Book Most Exposed on Italy to Win Euro 2012
No team has ever repeated as the champion of the UEFA European Football Championship, but Euro 2008 winner Spain is the odds-on favorite at Bovada at 13/5 to be the first. Euro 2012 kicks off Friday in Poland and the Ukraine. The final is July 1 at Olympic Stadium in Kiev.
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Spain beat Germany at Euro 2008, 1-0, and then won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by beating the Netherlands by the same final score. Thus a victory in this tournament would give Spain a historic "treble." Oh, and the Spaniards will be favorites in soccer at the upcoming London Olympics.
However, "La Roja" will have to take Euro 2012 without injured star striker David Villa. He is Spain's all-time leading scorer and had the most goals of any player at the tournament four years ago. Spain still is loaded, led by midfield duo Xavi Hernandez, who was named the Euro 2008 Player of the Tournament, and Andres Iniesta.
The book isn't overly exposed on Spain winning the title again - a third Euro championship would tie Germany for the most all-time. But it is very exposed on Italy to win it all at 12/1. Even with all their terrific soccer history, the Italians have won the European Championship only once, way back in 1968. They were runners-up in 2000. An Italy title would be the biggest winner for bettors.
But the Italians (3/1 to win group) are in a tough Group C with Spain (5/8), Croatia (6/1) and Ireland (12/1). Bettors are heavily backing Spain in that group and that's where the book is most exposed. The best result for the book would be if Croatia were to pull the surprise. Italy and Spain open against each other on Sunday in what should be one of the most-wagered matches of group play.
The group of death this year is clearly Group B, which features three of the tournament favorites in Germany (3/1), the Netherlands (7/1) and Portugal (18/1). Poor overmatched Denmark rounds out the foursome, with the Danes the longest shots on the board at 80/1. On the odds to win the tournament, the book is most exposed on the Dutch among that group. To win the group, the top result for bettors would be Germany (11/10) to take it. The book's top result would be Portugal (4/1) winning Group B.
In Group A, Russia is the 27/20 favorite. The top result for players would be Greece, the 2004 European champion, winning the group. The book's favored result would be the Czech Republic at 7/2.
And in Group D, England is the 3/2 favorite. The top win for players would be France to take the group at 37/20, while the book is pulling for Ukraine at 4/1. If Ukraine were to win the whole tournament at 40/1 that would be the book's best result as the co-hosts aren't taking much action there. No host country has won the European title since France in 1984.
The most popular prop bet is always the tournament's top goalscorer, with Germany's Mario Gomez the 7/1 favorite. The book is most exposed on that prop on England's Wayne Rooney at 33/1 and the Netherlands' Robin Van Persie at 9/1. The top win for the book would be if France's Kevin Gameiro (33/1) were to be the tournament's leading goalscorer. The book's best result actually would have been England's Darren Bent at 20/1, but he was somewhat surprisingly left off the Three Lions' roster for Euro 2012 because of injury concerns.
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