Best bets to win the tournament | Best bets to win each group
UEFA’s European Championship has delivered countless unforgettable memories for fans and bettors alike. Stunning wins for Denmark and Greece, Spain’s three-peat in 2012, David Trezeguet’s golden goal, Cristiano Ronaldo coaching in the 2016 final, and Marco van Basten’s iconic volley are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to legendary Euro moments..
Every year there are heavy favorites who crash out early and dark horses who make deep runs. Which nations will fall into which category this summer?
Let’s go team-by-team to find some of the best bets available for Euro 2020.
Group A: Italy
Having missed out on the 2018 World Cup, Italy are looking to make up for lost time. Armed with an elite midfield and a plethora of scoring options in attack, the Azzurri are going to be incredibly tough to beat. Group A is negotiable – especially with playing all three matches in Rome – and the path looks clear for them to make a deep run in the competition.
Bets: To win Euro 2020 (+800), to reach the semis (+180)
A highly predictable bunch, there’s hardly a tournament that goes by without Switzerland involved. The Swiss have qualified for eight of the last nine major tournaments, but don’t have a single knockout-stage victory to show for it. They are defensively sound with a strong spine in midfield. However, there don’t appear to be many goals in the side with the heavily relied upon Xherdan Shaqiri hardly playing this season. Switzerland have enough quality to advance beyond the group stage but will make little noise beyond that.
Bets: Eliminated in round of 16 (+160)
A refreshingly positive side with an abundance of quality throughout, Turkey is not only a joy to watch, but also highly capable of surprising. It took four of a possible six points from France in a terrific qualifying campaign, and the momentum is strong heading into the tournament. The side’s spine was integral in spurring Lille to the Ligue 1 title, while the starting XI is littered with talent from Europe’s top leagues. Turkey tend to impress on the big stage, most recently reaching the semifinals at the 2002 World Cup and 2008 European Championship. Another appearance in the final four is possible if the chips fall right.
Bets: To reach the quarters (+250), to reach the semis (+800)
How much trust can you place in a nation entering a major tournament with an inexperienced manager and a heavy reliance on two players? The supporting cast surrounding Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale isn’t what it was in 2016, while those two aren’t either. Group A presents a tough test as Wales will be hard-pressed to win a match.
Bets: To finish last in Group A (+120), not to qualify (-130)
Group B: Belgium
A trendy pick to win it all, this may be the last chance for Belgium’s golden generation to secure silverware. The talent is absolutely there, but the Red Devils have been something of a paper tiger on the grand stage. Could this be the year they put it all together? Possibly. But an aging backline and the uncertain status of Kevin de Bruyne and Axel Witsel are enough for me to stay away completely.
Bets: Romelu Lukaku top Belgium scorer (-170)
In every European Championship there’s a nation that captures lightning in a bottle and surprises with a deep competition run. Wales, Russia, Turkey, and Greece have all done so in recent editions, and Denmark have the makings to do so in 2021. This is a balanced and professional squad, one with plenty of talent and savvy. The Danes are well-structured and disciplined, and have the benefit of playing all three group matches on home soil. They may not play the most exciting brand of football, but it’s one conducive to winning in tournament play. The semifinals certainly aren’t out of the question.
Bets: To win Group B (+235), to reach the quarters (+120)
In a top-heavy Group B, Finland’s best chance to get a result in its first-ever participation at a major tournament will come against an underwhelming Russian side. Of course, Finland aren’t any better. Teemu Pukki is a quality finisher up top, but what sort of service is he going to receive? It will surely be an emotional moment when the anthem sounds in Copenhagen in match one, but there likely isn’t a happy ending to this feel-good story.
Bets: Under 1.5 goals (-110)
Third place is there for the taking for Russia, who will play two of three group matches in Saint Petersburg. However, this is a side desperately lacking in quality – highlighted by November’s 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Serbia. Russia are without a victory in its last six matches against Euro 2020 participants, and there are no indications a sudden return to form is imminent.
Bets: Not to qualify (+160)
Group C: Austria
Austria’s participation in 2016 failed to live up to the hype, and while there’s still a lot of quality in this side, many of its top players struggled for form this season. Austria has consistently succumbed to tougher competition in recent years – defeats to England (1-0) and Denmark (4-0) earlier in 2021 included – and a rather underwhelming qualifying campaign suggests we can expect a similar display from the Austrians this summer in a group that’s tougher than advertised.
Bets: Eliminated in round of 16 (-110)
My pick to win it all before last summer’s tournament was postponed, the departure of Ronald Koeman, subsequent hiring of Frank de Boer, and injury to Virgil van Dijk have drastically changed the Netherlands’ outlook. This is still a supremely talented squad with Matthijs de Ligt anchoring the defense, Frenkie de Jong pulling the strings in midfield, and Memphis Depay spearheading the attack, but De Boer’s many shortcomings as a manager are likely to hold the Oranje back.
Bets: To reach quarters (-140)
Like Finland, merely reaching a first European Championship is a triumph in itself for North Macedonia, but this squad has a bit more quality and experience which suggests it could be a tougher out. Cohesion is also a big plus, as the majority of this squad has been together for half a decade now. A 2-1 win over Germany in March showcased its upset potential, but recent losses to Romania and Armenia are evidence of the team’s floor.
Bets: Eljif Elmas top North Macedonia scorer (+500)
An unpredictable side, Ukraine are immensely talented, but often struggle to put it all together. In the past year, Andriy Shevchenko’s side has beaten Spain and tied France, but has also drawn with Kazakhstan and Bahrain. Its participation at major tournaments has been a mixed bag – including finishing dead last in the 2016 edition – but the talent and form of these players right now can’t be overlooked. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ruslan Malinovsky are legitimate match winners surrounded by a strong supporting cast. Nothing about Group C should scare them.
Bets: To win Group C (+425)
Group D: Croatia
A repeat of 2018 feels far-fetched for a Croatia side that pales in comparison to the one that reached the final against France. There’s still a ton of quality here, but the core is aging and the defense is leaky. Croatia has lost more matches (seven) than its won (four) since the start of 2020, and in a difficult group, this tournament could prove to be a disappointment for a nation that typically punches above its weight.
Bets: Not to qualify (+250)
While there’s nothing spectacular about this Czech Republic side, it’s a solid group. The Czechs possess a strong spine and a balanced lineup of players that complement each other well and are difficult to beat. The lack of a true game-breaker could hurt them as the tournament progresses, but not in the group stage where they possess the acumen to navigate a path to the knockouts.
Bets: To qualify (-120)
It wouldn’t be a major tournament without pundits forecasting an England triumph. And while those expectations aren’t new, they certainly feel justified ahead of what looks like the Three Lions’ best chance at ending a 45-year trophy drought. A tough group doesn’t appear to be a banana peel with the matches being played at Wembley, but a date with Group F’s runner-up in the round of 16 certainly could be. From there it would likely be Spain in the quarters, as there isn’t an easy match on the docket for Gareth Southgate’s side. If England are to end its dry run, it will certainly have to earn it.
Bets: To reach semis (+140)
Returning to a major tournament for the first time since 1998, Scotland will be full of enthusiasm and a tough out in the group stage. Hosting Croatia and Czech in Glasgow helps, and while there isn’t an abundance of top-tier talent, this is a very dogged and capable side – one I’m struggling to write off. A deep run is probably out of the question, but that’s not to say it can’t surprise. I’m projecting Scotland’s return to end a bit disappointingly, but wouldn’t be surprised if I’m made to regret it.
Bets: Not to qualify (-150)
Group E: Poland
Perennial underachievers on the big stage, Poland has advanced to the knockout stage in just one of its past six appearances at a major tournament. With Robert Lewandowski leading the line there’s always a chance, but the quality of the side behind him is worse than it was in 2018 when the country flamed out at the group stage. They’ve won just once from five matches – against minnows Andorra – since Paulo Santos was appointed manager, and will be nothing more than an easy out should they advance to the knockouts.
Bets: Eliminated in round of 16 (+140)
Quite possibly the worst side at this tournament, we can’t expect anything out of a Slovakia outfit still relying on a well-past-his-prime Marek Hamsik. Where will the goals come from? While in-form defender Milan Skriniar is a real bright spot, he’s the only one who will do well to claim a single point in the group stage. Recent draws against Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta hardly inspire confidence.
Bets: Under 1.5 goals (+140), 0 points (+250)
I went deeper on Spain here, explaining doubts over how deep it can go in this tournament while still very much in transition. The group stage will be a breeze, but without the old guard – seriously, no Sergio Ramos?! – La Roja lack the tournament know-how and consistency in attack to survive when the competition stiffens.
Bets: Eliminated in quarters (+200)
Sweden’s remarkable consistency on the international stage means we can predict its tournament fate with some relative confidence. Good enough to beat the bad teams, while lacking the quality needed to topple the giants – look no further than its recent showing in the Nations League.
Bets: Eliminated in round of 16 (+120)
Group F: France
There’s not a weak spot to be found in this France squad – one worthy of being priced as tournament favorites. Les Bleus would be pursuing a Spain-style three-peat if not for losing the 2016 final in extra time, but their dominance on the international stage has made it tough to find value on them in the betting market. You’re better off backing France match-to-match if you think it will triumph.
An uncharacteristically dysfunctional few years seem to be behind Die Mannschaft with legends Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels returning from their international exile. However, they haven’t quite found their form. Aside from 2018’s disaster, Germany typically saves its best for the big stage, and playing in a group at a major tournament with the 2018 World Cup champions and 2016 European champions certainly qualifies. Joachim Low’s side are flying under the radar, but bellied by a speedy attack, world-class midfield, and home-pitch advantage in the group stage, a return to form appears in order.
Bets: To win Group F (+175)
As if it wasn’t bad enough for Hungary to be drawn into the Group of Death, Dominik Szoboszlai’s injury has left expectations dangerously low heading into tournament play despite impressive showings at Euro 2016 and in qualifying. Playing two of its group matches in Budapest could spur the Magyarok to stealing a point along the way, but hopes for anything more fell by the wayside when Szoboszlai was ruled out.
Bets: 0 points (+150)
This loaded squad faces a daunting test just to reach the knockout stage, playing away to Hungary in the opener before traveling to Munich to take on Germany, then back to Budapest for a date with France. This experienced group should find a way into the last 16, but every inch in this tournament will have to be earned. A frightening attack and aging backline could mean plenty of goals for a Portugal side that bored its way to success in 2016.
Bets: Over 3.5 goals (-140)
Alex Moretto is BetaSoccer’s supervising editor of sports betting. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.