As of Tuesday, DraftKings Sportsbook listed seven teams with odds of better than 10-1 to win Euro 2020: France, England, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Spain. All of the other teams have to be considered long shots.
France (+480 to win): The 2018 World Cup champions certainly got no favors from the draw; they’re grouped with defending Euro champion Portugal and a Germany team that won the 2014 World Cup and has advanced to the Euro semifinals in two straight tournaments. But eight of the 11 starters who brought a second world title to France are back for more this year, and there’s a chance this team might be better than the world champion from three years ago.
England (+540): Harry Kane is back after leading the 2018 World Cup in goals and helping the Three Lions to their highest finish in 28 years. But this isn’t a particularly seasoned English team, and Group D is sneaky tough, starting with an opener against 2018 World Cup finalist Croatia, which denied England a spot in that final.
Belgium (+750): If you believe FIFA’s world rankings, the Belgians are the world’s best team entering the tournament, a position they’ve held since their third-place finish at the World Cup in 2018. But there are questions about the health of stars Kevin De Bruyne, who suffered a facial injury in Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea in the Champions League final, and Axel Witsel, who still is recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury. De Bruyne seems likely to sit out the opener against Russia on Saturday but will be available going forward.
Portugal (+800): The defending Euro champions still have Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s still getting it done at 36, and a stalwart defense that might be the best in the tournament. But their tightrope path to the title five years ago — three draws in the group stage, an extra-time win over Croatia in the round of 16 and a penalty-kick victory over Poland in the quarterfinals — probably isn’t repeatable in such a tough Group F.
Germany (+900): It’s the swan song for Manager Joachim Löw, who will step down after the tournament. Löw’s three Euro teams have never been worse than semifinalists, but this one might labor to get out of its tough Group F: Recent results include a 6-0 thumping by Spain in November and a stunning 2-1 loss to North Macedonia in March. Plus, the memory of Germany’s group-stage flameout at the World Cup three years ago lingers.
Italy (+900): You like defense? The Azzurri have not allowed a goal in seven matches since a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands on Oct. 14 and haven’t lost a match since September 2018 (a streak of 24 games). Since they’re playing their first three games at home, it would be a tremendous shock if the Italians didn’t at least win Group A, which also includes Turkey, Wales and Switzerland.
Spain (+900): Hoping to regain some luster for a team that has stumbled on the world stage since its 2008-2012 imperial era (two Euro titles, one World Cup win), Manager Luis Enrique has shaken things up by leaving legendary center-back Sergio Ramos off his final roster. But the team’s final preparations hit a rocky patch when captain Sergio Busquets tested positive for the coronavirus Sunday, meaning he could miss much of the group stage while in isolation. But Spain opens with Sweden, which Tuesday revealed its own coronavirus problems: Forward Dejan Kulusevski and midfielder Mattias Svanberg tested positive and will miss at least Monday’s opener.
The longer shots
Unlike the World Cup, which has been dominated by a small handful of known powers over the years (only seven teams have won the past 17 tournaments), the European Championship has produced a number of surprise winners: the Soviet Union in 1960, Czechoslovakia in 1976, Denmark in 1992, Greece in 2004 and Portugal five years ago come to mind. Here are a few longer shots that could make some noise.
Denmark (+2500 to win): The Danes get to play all of their group-stage matches at home and would be a good bet to get to the knockout round considering only Belgium is strong in Group B. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel captained Leicester City to this season’s FA Cup, and midfielder Christian Eriksen helped Inter Milan to the Serie A title, so there’s top-level championship experience aplenty.
Turkey (+5000 to win, -167 to advance from group stage): Turkey doesn’t qualify for major tournaments all that often, but when it does it usually shows its merit: It finished third at the 2002 World Cup — Senol Gunes, the team’s manager then, is back for this tournament — and reached the semifinals at Euro 2008. Turkey is the tournament’s youngest team with an average age of 25, but it’s paced by 35-year-old forward Burak Yilmaz, who had 16 goals and five assists for Lille in Ligue 1 this season. Turkey allowed only three goals in 10 qualifying games, tied with Belgium for the fewest.
Ukraine (+10000 to win, -286 to advance out of group stage): Apart from a quarterfinal run at the 2006 World Cup, Ukraine doesn’t have much in the way of international success. Though it has qualified for the past two European Championships, it hasn’t scored in five straight Euro games, a record. But with Ruslan Malinovskyi setting the table, Ukraine could make some noise out of the consensus weakest group in the tournament. Playing for Atalanta in Italy, the midfielder led Serie A in assists. Ukraine’s Group C competition includes the Netherlands, Austria and North Macedonia.
Other bets to consider
Finland as the lowest-scoring team (+650 at FanDuel sportsbook): Finland is making its first appearance in a major international tournament (the World Cup or European Championship) and might get a rude welcome. In seven games against teams that qualified for this tournament since March 2019, it scored only five times and was shut out three times. Plus, star striker Teemu Pukki injured his ankle in early May and might not be 100 percent, though he played in Finland’s final warmup, a 1-0 loss to Estonia on Friday.
Slovakia not to advance from group stage (-225 at BetMGM): Slovakia has lengthy trips to St. Petersburg and Seville for its group-stage matches and only qualified for the tournament via the playoff path based on results of the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League. And apart from a 2-1 win in March over Russia (which is no great shakes these days), Slovakia’s recent results against some of Europe’s lesser lights have not been encouraging (draws with Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria).
Italy and Turkey to finish 1-2 in Group A (+280 at BetMGM): The Azzurri get all of their group-stage games at home, where they haven’t lost since 2016, and Turkey is a team on the rise with young talent all over the place. It will be tough for Switzerland and Wales to surpass them.
Belgium and Denmark to finish 1-2 in Group B (+200 at BetMGM): This is more of a fade on the other teams in the group (Russia and Finland). Belgium and Denmark and the clear class here. For what it’s worth, a Denmark-Belgium 1-2 finish in the group is +400.
Memphis Depay as the top goal-scorer (+1800 at FanDuel): The Netherlands forward is coming off a club season in which he scored 22 goals for Lyon across all competitions while also scoring five times for the national team this calendar year. He also is expected to take penalty kicks for the Dutch after scoring 10 times from the spot for club and country since August. The Netherlands is expected to make it out of Group C without much difficulty, and a run to at least the quarterfinals isn’t out of the question, giving Depay plenty of chances.
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