The group stage of Euro 2021 is now in the books, and with more than half of the tournament’s games played, we now have a very good idea of which teams are performing at a championship level. That spells good news for bettors looking to take advantage of quality odds ahead of the Round of 16.
However, as we advance into the knockout stages, things can also get a bit difficult. Even the best sides have no room for error. If a team has one bad day, it can spell the end of its run at the European Championship.
Additionally, one side of the bracket is significantly more difficult than the other side, pitting many of the tournament favorites against one another. In fact, all five of our recommended pre-tournament picks landed on the same side of the bracket with four landing in the same quadrant.
As such, that section will be extraordinarily difficult for bettors to handicap, while the weaker side of the bracket will set up opportunities to bet on quality sleepers.
Which teams can you trust as the 2021 Euros advance to the knockout stages? Here’s a look at the updated odds for the tournament and the best bets to make as we get closer to crowning a champion.
Euro 2021 odds
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
France (+420) remains the favorite to win the Euros. The reigning World Cup Champions from 2018 managed to survive the proverbial “Group of Death” with a win over Germany and draws against Portugal and an upstart Hungary squad. The scoring wasn’t there for the French in the first two games, but perhaps Karim Benzema will get on a roll after scoring twice against Portugal.
Italy (+600) has made a sizeable leap in the standings since the start of the tournament. The Italians are in good form and have seen their odds shorten from 8-1 to 6-1 after sweeping through Group A. They have outscored their competition 7-0 in the Euros so far and haven’t allowed a goal in their last 10 games.
Rounding out the top contenders are England (+650), Germany (+700), Spain (+700) and the Netherlands (+900). Meanwhile, Belgium (+1000) and Portugal (+1400) have seen their odds lengthen ahead of the matchup between the two sides in the Round of 16.
Austria (+15000) has the longest odds left in the tournament. They’d have to make it through Italy and the winner of the Belgium vs. Portugal game to make the semifinals. There, they would await a potential date with France.
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Euro 2021 expert picks
Best bets to win Euro 2021
France (+420). No surprises here. Les Bleus are still one of the better picks to win the Euros. Their form in the Group of Death wasn’t great, but they still managed to escape with five points and win the group. Now, their path to the final is a bit easier — at least to start the knockout stages.
France is on the more difficult side of the bracket, but its quadrant is the easier of the two. The French get to face Switzerland off the bat and then will take on the winner of the Croatia vs. Spain game. Neither of those sides was particularly impressive, so France should have a good chance to get to the semifinals.
From there, France will have to beat Belgium, Portugal, Italy or Austria, but the French have the winning pedigree and depth needed to get that done.
France’s odds have barely moved since the start of the tournament, and with good reason. They’re a solid squad with few holes. If Benzema can stay hot while Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann can get going, Les Bleus should have a good chance to make the tournament final. And bare minimum, they should stay alive until the semifinals.
Germany (+700). Joachim Low’s side was extremely fortunate to make it through the Group of Death. The Germans very nearly lost to Hungary and faced elimination, but instead managed to escape in second place.
Their reward for finishing second was making it to the perceived easier side of the bracket. Their Round of 16 game against England won’t be a cakewalk, but there aren’t a lot of true contenders on that side. In truth, the winner of the Germany vs. England game should make it to the final based on the market value of its squad.
Germany didn’t perform consistently in Group F play, but the team crushed Portugal 4-2 and held more of the ball in a 1-0 loss to France. Trusting that the Germans will perform as they did against Portugal is a risk, but at 7-1 odds, it’s one worth taking. It’s Low’s last tournament in charge and the players should be motivated to play well for their long-time manager.
If you’re a bit less daring, picking Germany for a top-two finish (+300) or a top-four finish (+160) are solid bets as well.
Best dark horse pick to win
Denmark (+2000). No team is more motivated to win at the 2021 Euros than Denmark. Christian Eriksen’s collapse on the field stunned the Danish side, but the incident and Eriksen’s survival has motivated the team to win in his honor.
The team managed to make it through to the Round of 16 despite losing to Finland and Belgium in its first two games of group play. Now, the Danes will have a chance to make a solid tournament run since they landed on the weaker side of the bracket.
To make the final, Denmark will face some stiff competition and could face the Netherlands and either England or Germany. And they won’t be playing in Copenhagen as they did for their three group stage games.
Denmark isn’t likely to win, but at 20-1 odds, they’re a worthwhile underdog pick. And just like with Germany, if you’d like a higher-probability bet, you can take Denmark to finish top-two (+500) or finish top-four (+160) in the tournament.
Don’t buy the hype
Italy (+600). Look, this Italian squad is very good. They haven’t lost in 30 games and have shut out their last 10 opponents.
But all winning streaks end at some point, and Italy is facing a particularly brutal bracket in the Round of 16. Its opening match against Austria may not look too difficult, but the Austrians have countless Bundesliga players on their squad and could prove a trickier test than expected.
Then, after that, Italy faces the winner of Belgium vs. Portugal, which will be a very tough test for the Azzurri, and they will likely get a date with France if they advance to the semifinals.
Can Italy beat these three teams? If they play like they did against Group A competition, then yes, but it’s worth noting that Italy’s Group A counterparts of Wales, Switzerland and Turkey weren’t exactly world-beaters. And they didn’t test Italy’s 22-year-old ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma much.
So, can Italy win this tournament? Sure, they can. But should you bet on them at 6-1 odds to do so? Probably not given their draw.
Round of 16 upset special
Czech Republic (+220) to advance over Netherlands. The Netherlands have yet to lose in the Euros, winning their three Group C games by a combined score of 8-2. They’re also on the weaker side of the bracket, so some may believe they can go on a run to the final if all goes well.
Surely, if Memphis Depay keeps playing well, the team will have a chance to do that. However, under coach Frank de Boer, the Netherlands simply haven’t performed consistently and they have been prone to blowing late leads. They nearly did so in their first game against Ukraine before an 85th-minute goal from Denzel Dumfries saved them from a shocking draw.
The Czech Republic might not look like a tough draw on paper, but the Czechs beat Scotland, tied Croatia and held England to just a one-goal win. If they can keep the Dutch from scoring early, the Czech Republic may have a chance to win one late, or take the game to extra time. So, why not take a chance on them in an upset special?
Round of 16 game to avoid
Belgium vs. Portugal. This game should be an exciting one to watch, but it won’t be a fun one to bet. These two teams are very talented. Belgium has a lot of depth from its “Golden Generation.” Meanwhile, Portugal possesses Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players of his generation, and a solid group around him.
You could make a case for either side winning. Currently, oddsmakers favor Belgium to advance, but it’s not by much. So, betting either team in this game isn’t appealing.
There is a case to be made for betting Belgium to win Euro 2021 at 10-1 odds or going with Portugal at 14-1 since each squad’s odds have lengthened since the beginning of the tournament. However, neither is guaranteed a victory in the Round of 16, and even if they win, they will likely have to face Italy and France in each of the next two games.
There’s simply too much uncertainty with Belgium and Portugal to make a confident bet. It’s better to take a chance on games like France vs. Switzerland, Germany vs. England or Czech Republic vs. Netherlands.
Just let yourself enjoy the marquee matchup of the Round of 16.
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