Now things get interesting in the European Championship, the best soccer tournament in the world outside the World Cup. The 2016 event in France has reached the Round of 16 — the knockout round — and the host French remain the favorites on betting odds to win a third Euro title at +450. But those odds have narrowed.
Taking a Look at the Euro 2016 Soccer Betting Odds for Round Of 16The top two teams in each of the six groups advanced to the Round of 16 as well as the top four third-place teams. Slovakia, the Republic of Ireland, Portugal and Northern Ireland took those spots with Turkey and Albania missing out. Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland were the top two with four points each. The other four countries all tied with three points, but Portugal and Northern Ireland won over Turkey and Albania on goal differential.France won a fairly weak Group A with seven points and will face the Republic of Ireland on Sunday. The Republic were minutes from going out but finished third in Group E with a late 1-0 win over Italy. The last time the Republic of Ireland played France was in 2009, when Thierry Henry handled the ball in the build-up to the deciding goal in a World Cup qualification playoff.Three-time Euro champion Germany, also the reigning World Cup winner, is +450 to win this tournament. The Germans won Group C with seven points in a tiebreaker over Poland and they face Slovakia in the Round of 16. The criticisms back home of Germany in this tournament have changed after each of Germany’s group matches. After the opening win against Ukraine, defensive worries were the topic of discussion. Following a goalless draw with Poland, it was a lack of chances. After Tuesday night’s 1-0 win against Northern Ireland, the worry was how few of the many chances they created were converted. In addition, star Thomas Müller is yet to find the target.The five most prestigious teams at Euro 2016 are on the same side of the bracket. Spain’s late defeat to Croatia on Tuesday has Spain, the two-time defending champion of this tournament, facing Italy in the Round of 16 in a rematch of the Euro 2012 final, with England, Germany and France also lined up on the same half of the bracket. Those teams have combined for nine previous Euro titles, as well as 11 World Cups.The Round of 16 nearly took place without probably the second-best player in the world, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. He had been very quiet in this event and Portugal wouldn’t have advanced with a loss to Hungary on Wednesday. But Ronaldo had two goals and an assist in the 3-3 tie. Ronaldo is the first player to score at four European Championships and his eight goals are one shy of the all-time career record in the event.Portugal plays Croatia in the Round of 16 on the weaker side of the bracket. Other matches on that side feature Switzerland-Poland, Wales-Northern Ireland and Hungary-Belgium, which is a +550 third-favorite to win the event. Neither Northern Ireland nor Wales had ever qualified for the European Championship before this year’s edition, the first to feature 24 teams.
Expert Betting PredictionI like a Germany-Belgium final on betting odds as things currently stand.
Round of 16 Schedule (local time in France)
- Match 1: Switzerland v Poland – Saturday, 15:00 (Saint-Etienne)
- Match 2: Wales v Northern Ireland – Saturday, 18:00 (Paris)
- Match 3: Croatia v Portugal – Saturday, 21:00 (Lens)
- Match 4: France v Republic of Ireland – Sunday, 15:00 (Lyon)
- Match 5: Germany v Slovakia – Sunday, 18:00 (Lille)
- Match 6: Hungary v Belgium – Sunday, 21:00 (Toulouse)
- Match 7: Italy v Spain – Monday, 18:00 (Saint-Denis)
- Match 8: England v Iceland – Monday, 21:00 (Nice)