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

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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.

UEFA Champions League Semifinals Betting: Second Leg Odds and Analysis

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Lopsided semifinal first legs might make a Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid seem inevitable, but there is ample betting fodder within that reality.

Both  carry big leads into the semifinal second leg this week. Reigning champion Real Madrid is now a -125 favorite on the Champions League futures board, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Juventus is listed at even money, while their respective opponents, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco, are each darkhorses at +400.

Juventus, which leads 2-0, is a -165 favorite against AS Monaco (+450) with a 2.5 total for their match on Tuesday in Italy. The draw on the three-way moneyline is listed at +295. Juventus, which can lose the match by one goal and still advance, will likely try to pack it in around its goal, something its done well in European play (two goals allowed in 11 matches).

Juventus also comes in healthy and relatively rested, having rotated their lineup during a league match against Torino last Saturday.

Monaco should have everyone fresh, including teen phenom Kylian Mbappe, but the odds of pushing two away goals past Juventus would seem to be remote. The draw seems like a cagey play.

With the former carrying over a 3-0 lead from the first leg, Real Madrid (+155) and host Atletico Madrid (+160) are in a toss-up game with a 2.5 total in their betting matchup on Wednesday. The draw pays +245 on the three-way moneyline.

Real, led on the pitch by Cristiano Ronaldo, has not been shut out in more than a year. Scoring an away goal would all but seal the win on aggregate (road goals are the first tiebreaker). Atletico, which needs to win by at least three goals, has also had a collective struggle with creating opportunities that forwards Kévin Gamiero and Antoine Grieznmann can put away.

This could be a good match for in-game bettors to track, since Real knows an early goal would force Atletico into a desperate style of game to which it is unaccustomed.

The Champions League final – which is a one-game showdown – will take place at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on June 3.

 

English Premier League betting: Liverpool small favorite over Arsenal

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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.