It’s all very well betting on the tournament winner, but you might be looking for some greater variety in your Euro 2016 bets.
Let’s take a look at some of the other interesting markets to wager on…
Euro 2016 Top Scorer
At the semi final stage, there are five realistic candidates to the Euro 2016 top goalscorer title, as reflected by the betting odds at time of publication.
Antoine Griezmann is the leading scorer so far, with 4 goals to his name. Naturally, he is the odds-on favourite in this market with all bookies, generally available at odds ranging from 4/7 to 5/6. So far he has scored against Albania, Ireland and Iceland, but can he do it against Germany in the semi-final? Let’s see…
Of the three remaining players on 3 goals (Alvaro Morata is of course out of the running due to Spain’s elimination at the last 16 stage), two of them are among Griezmann’s French teammates: Olivier Giroud and Dmitri Payet, both very familiar faces for Premier League fans. Payet has followed on from his excellent debut season at West Ham with some high-quality goals at Euro 2016, while Giroud’s brace against Iceland brings him into contention for the top scorer crown.
The other player on 3 goals is none other than Wales’ Gareth Bale, who scored in all 3 games in the group stage, including a couple of free kicks from distance. While his Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is a little further behind on 2 goals, we can’t completely rule out the superstar, due to his potential to turn in an explosive performance and bag multiple goals on any given day.
As you can see from the pre-tournament odds below, some of the favourites like Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski didn’t live up to expectations in terms of their goalscoring contributions. On the whole though, none of the top five in the latest betting odds are a real cause for surprise.
The only surprise is that none of Germany’s players are in with a shout, since their top scorer Mario Gomez was ruled out for the tournament after the quarter final stage. Despite a relatively comfortable route to the semis (penalties against Italy aside of course!), Germany have scored just 7 goals in their 5 games, compared to France’s 11. Their goals have also been spread more around the team.
Betting on the Top Scorer
Right now, it would take a brave person to bet against Antoine Griezmann to maintain his grasp on the top scorer title, but your returns are going to be limited betting on an odds-on favourite.
However, we are brave people at Pitch Invasion! Olivier Giroud was particularly impressive in France’s quarter-final thrashing of Iceland and has developed a great understanding with Griezmann up front for Les Bleus. The French have certainly looked more of a threat with Griezmann moved to the centre of attack, where he is used to playing for his club side. It’s no coincidence that Giroud has also been more effective as a result of that tactical switch.
The Germans will have their hands full, especially missing suspended Mats Hummels in defence. While the main attention may be on Griezmann, Giroud can have just as much of an impact on his day. He’s also a threat from set pieces and in the air generally, with the French have scored many headed goals in the tournament already.
One final point worth mentioning: if there is a tie, most bookies are using dead heat rules on this market, so your payout will be adjusted accordingly.
Our tip: Olivier Giroud
Best Odds: 7/1 @Ladbrokes
Winner/Top Scorer combo
Traditionally the tournament’s top scorer is part of a team that makes good progress into the final stages of the competition. This makes sense as having a prolific goalscorer makes the team more likely to win, which will in turn give the player more matches to score in!
Here are the odds on this market with Ladbrokes before the semi-final matches:
The betting is dominated by combinations including Antoine Griezmann as the bookies think the likelihood of him being top goalscorer is high. Of course, in the case of the chasers in the pack, it’s unlikely they would be top goalscorer if their team didn’t win the tournament. For example, it would take a strange sequence of events for Olivier Giroud to be top scorer and Germany to win the tournament, because that would mean France were eliminated in the semi-finals.
Interestingly, a look at the pre-tournament odds shows that many of the favoured selections are still in the running. Of the top 5 shown below, only Spain/Diego Costa is out of the question and that’s because Costa didn’t even make the squad! So the bookies obviously knew what they were doing when they priced up this market.
Betting on the Winner/Top Scorer combo
Again, keep in mind that top scorer favourites go hand-in-hand with winning teams. We tipped France/Antoine Griezmann as a good bet at 33/1 before the tournament and, if you got on at those odds, you’re probably feeling reasonable confident about your bet right now.
Looking for value at this stage is a trickier proposition, but we suggest an outside bet on CR7 leading Portugal to glory in style. Let’s face it, if Portugal are to lift the trophy, it’s likely to be down to their star man. What’s more, they are seen as favourites against Wales in the semis so Ronaldo may well have two games in which to catch up on the pacesetters in the top scorer category.
Giroud/France would also be a fairly sensible bet at 10/1, on which Arsenal fans in particular may look to take a punt.
Our tip: Portugal/Cristiano Ronaldo
Best odds: 14/1 @ Ladbrokes
For more top Euro 2016 analysis, check out our betting preview for the final.
Euro 2016 Player of the Tournament
This is one betting market that is bound to go to the wire, as the Euro 2016 Player of the Tournament won’t be named until after the final. After all, it’s in the latter stages of a tournament that heroes are really made, so there is everything still to play for.
Frenchman Dmitri Payet is currently seen as the favourite, thanks to his three goals, two assists and all-round impressive performances. His last-minute winner in the opening game and subsequent tears of joy will certainly feature on the tournament’s highlight reels and he could be a difference maker in the semi-final and final too if France progress.
Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann is another popular choice, as leading the goalscoring charts is regularly synonymous with being seen as the best player. The French pair are followed by Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in the betting, but we would swerve these two selections as they have not exactly set the world alight with their performances in the tournament to date.
Next in the betting come the German trio of Toni Kroos, Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng. The German team have been solid enough so far, but with no standout performers, it’s hard to make a strong case for one of their players. Perhaps Neuer could be an exception, should he produce further penalty shootout heroics to lead Germany to the trophy.
Betting on the Player of the Tournament
Admittedly, this is a pretty subjective selection, compared to most other betting markets. Your personal opinion might not match that of the UEFA technical observers who will name the Player of the Tournament.
It’s not the most original pick to go with the favourite in the market, but we think that Payet’s great performances will see him claim this award in his home country. Of course he will have to do the business in the semi and final if France get through, but there’s no doubt he will be at the heart of the team’s attacking play. He’s also a likeable character, which can’t hurt his case.
That said, if Germany go on to win Euro 2016 and win another shootout on the way, don’t rule out Neuer, generally seen as the best goalkeeper in the world.
Our tip: Dmitri Payet
Best odds: 3/1 @ Ladbrokes