Let’s look at the futures book odds from the teams heading to Quarterfinals, analyse what’s happened and make a couple of really longshot futures book picks for our SBR soccer fans.
Still Much Value if You Can Back the Right Horse Heading into Quarterfinals
A nice blend of new national clubs on the upswing with the old usual suspects makes this Quarterfinals Round of the Knockout Phase—you lose you go home—UEFA European Championship tournament enchanting as teams like Hungary, Iceland, Croatia, Northern Ireland, Austria and Wales all showed that they seem to be on the upswing, justifying this year's expansion of the UEFA EURO 2016 from 16 teams to 24. But like some South American nations who are also climbing the FIFA-rankings ladder like Peru (#48 FIFA) and Paraguay (#44), scoring goals and having players on their Rosters who can put the ball in the net against bigger world powers like Argentina, Chile, Germany Spain, Italy and France is still pretty much non-existent.
At this point, this is a good betting market for everyone involved. Why? It's good for the bettors as 6 of the final 8 here have a legitimate chance of winning EURO 2016, and there are still solid sides with good soccer odds to win the tournament despite this now being the Quarterfinals and having just 8 teams left. Italy's Future Book odds actually went up from 18/1 in the Round of 16 to a high of 20/1 right before the eight sides in this Quarters was determined before settling at the +650 it's at now at Bet365.
It's good for the sportsbooks as the games are interesting enough to generate some healthy two-way action with most of the heavyweights still playing and some really good long-shots still playing like Poland and Iceland. And it's good for entertainment when the large European countries and perennial Soccer giants France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Belgium are all involved. In short, this UEFA Euro 2016 still has its host nation alive (France) as well as its marquee player (Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal) as the drama escalates with little Iceland being the cherry on top.
At first glance, the top half of the EURO 2016 Bracket looks easier with Poland (FIFA #28) and Portugal (FIFA #8) playing in this first Quarterfinal in Marseille on Thursday, and Wales (#26) facing Belgium (#2 FIFA) in Villeneuve-d'Ascq on Friday. Two things that can be said about the current FIFA rankings and their current numbers in terms of finding some perceived value at this point in this tournament is that there is no way in the damn world that Belgium is the 2nd best team in the world right now (Argentina or Chile or Maybe Germany are) and there is now way that Portugal is the 8th best team in the world right now. Eighteenth or 28th maybe and Poland and Robert Lewandowski (Anytime Goalscorer +260, at BetVictor) could very well take out Portugal and CR7 on Thursday.
The Semifinals are scheduled for July 6 and 7 in Lyon and Marseille respectively and will see the Poland-Portugal winner taking on the Belgium-Wales winner in the first Semifinal followed by the Germany-Italy winner playing the winner of the France-England/Iceland game to see who gets to go the UEFA EURO 2016 Final on July 10 in Saint-Denis. Here are the updated Futures Books odds after Monday's last two Round of 16 matches heading into the Quarterfinals round of this prestigious tournament:
Highest Odds to Win Euro 2016
Germany +300 (Almost everywhere)
France +350 (at StanJames, at Betfair)
Belgium +425 (at Bwin)
Italy +650 (Many sportsbooks)
Portugal +750 (at Betfair)
Poland 21/1 (at 188Bet)
Wales 30/1 (at StanJames, at 888Sport, at Unibet)
Iceland 50/1 (at StanJames)
Previous European Championship Winners
2012—Spain (7/2, at Coral)
1980—West Germany (3/1)
1972—West Germany (3/2)
1960—Soviet Union (3/1)
Analysis and Final Corner Kicks: Bales and Wales May Still End Up in Final
The current EURO 2016 odds long-shots heading into this upcoming Quarterfinals Round which will pare its entrants down from eight to four teams, Wales (30/1 at 888Sport), has possibly had the tournament's best player in Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) along with France's Dimitri Payet (West Ham United) and the Dragons have been consistent both Defensively and Offensively in Wins against Northern Ireland in the Round of 16 this past weekend (1-0) and throughout the Group Stage in Group B, going 2-1-0, beating Slovakia (2-1) and Russia (3-0) and losing to Mother England (2-1).
And in this Quarterfinals, Wales and Bale—the co-leading score in this tournament heading into this Phase with 3 goals—will really be up against against GK Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku on Friday (July 1) at Marseille (Belgium -133, Wales +475, Draw +260 at Bet365) and at as high as +500 in some sportsbooks (Bwin), taking a shot on the Dragons and Bale in this spot for a small amount might be a good idea, Game of Thrones fan or not. It's always good to have the Dragon (Bale) on your side, right Daenerys?
And it's absolutely fabulous Edie when a team with a part-time dentist like Iceland can make it all the way to the Quarterfinals and the Strákarnir okkar (Our boys) went from 200/1 at Betway around Noon PDT on Monday afternoon to 150/1 at WilliamHill around 12:20 p.m. after Iceland took a 2-1 lead over England after quickly falling behind on a The Three Lions PK from Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) early in the 1st Half.
And then the odds for Iceland went all the way down to 50/1 at StanJames—where they are at publishing time—after the game ended with that same seemingly improbable 2-1 scoreline with England being shown the exits earlier than it would have liked...again. We recommended taking Iceland +850 here at SBR soccer picks. Using a consistent system and the same starting XI in the L4 matches, Iceland has suddenly found itself set to face EURO 2016 hosts France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Sunday (July 3) in the Quarterfinals. Can Iceland upset France. Absolutely.
Heading into the Quarterfinals, Germany has (barely) emerged as the Oddsmakers' favorites to end up winning this tournament, but as you can see by the above updated UEFA EURO 2016 Futures Books odds, there are a bunch of teams near the top who could all make a case for being the favorite. As it was before this tournament even began earlier this month, there honestly really is no clear-cut psychological or odds Favorite here although the sportsbooks need numbers for this increasingly popular market and the reality this baby is being played in France has to give Les Bleus some sort of individual advantage.
After all, all the Referees and such are being served by French service staff at the restaurants and hotels around the European nation? France (+350 to win Euro 2016, at StanJames) won this Tournament as host in 1984 and with players like Paul Pogba (10/1 to be Player of the Tournament, at Bet365), Antoine Griezmann (14/1 to be Player of the Tournament, at Bet365) and Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), the French, Head Coach Didier Deschamps' side will be a very tough out and could end up repeating as Host-Champions like they did back in 1984 if Payet (2 goals, +450 Top France Goalscorer, at Bet365) keeps rolling like he has so far for Les Bleus.
EURO 2016 Soccer Futures Book Picks: Wales 30/1, Iceland 50/1 at StanJames
EURO 2016 Soccer Quarterfinal Picks: Wales +500 over Belgium at Bwin, Poland Draw No Bet vs. Portugal +178 at Marathon, Poland To Qualify +137 at Bet365