What are the best outsider bets for Euro 2016?
Ever since 2004, every country believes they can “do a Greece” and go on to win the European Championship. This year supposed no-hopers will have even greater belief; Leicester were 5000/1 to win the Premier League and every nation at Euro 2016 has shorter odds! Who could be this summer’s Leicester? Who could be this summer’s Greece? We go through the best outsider bets for Euro 2016!
Who counts as an outsider?
We’re only considering teams outsiders if they have odds of 45/1 or higher. For years people have been tipping Belgium as “dark horses” but at number 2 in the FIFA rankings, with only four teams with shorter odds this summer, they are really among the favourites. Portugal and Italy have been considered outsiders by some, but they are both perennial contenders for international trophies.
Austria only just make the cut-off to count as outsiders. At online sportsbooks in the UK they are ninth favourites, but they haven’t been spoken about as true contenders. Croatia are the most debatable omission, but they have stars from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus: hardly similar to Greece or Leicester.
Austria: 46.00 (45/1) at Unibet
Maybe Austria shouldn’t count as outsiders either: they are 10th in FIFA’s (admittedly flawed) rankings, and have a world class star in Bayern Munich’s David Alaba. However, this is the first time they’ve ever qualified for the Euro’s (not counting their automatic participation when they co-hosted in 2008). They haven’t been seen much on the world stage, and they should surprise a few people.
They have a lively midfield, and in the Premier League this year Stoke’s mercurial talent Marko Arnautovic scored 11 goals and created 6. Best of all, their captain is Leicester’s Christian Fuchs. He knows all about defying the odds, and Austria could be the pick of the best outsider bets for Euro 2016.
Poland: 51.00 (50/1) at Coral Sportsbook
Poland may have more international pedigree than Austria, but they did fail to escape from the Group Stage in the last two European Championships. They have a young and talented squad, led by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski. If he performs, Poland can go far.
Switzerland: 67.00 (66/1) at Betway Sports
With odds of 66/1 Switzerland certainly count as outsiders, but this seems far too high for a team with the talent at their disposal. Their midfield features Xherdan Shaqiri, Valon Behrami, and Arsenal’s new signing Granit Xhaka. The experienced Stephan Lichsteiner and Wolfsburg’s talented Ricardo Rodriguez are quality full-backs. If 19 year-old Breel Embolo, fulfils some of his huge talent, Switzerland could be one of the best outsider bets for Euro 2016.
Turkey: 81.00 (80/1) at Bet365 Sportsbook
Turkey have a tough group, but should be able to qualify in third place or better. Their young star Emre Mor was just bought by Borussia Dortmund, while their attacking midfield stalwart Arda Turan plays (or at least sits on the bench for) Barceona. Leverkusen’s Hakan Calhanoglu is a rising star who scores free-kicks like they are penalties.
Wales: 101.00 (100/1) at Bwin Sports
With Gareth Bale, anything can happen. He thrives as the team’s main man and can turn a game by himself. However, he doesn’t even need to: Wales feature “Welsh Pirlo” Joe Allen and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey. Their success relies on the quality of their defence, led by captain Ashley Williams.
Sweden: 101. 00 (100/1) at BetVictor
How can you bet against Zlatan? While many who bet on sports are preoccupied by guessing where he’ll be next season, the Swedish talisman is fully concentrated bring glory to his country. He’s the leader of the team, but they also feature many of the talented youngsters who won last year’s u-21 Euros. It could be tough to get out of the group, but their odds seem too high for a team featuring Ibrahimovic.
Czech Republic: 126.00 (125/1) at Paddy Power
They don’t have the quality they did in previous European Championships, but they make up for it with great team spirit and tactical awareness. They could be this year’s Greece, getting by on defensive solidity rather than attacking style.
Iceland: 151.00 (150/1) at Betfair
Iceland could be the Leicester of this summer’s Euros. With their tiny population it’s remarkable that they are even at tournament, especially when their qualification group included the Netherlands. They only conceded six in qualifying, and will hope to scrape by on defensive solidity and teamwork. However, the creativity of Gylfi Sigursson and the experience of Eidur Gudjohnsen means that they should also bring some attacking threat. If you believe in miracles, go to an online sportsbooks in the EU to bet on Iceland.
Romania: 261.00 (260/1) at 32Red Sportsbook
They may not have stars, but nobody in the tournament conceded fewer goals in qualifying. They only let in 2 goals during the entire qualifying process, a remarkably feat considering favourites France let in 16. If they win the tournament it’ll likely be thanks to keeper Ciprian Tătărușanu’s prowess at saving penalty kicks. At their odds, they are definitely among the best outsider bets for Euro 2016, especially if your sportsbook has a cash-out function.