austria +4500 (888sport, Unibet, 32Red)

Poland +5000 (Almost everywhere)

Switzerland +6600 (Bet365, Totesport, Betfred, Stan James, 888sport, NetBet, Bwin)

Russia +8000 (888sport)

Turkey +8000 (Almost everywhere)

Wales +10,000 (SkyBet)

Ukraine +10,000 (Bet365, Stan James, 888sport, Unibet, Bwin, 32Red, 188Bet)

Sweden +10,000 (Almost everywhere)

Czech Republic +12,500 Bet365, Paddy Power, Coral, Betway)

Slovakia +15,000 (Almost everywhere)

Republic of Ireland +15,000 (Almost everywhere)

Iceland +15,000 (Coral)

Romania +26,000 (888sport, Unibet, 32Red)

Hungary +40,000 (Paddy Power, 888sport, Unibet, 32Red)

Albania +50,000 (Bet365, Totesport, Betfred, BetVictor, Paddy Power, Stan James, 188Bet)

Northern Ireland +50,000 (SkyBet, Totesport, Betfred, Stan James)

Previous European Championship Winners (Coral pre-Tourney Odds in parenthesis)
2012—Spain (+350, Coral)

2008—Spain (+500)

2004—Greece (+10,000)

2000—France (+500)

1996—Germany (+400)

1992—Denmark (+2500)

1988—Netherlands (+800)

1984—France (+500)

1980—West Germany (+300)

1976—Czechoslovakia (+500)

1972—West Germany (+150)

1968—Italy (+150)

1964—Spain (+120)

1960—Soviet Union (+300)

Analysis and Final Corner Kick: Keep Your Eye on Croatia
When guys like the prolific David Villa (NYCFC, MLS), Juan Mata (Manchester United, EPL) and Diego Costa (Chelsea, EPL) don't even make your final Roster, then it's obvious your team is loaded with talent and that's the case again this time around for 65-year-old Spanish national team Head Coach Vicente del Bosque and La Furia Roja (The Red Fury), who are the defending back-to-back champions in this great tourney (2008, 2012). Spain seemingly always employs some kind of false Striker in their formation, this time with Álvaro Morata (Juventus) likely employing that No. 9 spot for Spain with Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) and David Silva (Manchester City) in the Advanced Midfield as David De Gea (Manchester United) as starting GK. Despite not having guys like Villa, Mata and Costa or Fernando Torres (Atlético Madrid) on the Roster and others as well like former Midfield generals Xavi Hernández (A Sadd SC, Qatar) and Xabi Alonso (Fußball-Club Bayern München) who have moved on, this Spanish national team is still loaded and has a ton of skilled players like Thiago (Fußball-Club Bayern München), Koke (Atlético Madrid), Juanfran (Atlético Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) Isco (Real Madrid), Iker Casillas (FC Porto), Pedro (Chelsea), Bruno (Villarreal), Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Bilbao), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Nilito (Celta), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona) and Gerard Piqué (Barcelona), among some other promising Spanish youngsters as this always inmtriguing team evolves.

Although it got a tough group in the draw (Group D with Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey), one decent odds longshot to keep your eyes on is Croatia (29/1 to win Euro 2016, BetBright) which has a new Head Coach in Ante Cacic and some really talented players on its Roster like Mario Mandžukic (Juventus, 100/1 to be Player of the Tournament, Paddy Power), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Ivan Perišic (Inter Milan) and GK Danijel Subašic (AS Monaco). The Croats will look to progress past its furthest point in the tourney (Final 8) this time if they can somehow manage to navigate this nasty group which is like a Group of Death for likely two of either this Croatian side (+350 to win Group D, Betfred), Turkey (9/1 to win Group D, Bet365) and/or the Czech Republic (10/1, Coral), with defending titlists Spain (-150 to win Group D, Sky Bet) such heavy chalks to move on to the Knockout Phase (Round of 16, June 25). Croatia plays Turkey on Sunday in Paris (Turkey +265, Croatia +115, Draw +320, 2 Over -130, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and GK Petr Cech (Arsenal) and the Czech Republic and holders Spain in that order in Group D play, so even getting out of this group will be pretty tough for Vatreni (The Blazers). We'll be publishing a more in-depth France-Romania Preview in this space on Wednesday.

EURO 2016 SOCCER FUTURES BOOK PICKS: Spain +550 (Sportingbet), Belgium 11/1 (William Hill), Croatia 29/1 (BetBright)

EURO 2016 SOCCER WEEKEND (FRIDAY-SUNDAY) 4-TEAM PARLAY (ACCUMULATOR): France -280/Switzerland -155/Croatia +115/Germany -210 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)