UEFA EURO 2016 is merely a month away. Here’s a game-by-game rundown of Group A first round matchups, complete with early soccer odds and soccer picks, so read on and make a profit.
Group A Betting Preview
On the heels of the EURO 2016 draw, France moved to the top of the winners market priced at +300, usurping previously fancied Germany to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy now priced at +350 with most sportsbooks. That move in the EURO 2016 Winner markets correlates to a seemingly favourable draw with Switzerland, Romania and Albania in Group A.
Here is an overview of Group A soccer odds according to Pinnacle.
Table 1: Group A Betting Odds at Pinnacle Sports
|Nation||Group Winner||To Qualify||Top 2 Finish|
|Albania||+3000||None Available||None Available|
Hosts France kick off against Romania on June 10 at the Stade de France in Saint Denis while Albania take on Switzerland the following day at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens Agglo. Odds makers have released early match betting odds for both these highly anticipated fixtures. (See Table 2) and, frankly, there’s nothing surprising about the way they are cast: France and Switzerland are expected to advance from Group A, thereby they are the favourites in their respective openers.
We preview these and serve up early predictions and soccer picks.
Table 2: Group A First Round Match Betting Odds at Pinnacle Sports
|France vs. Romania||-297||+403||+1267|
|Albania vs. Switzerland||+501||+263||-137|
France vs. Romania
Although France are the newly-minted favourites to triumph on home soil, there are several question marks hanging over Les Bleus that would make this market outlook seem a touch optimistic. Those in the know will have heard about the sex tape blackmail story involving Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbeuna, headlines made that can’t help team ethos or inspire harmony in the locker room one bit. When the French are disgruntled, they are disgruntled in a big way. They make no secret of it either. Case-and-point: at the 2010 World Cup the French team revolted against manager Raymond Domenech, a fiasco that made headlines around the world.
How Didier Deschamps manages his side’s temperament is going to be have a significant impact on how the team performs at EURO 2016: whether they’ll live up to the high expectations placed upon them. Keep in mind as host nation France receive direct entry into the competition, which means they haven’t played a meaningful fixture since World Cup 2014. Technically, we’ve yet to see what they are made of.
Les Bleus open proceedings against a disciplined Romania that allowed just two goals in qualifying and finished second, a point behind Northern Ireland. To say the Romanians are a defensive-minded side is an understatement. Although they only countered with 11 goals to the two conceded despite being contained within a relatively weak qualifying group, Romania should not be underestimated. They might not overwhelm France with their firepower but they certainly can stifle the French, particularly as the hosts will be feeling the pressure more so than the visitors.
France should win, but the Romanians could thwart the hosts with a draw. Indeed, history points to the draw between these two nations. France have never lost to Romania but four of the pair’s last five meetings have resulted in a draw. It’s also worth noting France’s record of 5W 6D 6L through 17 opening fixtures at EUROs. Given these trends the draw does look tempting at +333 soccer odds.
Soccer Picks: Draw +403 or Romania to win or draw at +1267
Albania vs. Switzerland
Albania are through to their first major tournament, thus expectations are predictably low and not just in the broad spectrum of the tournament. One victory in group play would be considered a massive achievement by the competition’s quintessential underdogs. Yet, there’s always a Cinderella story to be had at any major and the Albanian’s might just want to don that slipper. After all, Costa Rica achieved the impossible dream at the World Cup in Brazil and reached the knockouts, emerging from a tough group. Rags-to-riches Leicester City defied the Premier League odds to win the domestic title – arguably, the most competitive league in the world.
Winning group A or finishing inside the top 2 might be a tall order but the competition does allow for four of the best third-placed teams in the competition to reach the last 16. You can bet Italian coach Gianni De Biasi will have his side focused towards that reasonable goal. Then again, having beaten Portugal (away) and Serbia (away) in qualifying the Albanians showed they are capable of the upset. They also held Denmark to both a 1-1 draw (home) and a scoreless draw (away) in qualifying.
Switzerland are a more adventurous and attacking-minded side under Vladimir Petkovic since he took over the reins following the World Cup. With more experience and talent on their roster the Swiss are quite rightly the favourites to win outright. However, if they underestimate the opportunistic Albanians, it could prove costly. We’re backing the Swiss here but we won’t be surprised if Albania kicks off their campaign with a bang.
Soccer Picks: Switzerland to win -137
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle Sports