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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.

Manchester City Tops EPL Futures, But Manchester United Has Chance to Move

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While Manchester City is moving deeper into minus-money range, Manchester United can show it’s a challenger by winning a rivalry match this weekend.

Riding a five-win streak in the league, Manchester City is the -150 favorite on the odds to win the EPL championship at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Manchester United (+275) has had the benefit of a soft schedule so far, but manager Jose Mourinho’s men can make a statement during matchweek 8 by winning on the road against rival Liverpool.

Chelsea (+800) and Tottenham Hotspur (+1400) remain the darkhorses.

Although Liverpool (+175) is at home for the aforementioned feature match against Manchester United (+155, draw +235), not having speedster Sadio Mane at winger will limit the Reds’ ability to counter-attack. There is a chance of Manchester United playing shutdown soccer and counting on the likes of Romelu Lukaku to poke in a decisive goal. Knowing the stakes, the under on the 2.5 total is inviting.

There is an even tighter three-way moneyline involving host Burnley (+165) against West Ham United (+175, draw +210). West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is getting close to having his first-choice lineup, but Burnley has been the most cohesive squad and is at home, where it’s been tough since the start of last season.

Swansea City (+110) takes a winless home record into action against sagging Huddersfield Town (+275, draw +210). With both teams scuffling offensively and Swansea F Wilfried Bony (hamstring) being uncertain to play, this smacks of a potential 1-0 game. The total is 2.0.

Manchester City (-650) is home to Stoke City (+1800, draw +750). City has scored four goals in three of their last five matches against Stoke, which means both the over on the 3.5 total and the even-money payout on City covering the minus-2.5 goal-line both look reachable.

Neither Brighton & Hove Albion (+220) nor Everton (+135, draw +205) is inspiring great confidence. Brighton is missing three first-choice players, while Everton has had only two men, Oumar Niasse and Wayne Rooney, score a goal this season. The draw offers almost as much value as a Brighton victory.

And Leicester City (EVEN) hosts West Bromwich Albion (+300, draw +225) in the Monday betting matchup. The Foxes need the three points to get out of the relegation zone, and should be able to set up a fresh-legged Jamie Vardy for a goal.

 

Manchester City remain minus money on EPL futures ahead of visit to Chelsea

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The price on Manchester City in English Premier League outright champion betting remains steady, but doesn’t reflect their latest injury woes. Manchester City are the -110 favourites on the EPL champion futures board at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, with rival Manchester United coming down to +250.

Chelsea (+500), which coincidentally host Manchester City in the feature game of matchweek 7, have also come down slightly. Tottenham Hotspur (+1400) also pose good value as they continue to get comfortable playing out of Wembley Stadium.

Manchester City have another long-term absence on the back line, as left-back Benjamin Mendy (knee) is out for two months at least. Center-back Vincent Kompany has also been AWOL this season due to injury. Any stumble could cause City’s price to rise.

Chelsea (+175) are the slight moneyline underdogs at home to Manchester City (+150, +245 draw) on Saturday. With Alvaro Morata in peak form and Eden Hazard showing he can run for a full 90 minutes, Chelsea should be good to at least break City’s shutout streak.

With this being the quintessential six-pointer between top-of-the-table teams, a draw might be a zero-sum outcome.

Huddersfield Town (+750) might get exposed by Tottenham Hotspur (-280, +360 draw). The Spurs pulled Harry Kane early in their Champions League match to preserve him for Saturday, and they are even money on the minus-1.5 goal-line. Now that teams have more intel on Huddersfield, they might be easier to break down their resilient defence.

Stoke City (+190) might be a shaky moneyline play at home against Southampton (+150, +220 draw), since seven first-choice players, including four defenders, are banged-up. Southampton, with F Manolo Gabbiadini returning up front, might be good for at least a draw. The goal line is also a pick’em.

West Bromwich Albion (+125), which are on a five-match winless streak in all competitions, host Watford (+255, +205 draw), who are on a three-game road win streak. The under on the 2.0 total is at even-money, indicating belief this might be a 1-0 game either way. Watford will be in their first outing since MF Nathaniel Chalobah (broken kneecap) went down, so it’s hard to predict how they’ll manage without him.

Newcastle United (+390) welcome Liverpool (-150, +295 draw) on Sunday. Their last six matches on Newcastle’s home pitch have had 19 total goals, but the over on the 3.0 total is still even money. Liverpool will push the envelope on the attack with Sadio Mané back from a three-match ban, and they do not defend tremendously well on the road.

Manchester United (-600) face yet-to-score-this-season Crystal Palace (+1800, +600 draw).  Romelu Lokaku is going off at +210 to be the first goal scorer, and there’s a prop that pays +155 if each team scores a goal. Palace have to slot one home eventually, and Man United won’t have their most formidable lineup after playing a Champions League fixture in Russia on Tuesday.