Getty Images

France still favored on Euro 2016 odds heading into Round of 16

Leave a comment

The knockout bracket of Euro 2016 sets up in a way where host France could see their biggest threats take each other out of contention.

In terms of championship cachet, the Round of 16 tilts right. France, which got through the group stage without much pressure, has the lowest odds to win the tournament at +400 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Les Bleus’ side of the draw represents 10 European championships. However, Germany (+450), Spain (+550) and Italy (+1600) are in a separate quadrant of the bracket.

Having all the past champions in the same half means bettors might turn their eyes toward the left side of the bracket. Belgium (+550) and their ‘golden generation’ embodied by Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, underwhelmed in the group stage, but their quadrant includes minnows such as their Round of 16 opponent Hungary (+10000), Gareth Bale-led Wales (+2500) and Northern Ireland (+20000).

That half also includes Saturday’s arguable feature matchup that pits Croatia (+900 champion prop) against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal (+1000). Croatia is a +164 favorite to defeat +220 underdog Portugal, even without MF Luka Modric (groin injury).

Circling back to coach Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus, France might not have to burn themselves out getting to the semifinal. France is a -217 favorite against Ireland in their Round of 16 matchup on Sunday. Their other matchup within their quadrant consists of England (+900 to win it all) and Iceland (+15000), which won the hearts of footy fans the world over by getting by the group stage.

Reigning World Cup champion Germany had three clean sheets in Group C play, but has yet to get untracked offensively.

That might not pose a problem against Slovakia (+15000) in their matchup on Sunday. However, in the quarter-final Germany is line to get the winner of Monday’s Spain-Italy match. Spain, led by playmaker Andres Iniesta, is an even-money favorite to get through Italy (+380 to win) on Monday.

The winner of that Croatia-Portugal matchup will have a quarter-final against the winner between Poland (+2500) and Switzerland (+4000). Poland and Switzerland are two of the least adventurous teams that made it by the group stage, so a low-chance game is possible.

Wales is a near even-money +104 favorite to defeat Northern Ireland (+394) in a Saturday Round of 16 game between United Kingdom rivals. Bale should rate a strong chance of scoring for the fourth consecutive game, which very few players have done in the Euro.

English Premier League betting: Liverpool small favorite over Arsenal

Leave a comment

Based on their recent history, one relative certainty when Arsenal plays Liverpool is that they might hit the over.

Ahead of their match on Saturday, Liverpool is even-money at +105 for the win with Arsenal a +240 underdog and a draw listed at +255 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The English Premier League rivals, who are in a five-team race for three spots in next season’s Champions League, have combined for 13 goals in their past two matchups.

Arsenal, which is 15-5-5 (wins-draws-losses) in the Premiership, will be trying not to concede three points. Key playmaker Mesut Ozil (illness) may be something of a match-day decision for manager Arsene Wegner, and Ozil’s absence would affect Arsenal’s ability to create opportunities for striker Alexis Sanchez.

Liverpool, which is 14-7-5, is dealing with a varied list of injuries. Captain Jordan Henderson (foot) is out , while the status of defender Dejan Lovren (knee) and forward Daniel Sturridge (illness) seems shaky.

Saturday’s fixtures also feature a matchup of two teams drawing bettors’ attention for trending in opposite directions, with Manchester United a -425 favorite against +1100 underdog Bournemouth (with a draw listed at +500).

Manchester United, at 13-9-3, is only two points adrift of a coveted top-four spot. With 35-year-old Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring at an impressive rate, Man U has lost only one of its last 26 matches and has won its last six across all competitions.

They are 4-3-0 (wins-draws-losses) in their last seven matches at Old Trafford against mid-table teams such as Bournemouth, but totals bettors should know that they have scored three goals in only one of those matches.

A continued skein of wins would further lower Manchester United’s price on the top-four finish odds board at the sportsbooks. One of their central playmakers in the midfield, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, should be back from a leg injury, which would help with generating a more flowing attack.

Bournemouth, 7-5-14 in the league, has lost six of its last seven matches in all competitions and has been outscored 12-4 in their last four Premiership matches. The Cherries have also allowed a league-most 30 goals in 13 away matches.

Bournemouth are still four points ahead of the bottom three with 14 matches left, but need to win one soon.

17 trampled to death by stampeding crowd at Angola soccer stadium

Getty Images
2 Comments

JOHANNESBURG — A crowd stampeded at a football stadium in Angola on Friday, leaving at least 17 people dead and dozens injured.

The accident happened in the northwestern town of Uige when hundreds of people rushed at one of the stadium gates, causing some to fall and be trampled underfoot, according to Angolan and Portuguese media.

Some of the dead were children who suffocated in the stampede, the Portuguese news agency Lusa said. Lusa and Angop, Angola’s state-run news agency, reported a death toll of 17.

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos (pictured above) expressed condolences to the families of the victims, and instructed officials to assist the injured and open an investigation, Angop reported.

Spectators had gone to the stadium to watch the inaugural game between home team Santa Rita de Cassia and Recreativo de Libolo in the national Girabola competition.