The Euro 2020 Qualifiers are back this weekend. In this post I am sharing my view over the fixtures and the picks that I fancy.
There are a bunch of intriguing encounters that provide nice betting opportunities. I’ve focused on four bets that, in my opinion, provide value. The last section of the post mentions other good selections which I won’t bet on but, nevertheless, could turn out to be good picks.
Austria v Slovenia Betting
The hosts have their backs against the wall in this one. After missing out on a guaranteed playoff spot from the Nations League, the Austrians got lucky in the qualifiers draw which handed them arguably the easiest group. Despite that, they haven’t been able to take advantage and find themselves with zero points from their first two games. The loss at home to Poland is understandable, but the collapse away to Israel certainly wasn’t expected.
Austria don’t have much more room for errors. They play at home against a Slovenian side that got relegated to the bottom Group D in the Nations League and is clearly not among the teams expected to fight for the first two group spots here. Amazingly, Slovenia’s last five games finished with the same score 1:1. They haven’t had a victory in a competitive fixture since September 2017 and, frankly, this is the perfect fixture for Austria to turn the tide and get themselves back in contention for EURO 2020 qualification.
Average odds of 1.85 are good enough for me as I expected to see prices in the range of 1.60 for this one. This means this game has value, at least in my opinion, and I will place a bet on Austria to prevail.
North Macedonia v Poland Betting
I can’t help but think that a price of 1.90 on Poland to win is undervalued. Maybe the main reason is North Macedonia’s 6-game home winning streak. However, this is a little bit flawed because the Macedonians participated in Group D of the Nations League and they recorded those wins against the likes of Gibraltar, Armenia and Liechtenstein.
Poland, on the other hand, had to tackle European powerhouses Portugal and Italy and, quite understandably, didn’t achieve such great results. Unlike Austria though, they have taken this easy group by storm by winning their first two group matches. Possessing an attacking force including Lewandowski, Piatek and Milik should prove too much for North Macedonia, who haven’t faced an opponent of such high quality in a competitive game for almost two years.
I will definitely put a flutter on Poland to win here.
Ukraine v Serbia Betting
Ukraine is a slight favorite according to the bookmakers. The main reason is their first place in the group as opposed to Serbia’s fourth place. Remember what we discussed in this value betting piece – current standings are a big influence to the odds that bookmakers set. However, current standings don’t necessarily represent the clearest picture of the situation.
Ukraine are first with 4 points from 2 games but they had an enormous amount of luck to achieve them. Away to Portugal, they were clearly outplayed, trailing in the shots to goal department 5-18 with those on target 1-8. Portugal just couldn’t convert any of their golden chances. As a result, Ukraine escaped the onslaught with a 0:0 draw. A few days later, Andriy Shevchenko’s guys won in extra time at Luxembourg thanks to an own goal. It’s fair to say that Ukraine’s performances thus far in this group haven’t deserved more than a solitary point.
Serbia, on the other hand, have just one point and that’s why they are fourth in the table. However, they’ve played just one match as opposed to Ukraine’s two matches. This one match was the toughest one possible – away to Portugal. Serbia also snatched a draw, although to be fair, Cristiano Ronaldo was injured early and had to leave the game, and the Portuguese fired the mighty 30 shots on goal.
I think that Serbia has a slightly better team. They played at the World Cup last year unlike Ukraine. It should also be remembered that Serbia drew away to Germany in a friendly match just before the start of the qualifiers. Average odds of 2.00 on Asian Handicap 0.0 on Serbia (i.e. Draw No Bet) look great to me and I will place this bet.
Scotland v Cyprus Betting
Scotland are with a brand new manager in the face of Steve Clarke. After the shameful performance at Kazakhstan in March, the Scots have a mountain to climb if they aim to be competitive against the likes of Russia and Belgium for a top-two spot in this group. A home game against an ordinary Cyprus team is a great opportunity.
Average odds of 1.50 on Scotland to win are not worthy, but 2.20 on a win to nil may be worth a try. The players will be willing to prove themselves to their new manager and their fans who took the insulting Kazakhstan loss really badly. They will also aim to defend well and not concede. Cyprus lacks the weapons to really worry the Scots. That’s why a win for Scotland without conceding a goal is a shrewd option.
Rest of the Action
There are other good sports betting options in this EURO 2020 qualifiers matchday.
After their heroic defeat of the World Cup silver medalists Croatia, Hungary are priced at 2.10 to beat Azerbaijan. They may as well get that win, but considering their struggles away from home, it’s far from a good bet in my opinion.
2.50 on Bosnia to beat Finland looks awesome on first glance. However, I still haven’t forgotten the manner in which the Bosnians missed a golden opportunity to beat Greece at home last time around. They play away from home this time and Finland aren’t pushovers at all. Both teams have a guaranteed EURO 2020 playoff spot which is a testament to Finland’s good recent results.
Italy and France are favorites in their respective away games at Greece and Turkey. However, neither side will have an easy game. The Azzuri are in a state of re-build after missing out on a World Cup spot last year. Sure, they achieved easy home wins in their first two group games, but away from home could prove to be a much more tricky task.
France are the reigning World Champions but even this fact is not enough to justify a bet on the range of 1.50-1.55 on them away at Turkey. The Turks have also started these qualifiers with a bang and both teams find themselves top of the group with 6 points each. On paper, this is the hardest fixtures in the calendar for Les Bleus. Even if they get only a point from this match, they are expected to take care of business in their remaining games and comfortably seal a place at EURO 2020. Last but not least, a brief summer vacation is long overdue for the French stars after a long gruelling season. To me, France are overvalued and a bet on them is definitely not worth it.
Good luck with your bets over the weekend!
Please note that odds vary. The odds mentioned here are correct at the time of writing.