European Championship Betting Guide: Wednesday 6/23/21
The Euro 2020 group stage is set for a breathtaking conclusion on Wednesday, with all eight teams in action across four matches across Group E and Group F still alive to reach the Round of 16.
For more on how the final games of Matchday 3 might pan out, read on, plus be sure to check out FanDuel Sportsbook for all the odds on Euro 2020 and more!
Slovakia vs. Spain
La Cortuja Stadium | Seville, Spain | 12pm ET
The Pick: Spain -600
To put it mildly, Group E’s been tough to call in these European Championships.
After two matches, heavy favorites Spain remain winless, while longshots Slovakia sit ahead of them in the table ahead of their Matchday 3 meeting in Seville.
Still, despite the standings, the Falcons of Central Europe are +1300 to win in this fixture, making them the biggest single-match underdogs so far in these Euros.
And if the first two matchdays are any indication, they’ll certainly have their backs against the wall against the 6th-ranked team in the world on Wednesday.
While they haven’t exactly lit up the scoreboard, Luis Enrique’s men have had more possession (73%) and have spent more time in the opposition’s third (37%) than any of the other 23 teams in this tournament, plus they’ve allowed the third-fewest shots at just 4.5 per game.
Slovakia, meanwhile, have rarely ventured forward this month, posting a tournament-low two shots on target -- although they did score on both of those in a 2-1 win over a 10-man Poland side on Matchday 1.
Offensive concerns aside, it’s Štefan Tarkovič’s backline that’ll be under the microscope in this match.
While they’ve conceded just six goals in seven matches in 2021, Slovakia have been taken apart when facing elite sides in recent years, including a pair of losses in Euro qualifying to then-No. 6 Croatia by a combined score of 7-1.
And while it’s true that Spain have been wasteful this summer despite all their ball control and proficient passing numbers, odds are that the chances they’ve created are going to start equaling goals at some point.
It’s not impossible that La Roja would miss out on the knockout stages – they did so as recently as the 2014 FIFA World Cup -- but they are unbeaten in their last 10 games, and it’s hard to see them failing to win three consecutive home matches in this tournament.
The odds aren’t great, but it’s hard to get behind a Slovakian upset in this one.
Sweden vs. Poland
Saint Petersburg Stadium | Saint Petersburg, Russia | 12pm ET
The Pick: Poland +150
Let’s just say motivation is certain to be a factor in Group E’s other match on Wednesday.
After a red card-aided loss to Slovakia and a draw against Spain, Poland need to win to move on to the knockout stages, while Sweden have already advanced after claiming four points in their first two matches.
In other words, expect Paulo Sousa to feature his best XI, while Janne Anderson will almost certainly rotate his squad.
Now, a similar scenario played out on Matchday 3 in Group A, when an already-qualified Italy introduced eight new starters into their lineup and still beat Wales 1-0, but in that contest, the Welsh had essentially qualified for the next round as well and held a few regulars out themselves…plus Italy might just be the best team at this tournament, a case you can’t really make for the Swedes.
Despite their unbeaten record and back-to-back clean sheets, Sweden have earned results the hard way -- with dogged defending and a bit of penalty luck.
With 33.5% possession, no team in these Euros have had the ball less – and it’s not even close -- and only three sides have had fewer average shot attempts.
Plus, despite being one of three teams yet to concede in the group stage, the Swedes have allowed a number of Grade A scoring chances through two matches and required a handful of spectacular saves from Robin Olsen -- and some shocking finishing from Alvaro Morata and Co. -- to keep that perfect defensive record intact.
Enter Europe’s leading goal scorer, Robert Lewandowski, who was on target in Poland’s 1-1 draw to La Roja in Matchday 2 and should offer a more composed threat in attack than Sweden have dealt with at this tournament.
3 - Robert Lewandowski is the first Poland player to score in three different editions of the European Championships (2020, 2016, 2012). Header.#EURO2020 #ESPPOL pic.twitter.com/InGfTIeTWM
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) June 19, 2021
Yes, Poland’s recent results haven’t been good -- they’re winless in their last five matches -- but the Orly have played well at this tournament despite their record, and as they’re facing a not-entirely-convincing Sweden side with little to play for, it’s likely they’ll find a way to earn the result they need to extend their stay at Euro 2020.
Germany vs. Hungary
Football Arena Munich | Munich, Germany | 3pm ET
The Pick: Germany -650
After earning a shock draw against tournament favorites France on Matchday 2, it’s surprising that Hungary are such massive underdogs against an opponent that’s blown hot and cold in recent years.
Yet when you look at the numbers, it makes more sense.
Despite playing at home -- in front of sellout crowds in Budapest, no less -- the Magyars have averaged the fewest number of shot attempts (5) and have spent the least amount of time in the opposition third (14%) of any team in the tournament.
Now, some of that is a product of their opposition -- no one else has had the unenviable task of playing two teams in the top five of the latest FIFA rankings -- but unfortunately for the Hungarians, the task won’t be any easier Wednesday against seven-time major champions Germany.
Complicating matters for Marco Rossi is that Die Mannschaft might just be finding their feet after a few lean years in the aftermath of a disappointing 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After firing blanks against France a week ago, Joachim’s Löwe’s side was electric against Portugal on Sunday, scoring 4 times on 13 shots in an impressive 4-2 win over the holders of the European title.
GERMANY ARE RUNNING RIOT pic.twitter.com/A9jT4RJpli
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 19, 2021
In contrast to Hungary, the Germans have some of the top territorial numbers in the tournament -- they’ve spent 33% in the opposition third and just 22% in their own, fourth-best in both categories -- plus, they’ve only allowed 5.5 shots per game.
Add in the facts that Germany need to get a result from this match to ensure advancement and the added boost they’ll have of playing at home in Munich, and it seems an easy choice…even at an eye-watering -650.
Portugal vs. France
Puskás Aréna | Budapest, Hungary | 3pm ET
The Pick: France +120
The final match window of the group stage offers one of the most anticipated contests of the tournament to date, as the finalists of Euro 2016 meet again with much on the line.
With four points earned through two matches, France have already advanced to the knockout rounds, but they’ll dearly love to repay their Iberian rivals for that 1-0 defeat in Paris five years ago -- not to mention shake off the disappointment of a 1-1 draw to Hungary this past weekend.
Portugal have much more at stake, as even though a narrow loss might still be enough to qualify for the Round of 16, a win or draw will likely be necessary to ensure advancement for Fernando Santos’ men.
These two perennial world powers have posted similar statistical numbers in this tournament, so the best way to compare them might be to look at their Group F matches against Germany to give us an indication of how they’ll fare against another quality opponent.
France scored early in Munich on Matchday 1 and ceded possession to the Germans for the rest of the night, and though they allowed 10 shots, only one was on frame, plus Didier Deschamps’ side posed a constant threat on the counter and had two goals disallowed on narrow offside decisions.
Meanwhile, Portugal also went ahead in the opening 20 minutes to Germany, only instead of managing the game like the French, they proceeded to concede four unanswered goals on seven shots on target in a disappointing 4-2 defeat.
It’s likely Santos will tighten things up at the back for this contest; after all, Portugal did hold France to just one goal over two UEFA Nations League matches in 2020, but that focus on defense came at the expense of the attack, as they failed to score in either game.
Then there’s this: the Seleçao did beat France in the 2016 Euro final, but that’s the only time since 1978 that Portugal have gotten the better of Les Bleus, and in those 13 matches, France are 11-1-1 against the Iberians.
Kante and Pogba when they start together for France:
▪️ 22 wins
▪️ 6 draws
▪️ 0 defeats
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 15, 2021
Could Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. flip that script and pick up three points Wednesday? Absolutely…but they haven’t shown enough in this tournament to offer much confidence that’ll happen.
Play it safe and take the French.