Roy Hodgson’s England side have also been installed among the favourites following the emergence of some exciting young talent and a flawless qualifying campaign. The bookmakers have opened a staggering range of markets even before considering each match individually, allowing punters to predict who might lift the trophy, score the most goals or even bet on the total number of own goals.
How the Bookies See it
- Tournament winner: France 16/5, Germany 9/2, Spain 9/2, England 8/1 - Paddy Power
- Top goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo 8/1, Thomas Muller 8/1, Antoine Griezmann 9/1, Olivier Giroud 14/1 - Sky Bet
- Winner/Top goalscorer double - Germany/Muller 16/1, France/Griezmann 20/1, France/Olivier Giroud 33/1 - William Hill
A number of the top sportsbooks are also running special offers and promotions on the big event.
- Paddy Power - England to win all their group games at 20/1 for new customers.
- Sky Bet - £3 free bet every time your team wins when you wager £10 on them to win the tournament.
- William Hill - Bet £10 on England to win Euro 2016 and receive a £5 free bet every time they win.
- BetVictor - Million Pound Goal - Place a £5 bet to earn a chance to predict the time and the scorer of the first goal in the final.
- England had the best qualifying record with ten wins from ten. Austria won nine of their qualifying games and drew once, while Italy and Romania were the only other unbeaten teams.
- Germany won the 2014 World Cup, but were beaten twice in their qualifying group and have lost three of their last five friendly matches, including defeats by France, England and Slovakia.
- Hosts France have won their last four friendly games since losing 2-0 to England in November, but have not played a competitive fixture since being knocked out of the World Cup by Germany in the quarter-finals.
France’s status as favourites is easy to understand given the fervent support they will receive at home and the quality of players at Didier Deschamps’ disposal, with world-class stars such as Griezmann and Paul Pogba, as well as others such as Dimitri Payet, N’Golo Kante and Anthony Martial, all of whom have set the Premier League alight this season. The draw has also been very kind to the hosts and, assuming they finish top of a group also containing Romania, Albania and Switzerland, they will face one of the third-placed teams in the last 16, followed by perhaps Russia or Austria in the quarter-finals.
The draw also looks good for England, who must face Russia, Wales and Slovakia in Group B. Again, if they come through the group in first place, they will play one of the third-ranked teams in the first knockout round, which means that Portugal or Italy may then lie in wait in the quarter-finals. The danger of trying to predict how the draw will unfold exactly is that invariably things do not turn out quite as expected, but if the favourites do all win their groups then England will be in the other half to France, Germany and Belgium. England fans will be wary of building their hopes too high, but given their qualifying form, their recent friendly wins over France and Germany as well as a squad bursting with confidence, they are genuine contenders on paper.
Belgium are the fifth favourites with most bookies at odds of around 11/1, and if the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku click into gear they look like just about the most formidable team in the tournament, although they can no longer be spoken about as dark horses. Punters wondering which team might turn out to be the international equivalent of Leicester City, and emulate the unlikely successes of Greece and Denmark in years gone by, may wish think about Croatia and Austria, as both sides have some decent players and could do some damage, but probably lack the depth to go all the way.
Ronaldo is the favourite to finish as top scorer and should be licking his lips at the prospect of lining up against opponents like Hungary and Iceland in Group F. Odds of 8/1 still seem decent value, although Griezmann may be just as tempting for many punters who feel France are likely to progress further in the tournament. Among the other markets, Sky Bet’s offer of 3/2 that there will be a penalty shootout in at least three matches seems like one not to miss, while there could be plenty of value in the betting for player of the tournament, where Pogba, Griezmann and Ronaldo lead the running at good odds.
- Sports.net’s top tip: England and France to play in the final - 25/1 at BetVictor