England are good value to top group B in France.

Three Lions to Roar in Group B

England are good value to top group B in France.

The three most appealing UEFA Euro 2016 futures bets at short odds are England to win Group B, Portugal and Austria to finish first and second in any order in Group F and the Czech Republic to finish bottom in Group D.

If England coach Roy Hodgson was guaranteed to omit Wayne Rooney from his team’s line-up then the Three Lions would represent an interesting punting proposition in the UEFA Euro 2016 winner market but the former Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Finland boss has nailed his colours to Rooney’s mast. But, even with Rooney upsetting the balance of England’s attack, the Three Lions ought to win UEFA Euro 2016 Group B ahead of Slovakia, Russia and Wales.

One is a huge fan of the World Football Elo Ratings and they rate England as the best of the UEFA Euro 2016 group wagers. According to the World Football Elo Ratings, England is the world’s eighth strongest team, with Slovakia (25th), Russia (29th) and Wales (49th) a long way behind the Three Lions. No other UEFA Euro 2016 pool favourite is ranked 17 or more World Football Elo Ratings positions ahead of its next most highly rated group rival so the draw has been very kind to England and the Three Lions tend to perform well against sides from Europe’s lower tiers. After all, England ended the UEFA Euro 2016 qualification round with its only 100 per cent record having scored 31 goals and conceded just three.

England is available at odds of -118  with 888Sport and Unibet to win UEFA Euro 2016 Group B and, even though the Three Lions have to deal with playing neighbour Wales, they represent decent value to top the pool. Basically, Slovakia, Russia and Wales are in England’s class.

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UEFA Euro 2016 Group F has the makings of a lopsided pool because it features two of the tournament’s weakest teams, Hungary and Iceland. According to the World Football Elo Ratings, Hungary (43rd) and Iceland (46th) are two of the worst five sides that have made it through to UEFA Euro 2016, with their Group F opponents Portugal and Austria ranked 13th and 21st respectively. One does not trust the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as much as the World Football Elo Ratings but one does note that the former lists both Portugal and Austria inside its pre-UEFA Euro 2016 top 10.

Portugal has, arguably, the best player in UEFA Euro 2016 in Cristiano Ronaldo and Austria qualified superbly, winning a section that included Russia and Sweden. Hungary qualified for UEFA Euro 2016 by virtue of a play-off victory over Norway after finishing third behind Northern Ireland and Romania in what was the worst of the nine groups. Iceland upset the odds to qualify for UEFA Euro 2016 ahead of the Netherlands but it has won only three of its last dozen matches, beating no teams of note in those 12 games.

The Portugal-Austria UEFA Euro 2016 Group F dual forecast is trading at odds of +125  with Coral whereas one thinks that those two sides finishing first and second in any order should be odds on. One does not have sufficient faith in Portugal to go with it to win UEFA Euro 2016 Group F ahead of Austria – the Portuguese are reliant upon CR7 and, at some point, they are likely to have a shocker.

Finally, the Czech Republic is attractively priced at odds of +138  with SkyBet to finish bottom in UEFA Euro 2016 Group D in which it will encounter Spain, Croatia and Turkey – it is one of the deepest of the six pools.

The Czech Republic, which at 33rd place is the lowest ranked UEFA Euro 2016 Group D team according to the World Football Elo Ratings, failed to keep a clean sheet in 19 consecutive matches before it defeated Malta 6-0 last month. Since then, though, the Czech Republic has beaten Russia 2-1 and lost 1-2 to Korea Republic, so its defence is very vulnerable. Imagine how much worse the Czech Republic would be if it did not have the capable Petr Cech standing between its sticks.

Tips Summary

England to win group B
Euro 2016, 10th June – 10th July
Odds:  -118

Portugal and Austria dual forecast group F
Euro 2016, 10th June – 10th July
Odds:  +125

Czech Republic to finish bottom in group D
Euro 2016, 10th June – 10th July
Odds:  +138

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