As we stand on the cusp of the knockouts we preview the R16 draw and corresponding outright winner markets in this space to better serve your soccer picks from here onwards.
Euro 2016 Knockouts Get Underway
The group stage came to a close with plenty talking points to mull over and assess for the Euro 2016 outright markets. Cinderella stories were in abundance as well , none more captivating, arguably, than Iceland's progress to the knockouts. There were other shockers, such as so-called lightweights including Hungary and Wales each winning their respective groups at the expense of powerhouse nations. In many ways, it's been a tournament of the dark horses, you could say. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue in the knockouts or the established order prevails
So how does the R16 stack up and who are the favourites?
Pre-tournament Soccer Betting Odds installed France as the favourites with Germany nipping at their heels. Midway through the group stage, two-time defending champions Spain surged to the forefront of the market, overtaking both France and Germany. That proved to be a short-lived move in the market as Spain succumbed to a shock defeat in the last lap to Croatia and previous order was restored. (See Table 1).
Table 1: Euro 2016 Outright Winner Market
|Nation||Outright Winner Odds|
|Republic of Ireland||+10000|
France have favourable draw or not?
France surged back to the top of the market not so much because of their group account, good enough though it was to win group A. They won their opener over Romania 2-1 and followed up with a 2-0 win over Albania, but a scoreless draw with Switzerland marked the end of their group campaign, which raised several eyebrows. Nevertheless, as group A winners France draw Republic of Ireland in the knockouts, one of the competition longshots to triumph at +10000 at PaddyPower. Plucky though the Republic of Ireland are, it's hard to see beyond a France win which makes them the likely bet to advance to the quarterfinals.
There they'll face the winner of England vs. Iceland, which has some soccer bettors considering France's odds a bit overvalued. Assuming the Three Lions defeat newcomers Iceland, it would set up an intriguing clash between heated rivals.
Germany's draw looms ominous
Germany are priced as the second-best bet at +450 soccer odds at Pinnacle, but their draw is ominous to say the least. They take on Slovakia in the R16, who are dangerous floaters that can't be underestimated after holding England to a scoreless draw in the third round of group play. Where things get tricky for Germany, should they advance into the quarterfinals is the potential of a matchup between the winner of Spain and Italy – finalists of Euro 2012. Yikes. Talk about the worst possible section. Germany are World Champions and high expectations go hand-in-hand with such an achievement, but Spain are two-time defending champions and Italy are both World and Euro Champions with undeniable pedigree.
Spain and Italy reprise 2012 final in the R16
The implications of Spain's defeat in the third round of group play couldn't have had more of an impact on the tournament with a matchup against Italy in the R16. Neither nation can be pleased about the outcome of the draw. It's going to be a real loss to the tournament with one of the pair sure to exit prematurely. Odds makers hang Spain on +550 soccer odds from BetVictor to triumph in the competition while hanging Italy on +1600 soccer odds to triumph, but few soccer bettors would be surprised if the latter turn the table on La Furia Roja.
Belgium, Hungary, Wales, Northern Ireland, Croatia, Portugal, Switzerland and Poland Benefit
The aforementioned list of nations are huge beneficiaries of the group stage. Falling into the top half of the draw, they all avoid the triplet of favourites in the market France, Germany and Spain along with popular soccer pick England. As the four nations cancel each other out, one of these nations has a real shot to go deep into the tournament, deeper than pre-tournament predictions would have had them go. As such, they serve up options on your soccer picks, perhaps not to win the tournament but to reach the final, which can be played as an each-way bet with the top choice in the bottom-half of the draw.