UEFA EURO 2016 Group Stage: Best Soccer Bets For Monday

Sunday, June 26, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

The Knockout Stage (Round of 16) of EURO 2016 gets serious on Monday, so make sure to check this betting preview before you bet on Monday's Soccer Bettging Odds.

Group E winner Gianluigi Buffon and Italy face Group D runners-up, Spain at Stade de France in Saint-Denis with one big-name team that could have won this prestigious tourney destined to go home earlier than it had planned. Let’s take a look at how these two got here, their head-to-head records, think about the attacking styles both can offer and then make a soccer pick in what should be a tighter game than the Oddsmakers line implies, along with a Preview for the match between England and Iceland in Nice on Monday in what could end up being a monumental upset and another collapse on the world stage by The Three Lions.

Italy vs. Spain
Group E winner Italy faces Group D runners-up Spain at Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Monday as Round of 16 play (Knockout Stage) will start sending some solid teams home from this 2016 UEFA European Championship (2016 EURO) tournament. Oddsmakers here have made Spain serious +105 favorites with Italy a big +320 underdog here and a Draw priced at +200 (bet365).

The Total (Goals) here is set at 2 with the Over priced at +136 (188Bet, Under -160) while the First Half odds see the Draw as the likeliest possibility with -110 odds, Spain at +187 and Italy priced at +375 (Bet365). Some Props wagers: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ +150, ‘No’-200 (William Hill); Draw No Bet: Spain -225, Italy +162 (Bet365); Correct Score: 0-0 +500 (BetVictor), Spain 1-0 +475 (BetVictor), Italy 1-0 +750 (Paddy Power) and, Extra Time?: Yes +200, No -275 (Bwin). The winner will go on to face the winner of the Germany-Slovakia game in the Round of 8 in Bordeaux on July 2.


 

Why is this Spain-Italy Line So Seemingly Imbalanced to La Roja?
Italy (2-1-0, 3 GF-1 GA) has been reduced to trying to win matches Defensively with such a poor attack and one of the worst Rosters in quite some time, despite Head Coach Antonio Conte and Gli Azzurri (the Blues) still having world-class GK Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus). At least (Mario) Balotelli is gone? Italy shut out Belgium 2-0 in its Group opener and then registered another clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden before resting Buffon and some starters in its third game against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday which La Azzurri lost 1-0 on a late goal from Robbie Brady which sent Ireland into Round of 16 to play host France.

Italy (18/1 to win EURO 2016, Paddy Power) went with a primarily second-string Starting XI against the Republic of Ireland of: GK Salvatore Sirigu; Defenders Leonardo Bonucci, Angelo Ogbonna, Andrea Barzagli and Alessandro Florenzi; Stefano Sturaro, Thiago Motta, Mattia De Sciglio and Matteo Darmian in the MF with Federico Bernardeschi and Ciro Immobile as Forwards. Stefano El Shaarawy replaced De Sciglio and Lorenzo Insigne replaced Immobile for the Italy (DLWWWW) in the Group E finale and Loss. We’ll definitely be seeing the world-class Buffon back in goal here along with all of the Azzurri regulars like Daniele de Rossi (Anytime Goalscorer +1400, 888sport) and Forward Graziano Pellé (Anytime Goalscorer +400, 888Sport). But scoring has been an issue.

Defending back-to-back champions in this tournament Spain (2-1-0, 5 GF-2 GA) and Head Coach Vicente del Bosque come in with probably the best overall Roster and on paper, this seems like it comes down to a De Gea vs. Buffon showdown, but in reality there probably won’t that many quality shots on Target created through this 90 minutes with Italy wanting a tentative, slowed-down game to try to hang with Spain (WWLWWL) and not let La Furia Roja (The Red Fury) dominate the Time of Possession with its talented and speedy Midfielders.

The Roster edge here easily goes to Spain—with capable defenders, scorers and passers in starting GK De Gea (Manchester United and backup Iker Casillas (FC Porto), Thiago (Fußball-Club Bayern München), Koke (Atlético Madrid), Juanfran (Atlético Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) Isco (Real Madrid), Pedro (Chelsea), Bruno (Villarreal), Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Bilbao), Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Nilito (Celta), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona), Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona), Álvaro Morata (Juventus), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) and playmaker extraordinaire David Silva (Manchester City), among others. But Italy knows to advance, it must play great Defense. And coming off a loss to Croatia in its third Group Stage—breaking a 14-game unbeaten streak—should motivate the Spain (+600 to win EURO 2016, Bwin) but scoring first here will be big and this looks like it could be another one of those EURO 2016 matches that goes a very long (and boring) time with a 0-0 score (Halftime Score 0-0 +120, Paddy Power).

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Predicted Final Score:  Spain 1 Italy 0
Monday Picks:  Spain +105 (Bet365)
Props Picks:  Halftime Score 0-0 +120 (Paddy Power)

England vs. Iceland
The Three Lions, England (1-2-0, 3 GF-1 GA in Group Stage), had two Draws (Russia 1-1, Slovakia 0-0) and one huge Win (2-1 over UK neighbors Wales and EURO 2016 stud Gareth Bale) to get to this point at Stade de Nice in Nice, France in the Round of 16 (Knockout Stage) play on Monday. Oddsmakers here have made England massive -187 favorites with Iceland as big as +850 underdogs in some places (Boylesports) and a Draw at +290 (Bet365). 

The Total (Goals) here is set at 2 with the Under priced at +123 (10Red, Over +100) while the First Half odds sees England priced at +120, Iceland at +700 and a Half-time Draw at+100 (Bet365). Some Props wagers: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ +170, ‘No’ -260 (Bet365); Draw No Bet: England -900, Iceland +600 (888Sport); Correct Score: 0-0 +600 (BetVictor), England 1-0 +380 (Marathon), Iceland 1-0, 15/1 (BetVictor), England 2-0, +500 (BetVictor); and (Will There Be) Extra Time?: Yes +290, No -400 (Bwin). (In the Knockout stage of the EURO tournament, Extra Time and a Penalty Kick Shootout are used to decide a winner if tied at the end of 90 minutes plus Injury Time.) The winner of this match will go on to face the winner of the France-Republic of Ireland game in the Round of 8 in Saint-Denis July 3.

 

Republic of Iceland: One of The Little Engines That Could in EURO 2016?
It seems the unlucky English couldn’t have drawn a tougher and more under-appreciated opponent than Iceland which also went 1-2-0 in Group (F) play (4 GF-3 GA) and needing a goal from substitute Arnór Ingvi Traustason on Wednesday to top Austria 2-1 in a dramatic finish at the Stade de France to get to this point. Iceland is the smallest nation to ever send a team to the EURO tournament and the Nordic island country has a population of 332,529, compared here to Clark County (Las Vegas-Henderson, Nevada) which has a current population of 2,147, 641 according to the LVCVA. Roster-wise, everyone has heard of most of the players on England while few have ever heard of most of the players on the Iceland Roster, save for maybe Midfielders Gylfi Sigurðsson (Swansea City) and maybe Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City). 

Iceland employs a 4-4-2 tactical formation and actually has two Head Coaches (Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson) and will look to players like Winger Birkir Bjarnason (FC Basel), Jóhann Guðmundsson (Charlton Athletic), Emil Hallfreðsson (Udinese), Striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (FC Nantes)—who has scored 19 goals in 37 matches or Iceland—Striker Alfreð Finnbogason (Augsburg on loan from Real Sociedad) and Striker Jón Daði Böðvarsson (FC Kaiserslautern) for scoring. This team has some firepower, although maybe second-tier firepower but it’s hard not to imagine English GK Joe Hart (Manchester City) and The Three Lions Defense being tested by Iceland in this spot. David and Goliath stuff. Bring your rocks.

Lifetime, these two haven’t met much with England 1-1-0 (7 GF-1 GA) against the Strákarnir okkar (Our Boys) both in simple Friendlies (6-1 in 2004 in England, 1-1 in 1982 in Iceland). But with England’s Roster and attack force including Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur; Anytime Goalscorer +187, Bet365), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) and Adam Lallana (Liverpool), among others, starting GK Hannes Halldorsson and the Iceland Defense led by Centre-Half Ragnar Sigurðsson (FC Krasnodar) will surely be tested.

But this seems like a match Iceland can win—maybe in Extra Time or on PK’s—and the line is about 2 dollars (200 cents) out of whack with Oddsmakers and Bookmakers alike knowing that England (WWWDWD) will see the bulk of the Side action in this one with Iceland (WLWDDW) still just that little island on the map up in that Cold Spot where Fairies roam which nobody believes anyone else could ever live on. Well people do and they play Soccer and they’ve become pretty darn good at it and anyone laying $5 or £5 pounds on €5 on Iceland at these soccer odds heading into this Knockout Stage (150/1 to win EURO 2016, Bet365) may just be onto something and if Momentum matters, tiny Iceland has it here and we all know all the neutrals will be pulling for the Strákarnir okkar. Worldwide.

There may be value to be found in the Draw No Bet marketplace (Iceland +600, 32Red) as Iceland will spend most of its time defending England (10/1 to win EURO 2016, Bet365), and probably doing so effectively, while waiting for a quick-hit on the counter the other way. There should be very few quality attempts in this one and a 0-0 Halftime scoreline would surprise nobody (Halftime Score 0-0, +130, Bwin).

Even when a line seems way high, best to trust the Head and the Gut when they both end up at the same conclusion. This is Iceland’s moment, even if for them it seems just for this one game, and even after just really having its moment with that last-gasp game-winner in its Group Stage finale against Austria. Encore.

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Predicted Final Score: England 0 Iceland 1
Monday Picks: Under 2 -123 (10Red), Iceland +850 (Pinnacle)
Props Picks: Halftime Score 0-0, +130 (Bwin), Iceland +600 Draw No Bet (32Red)