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Euro 2016 final: Griezmann, France favored to beat Ronaldo, Portugal

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While it often pays to be counter-intuitive before a championship matchup that has a heavy favorite, France is the chalk pick for the Euro 2016 final at sportsbooks monitored by for a reason.

France, which has pumped in nine goals in their last three matches, are listed at +110 to defeat Portugal on Sunday at Stade de France in Saint-Denis and become a three-time European champion. Portugal, led  by Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo but also bearing the baggage from having been a bridesmaid four times in major tournaments since 2000, is the longshot at +350. The draw is at +210.

Many observers labeled the France-Germany semifinal, which Les Bleus won 2-0, to be the real final. France has been lethal at finishing during the knockout stages, with Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann now up to a tournament-leading six goals. Their win against Germany illustrated how they can still get on the scoreboard without being ahead in possession time.

Skeptics who are still fixated on the fact France’s opening goal of the semifinal came on a penalty kick would also do well to remember they probably would have broken through sooner if they were facing any goalkeeper other than Germany’s Manuel Neuer.

France manager Didier Deschamps has a healthy lineup. France has also won 10 consecutive matchups against Portugal since 1975. It is also notable that the goal total has been two or more in 12 of the 14 Euro finals.

The best-case scenario for Portugal and Ronaldo might involve poking in an early goal and winning ugly through tough-minded marking. It’s decided role reversal from the days when Portugal often fell victim to that style of play, most notably at Euro 2004 when Greece pulled off a 1-0 upset in the final.

Portugal seems to have made the attitude adjustment required to win with defense. Left back Raphael Guerreiro should return to bolster their back line after being held out of the semifinal against Wales on Wednesday. The effect of his return could be negated if Pepe, who trained apart from his teammates on Friday, is less than 100% healthy.

It might be tempting to think that Portugal might act out the underdog story. However, the cost of their emphasis on falling back defensively is that it reduces the number of touches for Ronaldo and Nani, their second striker

In a Euro 2016 matchup featuring La Liga rivals Ronaldo and Griezmann, it might be best to back the superstar whose team keeps him engaged in the game.

Man United Hosts Liverpool in Pick’em Matchup on EPL Odds Board

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The recent history between Manchester United and Liverpool is the definition of the immovable object versus the irresistible force.

Manchester United and Liverpool are each offering +170 for a win while the draw is listed at +225 on the three-way moneyline for this English Premier League Saturday matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by With nine games left in the EPL season, Manchester United has a two-point lead over Liverpool for second place overall.

The last four games in this matchup have all ended in either 0-0 or 1-1 draws and the last six have finished with no more than two goals, which is a key trend to be mindful of in a game with a 2.5 total. Man for man, Manchester United might have the edge in the central midfield through Alexis Sanchez, while Liverpool has the more potent finishers on the front end in Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. It’s hard to see Manchester United pressing its luck on the attack, so another draw could be in the offing.

The conservative tactics Newcastle United (+170) has favored of late could backfire against Southampton (+175, draw +210). The visiting Saints have taken a point in four consecutive away games and left winger Nathan Redmond has generated numerous scoring chances lately, so a draw or an upset win is achievable.

Everton (+115), with striker Glenn Murray in good form, draws Brighton & Hove Albion (+260, draw +215), which it is deadlocked with in the standings. The 2.0 total should finish over, since Everton will need to push for the three points but the Toffees have also conceded goals in five of their last six home games.

Chelsea (-365) is winless in three as it gets ready for a London derby, but Crystal Palace (+950, draw +450), has not earned a point in games that Wilfried Zaha (knee) has missed. While Zaha is back in training, there a distinct possibility that Crystal Palace will not chance anything in order to secure him for games against other relegation-zone opponents.

Arsenal (-210) has lost four in a row and its sluggish back line is matched against the aggressive high press of Watford (+550, draw +360) in a Sunday matchup on the Premier League betting lines. Watford’s Troy Deeney should be presented with some prime scoring chances and the Hornets rate a strong chance of coming away with a draw, or even more.

Bournemouth (+500) catches Tottenham Hotspur (-200, draw +350) in a Sunday matchup, as the Spurs try to regroup from a shocking elimination from the Champions League. The most value in this matchup is the over on the 3.0 total being even money, as Bournemouth has been steadily scoring at home (where it’s taken 11 of the last 15 possible points), while Tottenham’s Harry Kane has six goals in his last four games against Bournemouth.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at

Manchester City favored over Chelsea in highlight of Premier League Weekend

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Manchester City has momentum – as well as an attainable goals line – that might offset its quick turnaround for a feature match against Chelsea.

Manchester City is the -170 favorite with Chelsea coming back at +450, while the draw offers +315 odds at sportsbooks monitored by for this English Premier League matchup for Sunday. The teams are split at 3-3-2 in their last eight meetings, but first-place Manchester City won the reverse fixture in September.

Key contributors such as forward Sergio Aguero and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne are expected to feature for Manchester City. The Sky Blues only have a minus-1.0 goals line to clear on the Premier League betting lines and they should have motivation to go all out and bank three points, since it gets them that much closer to clinching the EPL title and being able to focus on winning the Champions League.

Chelsea, conversely, looks vulnerable with defeats in three of its last four EPL games.

Burnley (+145) hosts Everton (+220, draw +205) in a matchup of two teams trending in the wrong direction. The vibe for Burnley would probably be different if it had not allowed a stoppage-time equalizer against Southampton last week. The Clarets have been a reliable UNDER squad, with 23 of its 31 matches finishing with fewer than 2.5 goals. Tottenham is also 2-17 in its last 19 road games (all competitions).

Liverpool (-525) is at home against Newcastle United (+1300, draw +575), ahead of a Champions League second-leg match where it has a five-goal cushion. Liverpool likely isn’t in jeopardy of losing thanks to the goal-scoring of trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, but Newcastle is offering an enticing -125 to cover the plus-2.0 goal line.

Fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur (-575) is catching Huddersfield Town (+1500, draw +600) on a downswing, which is why Harry Kane (who had two goals in Spurs’ reverse fixture at Huddersfield) and cohorts are laying 2.0 goals on the goal line. Huddersfield has struggled on the road, suggesting that Tottenham has a good shot to cover a big line.

Swansea City (+150) has a chance to clear the relegation zone at home against West Ham United (+195, draw +215). Swansea City has done well of late at teeing up scoring chances for Jordan Ayew and it’s plausible that the OVER hits on the 2.0 total since West Ham has the worst away goals-against record in the EPL.

Brighton & Hove Albion (+325), with striker Glenn Murray in a groove, faces Arsenal (-125, draw +275), which drags a three-match away losing streak into a Sunday matchup. Brighton has scored and allowed goals in five consecutive games and, given Arsenal’s defensive issues, there’s potential for an open game that could allow Brighton to make off with a victory.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at