UEFA EURO 2016 is just around the corner, making it just the time to offer up early game-by-game rundown of Group F first round matchups, complete with early soccer odds and soccer picks.
Group F Preview
By far the easiest group of the six groups competing at EURO 2016, Group F features three of the competition longshots in Austria, Iceland and Hungary. Easily this must be a cakewalk for Portugal, who are priced at most sportsbooks as the -125 favourites to clinch top spot in the table. As well, as the almost cert bet to qualify at -1200 and, similarly so, at -500 to finish in the Top 2. Of the remaining three nations, only Austria strike a confident pose as the -600 bet to qualify. Iceland and Hungary, though, can’t be discounted as the -163 and +138 soccer picks to qualify either, particularly as the competition allows for four of the best third-placed teams to advance into the R16. Let's discover what the EURO 2016 looks like.
Table 1: Group F Betting Odds at Pinnacle Sports
|Nation||Group Winner||To Qualify||Top 2 Finish|
Portugal’s qualifying campaign got off to a rocky start with a shock upset by Albania, an unacceptable outcome that brought about wholesale changes to their management staff. Out, Paulo Bento. In, Fernando Santos. The change was quickly justified after the Portuguese reeled off seven straight wins to top a watered down group. Austria, meanwhile, were one of the more impressive performers in qualifying, finishing top of their group with a 9-1-0 record, well ahead of Russia (second) and Sweden (third). Finally, Iceland are making their first major tournament debut after narrowly missing out on the World Cup in Brazil – a commendable feat for the small nation – and Hungary only just squeaked through via the playoffs.
Table 2: Group F First Round Match Betting Odds at Pinnacle Sports
|Austria vs. Hungary||-123||+258||+422|
|Portugal vs. Iceland||-153||+278||+555|
Portugal open their campaign on Tuesday, June 14 against Iceland at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne, while Austria take on Hungary the same day at Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France. Match betting odds are already in full swing for these highly-anticipated group openers (See Table 2) and below we serve up some early previews and betting predictions for your soccer picks.
Austria vs. Hungary
Austria look to build on their solid qualifying campaign with a win over the section’s minnows Hungary, and if the odds were any indication they’re expected to do just that. Priced at -125 to win outright Marcel Koller’s side are clear-cut favourites. Predictably so given their solid undefeated campaign to reach the final tournament. As well, they scored 22 goals and conceded just five in ten fixtures.
Hungary, by comparison, finished third in qualifying and earned their spot through a 3-1 playoff win over Norway. Hungary’s qualifying campaign left much to be desired with just a 4-4-2 record and 11 goals scored and 9 conceded. Given it wasn’t one of the toughest groups to begin with their stock value diminishes even further.
Of course, anything can happen at the tournament, even unlikely contenders can put together a so-called Cinderella run. Does the shoe fit here? Probably, not. For our money, we’re backing Austria to keep the momentum going and earn their spot in the knockouts.
Soccer Picks: Austria -123 to win
Portugal vs. Iceland
Portugal may be the firm favourites to win this clash but they are priced surprisingly low at -163. One would have expected heftier soccer odds given the market is practically giving top spot to them in Group Betting markets.
Then again, Iceland are dangerous floaters that can’t be underestimated. Twice beating the Netherlands in qualifying for a combined 3-0 score proves they are a side to contend with and shouldn’t be taken lightly even though they lack the requisite experience on the big stage. They finished their qualifying campaign with a 6-2-2 record, scoring 17 goals and conceding just six.
Mind, Portugal were also stunned by minnows Albania in qualifying, so they are prone to a lack of focus or, perhaps, taking seemingly easy opponents for granted. Of course, they have a new manager that has set them on the right path, and as long as Cristiano Ronaldo and Company play up to their lofty standards they should avoid such pitfalls. By all accounts, Portugal really should win this clash, if not overrun Iceland altogether and at -163 they look to be good value too for your soccer picks.
Soccer Picks: Portugal -153 to win
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle Sports