2016 Euro Soccer Futures Odds with Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 7/19/2014
Now that the World Cup is in our rearview mirror, the thing for soccer betting fans to do is to look ahead to the next major international competition - and the handicapping challenges that it will bring. The next big one is less than two years away - Euro 2016 kicks off on June 10 in France, with the final coming a month later. Given the top-end strength of the European squads at the World Cup - they finished first and third - there are a lot of reasons to be excited. There is also plenty of uncertainty, as teams like Spain, Italy, Russia and England were major disappointments, and we can't yet know if they just had bad outings, or if they are on the true decline. There is still a long, long way to go until we get to this tournament - qualifying doesn't even begin until September. There are futures odds on offer, though, so that means that it certainly isn't too soon to be looking ahead. Here are some of the more interesting prices offered by Sportsbook.ag:
Germany (+350): Hard to argue with the Germans. As good as the team was in Brazil, they have the chance to be even better here. What really stands out is just how young they are. Thomas Muller owns the World Cup, and he is just 25 years old. Five other key contributors in Brazil were 25 or younger, and even the oldest stars - like Schweinsteiger - easily have two years left in their legs. We can trust this team on the biggest of stages, and they will be hungry to replicate what Spain did and reign as the champions of both major tournaments at the same time. Frankly, my only real surprise here is that they are separated from the crowd by more. They are clearly the best team in Europe right now.
Spain (+400): They have won this tournament twice in a row, so they are comfortable in that regard. Their World Cup was an epic disaster, though, and that could be tough to bounce back from. They still have talent, but they aren't getting any younger, and there are clearly some mental issues plaguing the team. They aren't likely to be nearly as bad as they were in Brazil, and a change in coaching regime will help, but I find it hard to get excited about them at this price.
France (+500): France had a surprisingly solid tournament in Brazil, and the good news is that it was no fluke - this is a team on the rise. They are very young, and the talent is obvious. With two more years of seasoning, and another qualifying run to build chemistry and figure out combinations, this could be a team that will be tough. Personally, I have them slotted in above Spain in the European hierarchy looking ahead - though far behind the Germans.
Italy (+1000): The French and other teams have can't-miss young talent. Italy just has a lot of promising youth. Can they grown into strong contributors that can shine at a top level? Or will they struggle to emerge as stars? With the number of old players on this squad there is a need for new blood, and I am not nearly as optimistic as I would need to be to embrace this price.
Belgium (+1000): The Belgians proved two things in Brazil - they are very talented, but they were too young and inexperienced for prime time just yet. Getting the experience of heading to the quarterfinals will be invaluable, and so will two more years of seasoning and another run through qualifying. Compared to Italy at least there is massive value here.
Netherlands (+1000): I find it hard to get excited about the Dutch. They aren't getting any younger, and they will face some tough decisions in key spots about leadership and continuity. Do they keep the same aging core around, or do they rebuild with promising young talent? I am not optimistic. Of course, I was far from optimistic heading into Brazil about this team, either, and they darned near won the thing. I have more trouble evaluating this team objectively than any other.
England (+1200): The hardest part for England's fans has to be not that they laid an egg in Brazil but that they did pretty much what you would expect given their lineup. They just don't have enough talent or cohesiveness to compete at the top levels, and it is really tough to see how that is going to change in the near future. In the dictionary beside "mediocre" there is a picture of an English jersey. No value at all.
Russia (+2000): Interesting case. As the hosts for the 2018 World Cup you would expect the program - which was more than solid in recent times - to be building up for a strong showing. In Brazil, though, they were pathetic. They looked disinterested and disorganized, and they just weren't good enough. They have the capability to be better, but with the same leadership in place we can't reasonably expect a different outcome at Euro. I don't see it. It is refreshing, I guess, that while Russia and especially Qatar showed that you can buy a World Cup as hosts, you can't buy success on the fields no matter how many billions you have.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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