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Underdog Iceland seeks another payout as Euro 2016 hits quarterfinals

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Iceland will be looking to extend their improbable Cinderella run at this year’s European Championship when they hit the pitch on Sunday for a quarterfinal matchup with France as a huge +848 underdog in three-way betting at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The first-time tournament participants captured the imagination of soccer fans around the world with their shocking 2-1 victory over England in the Round of 16, leaving them undefeated in four tournament contests heading into Sunday’s Iceland vs. France betting matchup at Stade de France.

But neither the odds nor history appear to favor Iceland’s chances of advancing any further at this year’s tournament.

Les Bleus are coming off a narrow 2-1 Round of 16 victory over Ireland, lifting them to 6-1-0 in their past seven, and they sit as enormous -225 chalk against Iceland for this weekend.

France is also unbeaten in 11 all-time meetings with Iceland, but has seen their dominance over the Nordics erode since recording an 8-0 rout in their first encounter, a 1957 FIFA World Cup qualifier, settling for a 3-2 win in their most recent clash in a 2012 international friendly.

The quarterfinals get underway on Thursday with Portugal taking on Poland as a +132 favorite. Semifinal finishers at Euro 2012, Portugal backed into the knockout stage after settling for three draws in group stage action before earning a Round of 16 win on penalties over Croatia in perhaps the ugliest game to date at this year’s tournament.

With Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the lineup, Portugal remains a constant offensive threat. Ronaldo has found the net just twice so far at the tournament, but remains a strong +600 bet to emerge as the top goalscorer on the Euro 2016 player props.

However, Portugal faces a stingy Polish squad that has surrendered just one total goal in four Euro 2016 contests, and is pegged as an interesting +295 underdog in three-way betting.

Led by Jakub Błaszczykowski’s two goals, the White Eagles powered to a seven-point finish in the group stage before outlasting Switzerland in a Round of 16 shootout, and can draw confidence from a solid 2-2-1 record in their past five games against Portugal.

In other Euro 2016 quarterfinal betting action, Wales has a mountain to climb when they hit the pitch on Friday as a huge +450 underdog in their clash with Belgium, -137 favorites.

And Saturday’s action sees tournament betting favorites Germany perched as +125 chalk as they take on a surprising Italian squad sporting attractive +303 odds for the contest.

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.