After the first wave of the Euro 2016 group stage, host nation France remains the betting favorite to secure the continent’s crown, but many of the top contenders like Germany, Spain and Italy have in turn seen their odds improve.
With Dimitri Payet providing a breathtaking strike and the heroics, Les Bleus opened the tournament by avoiding a massive upset against Group A challenger Romania and thus held steady at 3-1 odds before they met Albania on Wednesday in Marseille.
French manager Didier Deschamps turned a few heads with his decision to keep Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba on the bench and out of the starting XI in Wednesday's 2-0 triumph over Albania, seemingly sending a message to his two stars for their poor play against the Romanians. The message was evidently heard loud and clear as Griezmann came on and scored the go-ahead goal and Payet notched his second score of the tournament with a blistering right-footed strike to double-up the Albanians in added time.
But while Deschamps’ squad has maintained its favored form, Germany has jumped from 7-2 to 4-1 odds, and Spain made a similar improvement from 11-1 to 5-1, according to Sportsbook.ag. England holds at 17-2 odds following its draw with Russia.
Defending World Cup champion and three-time Euro titleholder Germany made quick work of Ukraine for a 2-0 result in their opener, unleashing 18 shots and dominating possession 63-37 with the pinpoint passing that saw it through in Brazil two years ago.
Spain, hoping to be the first nation to claim three straight Euro crowns, required a late header from Gerard Pique in the closing minutes of its 1-0 win over Czech Republic. However, the Spaniards showed the resiliency of a champion and oddsmakers rewarded their efforts. Vincente del Bosque’s side clash with No. 18-ranked Turkey on Friday and a victory could go a long way in determining Spain’s status as real or pretend contender.
Italy has joined the top tier of favorites after upending Belgium in its tournament opener 2-0. Goals by Emanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle powered the Italians to victory and place their odds in the single digits at 9-1, while Belgium fell to 12-1 and last place in Group E as the only nation in the group without a point. The Belgians have a chance to regroup against Ireland on Saturday.
Italy’s chances of advancing and perhaps being more rested for the quarterfinals are boosted by Ireland and Sweden’s opening match resulting in a draw, joining Group F leader Hungary as the only first-place squads with a two-point advantage before the tournament’s next wave.
Most experts have predicted France will win the tournament.
Odds To Win Euro 2016
The full list of odds can be viewed at Sportsbook.ag here.