Year later than expected, EURO 2020 could be best tournament in a long time
This content was produced in partnership with Gambler.Media.
After the complete mess of 2020, 2021 was supposed to be the year that the soccer world started getting back to normal.
While we might not be there yet, it looks to be on the horizon.
Fans are finally flowing into stadiums around Europe, albeit in very reduced capacities, but it should not be long until we hear songs sung around the terraces, and not the ones the television has been playing on endless loops to make it seem like fans are there.
Many fans have been waiting patiently to watch their countries play in the European Championship, which was slated for last June and July, but pushed back to this summer.
Well, we are now about six weeks out from the EURO 2020 opener on June 11. The Group A contest will see a much-improved Turkey side take on tournament sleeper Italy in Rome, then will see seven of the next eight days have three matches per day, which is every bettors dream: a full slate of games back-to-back-to-back to wager.
The tournament goes through July 11, when a champion will be crowned at Wembley Stadium in London.
Is that one of the reasons England is the current co-favorite, with 2018 World Cup champion France, to lift the European title?
It might be.
Of course, the Three Lions made a run all the way to the 2018 World Cup semifinals, and might have beaten Croatia if Harry Kane would have squared the ball to Raheem Sterling in the 33rd minute of a 2-1 loss (although Kane might have been offside anyway, so it might be a moot point).
England has current odds of +550 with various sportsbooks (also by William Hill UK) around the country to win EURO 2020, lifting the trophy at Wembley in front of their home fans much like they did in the 1966 World Cup.
But France is also at odds of +550, and could face the English in the Round of 16 if Les Bleus finish second in Group F, setting up a monumental contest.
In fact, if you look at the bracket, this could be set up perfectly for two teams: world number one Belgium (odds of +600), and Italy (odds of +1200). Now, it is very hard to predict what the final teams will look like six weeks out (injuries, COVID-19, etc.), but those two teams could have a decent path to the quarterfinals, if they both win their groups.
Remember, the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup had six European sides, so the knockout stages here are going to be a battle of attrition.
Whichever team you end up taking to win (or maybe you spread it around a little with such good odds), you are going to get great value. As I have done with the 2016 EURO, and the 2018 World Cup, I am rolling with France at +550.
If you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.