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Euro 2012: Odds Preview, Picks for Select Opening Group Stage Matches

Kevin StottSenior Analyst IJune 1, 2012

Euro 2012: Odds Preview, Picks for Select Opening Group Stage Matches

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    We’re just a week away from the start of Euro 2102, to be held from June 8 through July 1 at various locations throughout Poland and Spain.

    All matches in the tournament will be televised in the United States on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPN Deportes.

    Reigning European and World Cup champions Spain enter the high-profile tournament as the oddsmakers favorites (9/4) here in Las Vegas at the LVH SuperBook with Germany (3/1) and The Netherlands (5/1) the second and third favorites.

    So grab yourself a pączki or two, make a nice bowl of borscht soup and get ready for Euro 2012 brother. This should be interesting.

    Here are four matches from the first weekend of play in which I state my opinion, as well as predict the final scores.

Friday, June 8: Greece vs. Poland

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    Location: Poland Warsaw Stadium (Poland)

    Time: 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT

    Television: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

    90 Minutes + Injury Time: Greece +½ -130, Poland -½ +110, Total: 2u -115

    3-Way Result: Greece +275, Draw +220, Poland +110

    Odds To Win Group A: Poland 3/1, Greece 4/1

    Odds To Win Euro 2012: Poland 50/1, Greece 60/1

     

    Co-host Poland has goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny (Arsenal FC), defender Łukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund) and forward Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund) on its roster and made its first appearance in the European Championships in 2008.

    Greece had an unbelievable run as a huge underdog in winning the Euro 2004 championship in Portugal but will be hard pressed this time around to make it out of Group A which includes Poland, Russia (5/4 to win group) and the Czech Republic (7/2).

    Goals should at a premium in this Euro 2012 lid-lifter but I think the White Eagles, spurred on by the home Warsaw crowd will find a way to notch a game-winner, quite possibly off the foot of Lewandowski.

     

    PREDICTION: Poland 1 Greece 0

    BETS: Poland -½ +110

Saturday, June 9: Denmark vs. the Netherlands

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    Location: Metalist Stadium (Ukraine)

    Time: 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT

    Television: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

    90 Minutes + Injury Time: Netherlands -1 +105, Denmark +1 -125, Total: 2½u -125

    3-Way Result: The Netherlands -180, Draw +290, Denmark +550

    Odds To Win Group B: The Netherlands 8/5, Denmark 15/1

    Opening Odds To Win Euro 2012: The Netherlands 5/1, Denmark 100/1

     

    A mismatch on paper doesn’t always translate to a mismatch on the pitch but in this case I think it does.

    Denmark has a decent roster with goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen (Stoke City FC), defender Daniel Agger (Liverpool FC), midfielder Christian Eriksen (AFC Ajax) and forward Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal FC) in its ranks.

    But The Netherlands (aka the Dutch or Holland) is absolutely loaded with defender Gregory van der Wiel (AFC Ajax); midfielders Mark van Bommel (AC Milan), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City FC), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan) and Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur); and forwards Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (FC Schalke 04), Luuk de Jong (FC Twente), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool FC), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) and the talented Robin van Persie (Arsenal FC).

    The Danes absolutely shocked the continent in winning Euro 1992 in Sweden, but 2010 World Cup runners-up, The Netherlands is way too talented and way too deep.  "Clockwork Orange" may just find a way to win this entire tournament if it can find a way to beat Spain and/or Germany.

     

    PREDICTION: The Netherlands 3 Denmark 0

    BETS: Netherlands -½ +110 (BEST BET #1), Netherlands -180, Over 2½ Even

Saturday, June 9: Germany vs. Portugal

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    Location: Arena Lviv (Ukraine)

    Time: 2:45 pm ET/11:45 am PT

    Television: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

    90 Minutes + Injury Time: Germany -½ -120, Portugal +½ Even, Total:

    3-Way Result: Germany -120, Draw +250, Portugal +350

    Odds To Win Group B: Germany 11/10, Portugal 4/1

    Odd To Win Euro 2012: Germany 3/1, Portugal 15/1

     

    Like The Netherlands roster, Germany is loaded with players like goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich); defenders Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jérôme Boateng (Bayern Munich) and Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich); midfielders Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid); and forwards Miroslav Klose (S.S. Lazio), Mario Gomez (FC Bayern Munich) and Lukas Podolski (FC Köln).

    Portugal has its share of talented players including defender Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid CF); midfielder Raúl Meireles (Chelsea FC); and forwards Nani (Manchester United) and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).

    The Portuguese national team has still never won a European Championship or a World Cup and this year should be no different playing in the Group of Death with Germany, The Netherlands and poor, poor Denmark.

     

    PREDICTION: Germany 2 Portugal 1

    BETS: Germany -½ -120, Germany -120

Sunday, June 10: Italy vs. Spain

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    Location: Arena Gdansk (Poland)

    Time: 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT

    Television: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

    90 Minutes + Injury Time: Spain -½ -135, Italy +½ Even, Total:

    3-Way Result: Spain -135, Draw +250, Italy +410

    Odds To Win Group C: Spain 10/19, Italy 3/1

    Odds To Win Euro 2012: Spain 9/4, Italy 12/1

     

    Italy was rocked a bit by the recent betting scandal and saw Domenico Criscito withdraw from the Azzurri’s 25-man roster short-list right before it was released.

    The team still has its share of stars for the tournament including goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus); defenders Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) and Christian Maggio (Napoli); midfielders Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain FC) and Andrea Pirlo (Juventus); and man-child forward Mario Balotelli (Manchester City).

    Euro 2012 favorites, Spain, are completely loaded and actually have three of the top 20 goalkeepers in the world on its roster: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Víctor Valdés (FC Barcelona) and Pepe Reina (Liverpool), a really nice problem for manager Vicente del Bosque to have.

    Spain’s roster also includes defenders Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) and Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona); and a bevy of talented midfielders in Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), Cesc Fàbregas (FC Barcelona) and Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona).

    Up front Spain features Juan Mata (Chelsea FC), Fernando Torres (Chelsea FC) and Pedro Rodríguez (FC Barcelona) at the forward position.

    When you have the luxury of combining some of the best players from the rosters of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid on your team, then you have to be considered the tourney favorites no matter how tough the competition.

    Spain will try to get off to a quick start in Euro 2012 and should defeat Italy by two goals in what should be a pretty entertaining game for the fans.

     

    PREDICTION: Spain 3 Italy 1

    BETS: Spain -½ -135 (BEST BET #2), Spain -135 (BEST BET #3), Over 2 -135

Conclusion

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    Here are all of the opening futures odds to win each of the four different groups as well as to win Euro 2012 from the world's most renowned sportsbook the LVH SuperBook here in sunny Las Vegas. Please note that some of the odds have likely changed a little bit since they were released to the public two weeks ago on May 15.


    ODDS TO WIN EURO 2012
    Spain 9/4
    Germany 3/1
    The Netherlands 6/1
    England 10/1
    France 12/1
    Italy 12/1
    Portugal 15/1
    Russia 20/1
    Croatia 25/1
    Ukraine 40/1
    Poland 50/1
    Sweden 60/1
    Czechoslovakia 60/1
    Greece 60/1
    Ireland 60/1
    Denmark 100/1

    ODDS TO WIN GROUP A
    Russia 5/4
    Poland 3/1
    Czech Republic 7/2
    Greece 4/1

    ODDS TO WIN GROUP B
    Germany 11/10
    The Netherlands 8/5
    Portugal 4/1
    Denmark 15/1

    ODDS TO WIN GROUP C
    Spain 10/19
    Italy 3/1
    Croatia 11/2
    Ireland 16/1

    ODDS TO WIN GROUP D
    England 3/2
    France 7/4
    Ukraine 4/1
    Sweden 11/2

    Follow me on Twitter: @KevinStott11

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