The groups stages of the delayed by one year Euro 2020 tournament went well for punters. There were some exciting matches and some very good bets out there for those who enjoy a flutter on football.
I kicked off the tournament by taking advantage of Paddy Power offering odds of Evens for Italian striker Ciro Immoblie to simply have one or more shots on target.
At the time of writing, my pre-tournament team to win the Euros, Italy, are still in the competition and face Belgium on Friday. Italy have already returned me profit with wins in the group stages against Turkey, Switzerland and Wales. To increase the returns for some bets, I have added the Under 3.5 goals to a win bet, such as when Italy beat Switzerland 3-0 and that bet paid out at odds against 23/20.
When France led Switzerland 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining of normal time, the bookies pre-tournament favourites looked home and dry, but they did not see out the game and Switzerland scored two late goals to take the match into extra time. Switzerland won the subsequent penalty shoot out. France started the Euros in Group F, labelled the ‘group of death.’ All four countries who began the tournament in that group are now back home.
Now we’ve been enjoying the exciting knockout stages. I tipped the draw between Croatia and Spain at odds of 29/10 or 11/4, depending on which bookie people used. Like so many games in the knockout phase so far, a draw looked unlikely, even in the latter stages of that eventful match.
The quarters finals are imminent. Spain play Switzerland tomorrow, Friday, while, on Saturday, Denmark play the Czech Republic and England take on Ukraine. Bookies now have England as tournament favourites following their 2-0 win over Germany.
I felt sorry for French striker Karim Benzema when France were knocked out. For the second game running he had scored two goals. I alerted subscribers to the odds of 12/1 for him to score twice against Switzerland and the odds of 15/8 simply for him to score anytime. Benzema had been one of my each way selections to be top goalscorer before the tournament even began at odds of 16/1 with Paddy Power who will pay out on the top 5 goalscorers, or 12/1 with Betfair (first 6).
I may still receive each way returns on that bet and the one for Cristiano Ronaldo in the same betting market at odds of 12/1 (first 6) as Benzema and Ronaldo had scored four and five goals respectively prior to France and Portugal being knocked out of Euro 2020. Prior to the quarter finals, Ronaldo remains the leading scorer.
Romelu Lukaku – the pre-tournament top goalscorer favourite with bookies at odds of 7/1 – is still in the competition and has scored three goals for Belgium. The same number as England’s Raheem Sterling.
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