After a one-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UEFA Euro tournament is here. The championships will start on Friday 11 June and end on Sunday 11 July as the best European football clubs face off and punters can enjoy one of the best football competitions in the world.
Five years ago, in 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal could win their first title. It was their second appearance in a Euro final, and they were the first to win the tournament after it expanded to 24 teams.
Once again, the Euro stage is set for a 24-team tournament. Six groups of four will compete with 16 teams, the first two of each group and four third “Wild Card”, will then move on to a knockout phase.
As usual, the tournament is wide open with several countries representing strong contenders for the trophy.
But on which teams to bet at Euro 2021? And are there any outsiders or side bets that are worth considering? Here’s a full rundown of the odds, top bets and expert picks to win the tournament before the championship starts.
EURO 2021: full dates, schedule, calendars, more for the tournament
Euro odds 2021
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
France (+475), the reigning 2018 World Cup champions, will open the Euro 2021 tournament as favorites up for grabs, according to DraftKings Sportsbook odds. Although they play in the proverbial “Group of Death” Group F, Les Bleus are an experienced team with an excellent combination of solid veteran players and explosive young talents. So it’s no surprise to see them favorites for the title.
After that, the usual suspects make up the rest of the teams with odds below 10-1. England (+600), Belgium (+750), Italy (+800), Portugal (+800), Germany (+900) and Spain (+900) represent the main contenders for the title, with the odds increasing considerably thereafter.
Three teams have odds of 500-1, the worst in the tournament. They are Finland, Hungary and North Macedonia
|Team||Odds of winning|
Experts’ choice for Euro 2021
The best choices to win Euro 2021
France (+475). Choosing the favorite is not always fun, but there are plenty of reasons to be confident in this French team. The Blues emerged victorious from the 2018 World Cup and under Didier Deschamps, they were great. They have a good mix of young talent and strong veterans.
France is embarrassed for riches in attacking posts, including Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema, who returns to the squad after a five-year absence after resolving a feud with Deschamps. Additionally, they have Ballon d’Or candidate N’Golo Kanté in midfield alongside superstar Paul Pogba. And Hugo Lloris is a veteran goalkeeper who continues to play at a high level.
There is not much to dislike on this French side. The only minus point is that they are part of the death squad which could have a negative impact on them if they run into any issues against Portugal or Germany. But of all the teams, they have the best chance of winning and can be trusted at just under 5-1.
Belgium (+750). To date, the Belgian “Golden Generation” has yet to win a major tournament. They lost in the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup against Argentina before finishing third in the 2018 World Cup. And in Euros, they only reached the quarter-finals in 2016 before losing to in Wales in a massive upheaval.
Why should we expect something different this time around, especially with Kevin De Bruyne struggling with a fractured orbital bone? Put simply, this group might be desperate to win something before they go out.
De Bruyne (32), captain Eden Hazard (30), Dries Mertens (34), Toby Alderweireld (32), Jan Vertonghen (34), Axel Witsel (32), Thomas Vermaelen (35) and Nacer Chadli (31) are all enter the final phase of their careers. Some may continue to play after the Euro with a view to next year’s World Cup. But for some, that could be the end of the line.
Belgium have talent, including Inter Milan star striker Romelu Lukaku, so they should be able to compete, and the base group will want to win for each other. Their opposition in Group B (Finland, Russia and Denmark) is not too bad. Of course, Russia and Denmark will have the advantage on the pitch, but the Red Devils can overcome that. And if they do, it could put them on the path to victory.
Italy (+800). Italy is one of the other more attractive favorites. There are a myriad of reasons to love them. Above all, they have been playing well lately. They are unbeaten in 27 matches and have won four straight games with a combined score of 12-0. Manager Roberto Mancini has his team operating with top notch efficiency.
Additionally, Italy will play three home matches due to the unique way Euro 2021 is structured with 11 different cities hosting group stage matches. This could give them a huge advantage at the start of the tournament, especially since the most difficult competition they will face in their group will come from Switzerland.
The only potential problem with Italy could be with their goalkeeper. Gianluigi Donnarumma is only 22 years old and this is his first major tournament. That said, he’s been under the microscope lately with an imminent transfer to PSG and he’s probably eager to show that he deserves a big contract and consideration among the best goalkeepers in the world.
There’s a lot to love about Italy with an 8-1 odds, so they’re the third best contender to trust.
Best outsider choice to win Euro 2021
Austria (+10000). Listen, I know what you’re thinking – Austria is not likely win Euro 2021. It’s going to be very difficult for them to compete with the other top teams, and that’s why they’re rated at 100-1.
That said, of all the potential outsider choices, Austria is the most intriguing. First of all, they are in a very open group, as Group C is expected to be a three-horse race between the Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria. The Netherlands sit first in the world in 16th place, but they have had their share of struggles under Frank de Boer, who only recorded a 5-4-2 record as a manager.
In addition to its weakest group, Austria actually has 21 players from the European “Big 5” leagues, the most of any team in the tournament. They may not have the same star power as some other clubs, but at least they have players with high level experience. This includes striker Sasa Kalajdzic, who plays for the Bundesliga team Stuttgart.
If you’re looking for a long shot in the mold of Iceland or Wales in the last few euros, Austria is probably the best bet of the group this year. And if you are not looking to bet them as a winner, you can always choose other bets, like Austria finishes in the top four (+1100) or Austria reach quarter-finals (+300). These would be considered smart bets with significant upside potential.
Winner and top scorer
Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo (+3500). Portugal are another team vying to win the European Championship, but betting them with straight odds of +800 just seems decent when you can get that built-in bet for +3500.
Put simply, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Portugal repeats themselves as Euro winners without Ronaldo (pictured below) leading the team in goal scoring. This happened in 2016 when Ronaldo scored three goals, but he didn’t win the Golden Boot that year. Antoine Griezmann had six to beat him.
Still, if Portugal win, Ronaldo will at least be in contention for the Golden Boot. He is also six goals away from breaking Ali Daei’s world record of 109 international goals. This will be in the spirit of the 36-year-old legend, so he will be looking to score early and often in this tournament. That makes him as good a bet as any to win the Golden Boot, and pairing him with tournament-winning Portugal is a nice value proposition with odds of 35-1.
Best finishing position
Portugal (+110) over Spain. Staying on the Portugal train here, it seems odd that Spain are favored over the Portuguese for a better final position. Yes, Portugal are in the kill group while Spain get three home games and are probably the best team in their group, but Spain face their own issues.
After Sergio Busquets tested positive for COVID-19, the national team faced some COVID-related issues that kept them away from the training ground. It’s unclear when their players will return to action and if they will be able to practice before their opener with Sweden. So if Spain struggle to get out of the gate, La Furia Roja could have more problems than expected even if they advance to the knockout stages.
This should give the Portuguese a good chance to finish ahead of the Spaniards, even if they have to deal with the advance of the Group of Death.
Group winner in the spotlight
Group F (+150). At +150, Group F are the favorites to win Euro 2021, and it’s easy to see why. This is the group of death and includes three main contenders for the tournament – France, Portugal and Germany. All three have a legitimate chance of winning and should, at a minimum, advance to the knockout stages.
This bet is a great insurance if you like France, Portugal or Germany but you are worried that these nations will falter because of the difficulty of the group. It’s not as lucrative as betting on one of the group’s three contenders individually, but having a chance against three of the tournament’s top seven teams at 3-2 odds is rock solid.