Euro 2016 starts on Saturday morning at 5am with the hosts France taking on Romania and it is to the hosts that we look for our first bets in the futures markets.
France have won 8 of their last 9 matches with their only blemish coming against England back in November. As hosts they’ve not had to go through qualifying and consequently have been able to arrange friendly matches against some top quality opponents such as Germany (won 2-0), Portugal (won 0-1) and Holland (won 2-3).
They have scored 13 times in their last four matches.
In their squad they have strength throughout, starting with goal keeper Hugo Loris who had an outstanding season for Tottenham, experienced defenders Patrice Evra, Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny, one of the best midfielders in Europe in Paul Pogba, two other midfielders coming off standout seasons in the EPL in Dimitri Payet and N’Golo Kante and plenty of options up front in Giroud, Griezmann, Martial and Gignac.
France have the easiest looking group where they face Switzerland ($67 outright odds), Romania ($201) and Albania ($501).
I’m adding an outright win bet on Croatia at $28 on ($26 freely available with other books). They have an ultra tough group but their squad is so strong they should get out of the group as winners, second or even third place finishers. They have the two best midfielders in La Liga in Modric and Rakatic, a backline full of experience and approved goalscorer in Mario Mandžukić.
I expect them to win all three games and score plenty of goals in the process which brings their forwards in to play in the top goalscorer market.
It’s not certain who will get the nod to play up front so rather than take a punt on one player each way we’ll back two players win only.
First up we have Olivier Giroud who often comes in for stick in the UK, much of which is unjust in my eyes. He’s scored 136 goals in 266 career starts, 57 in 107 for Arsenal and 28 in all competitions this season. That’s prolific. He has also found the net three times in his last two games for France.
1 unit OLIVIER GIROUD at $17.5 on
Next up we’re going for Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann. He has netted 44 times in 65 starts for Atletico and is a much improved player, and goalscorer.