The Copa America Centenario is going on in the United States right now and that’s a fine event featuring clubs from the Americas. But other than the World Cup, the best soccer tournament in the world is the European Championships, staged every even-numbered year. And the 2016 tournament kicks off Friday with host country France taking on Romania. The French are -344 favorites on betting lines with Romania at +1100 and a draw at +400. The total is 2.5 goals, with the under a -140 favorite.
Closer Look at the Euro 2016 Betting Lines on France vs Romania
ESPN has moved this match ESPN to ESPN2 due to its coverage of the Muhammad Ali memorial service. The Euro 2016 coverage will begin at 2 p.m. ET Friday with a one-hour pre-game program leading into kickoff at 3 p.m. ET France vs. Romania will originate live from Stade de France in Paris. Ian Darke (play-by-play), analyst Taylor Twellman and reporter Steve Bower, will call the match in English. On ESPN Deportes, Fernando Palomo and Tato Noriega will handle match commentary in Spanish. Additionally, the match will be streamed live in English and Spanish on WatchESPN.
France is the +300 favorite to win this tournament, while Romania is way down at +20000. France and Romania are in Group A with Switzerland and Albania, so that looks like a really easy group win for the French. The hosts hope to repeat the success home advantage helped them achieve in winning the 1998 World Cup and Euro ’84. Coach Didier Deschamps was the captain at France ’98 and leads a talented squad with quality in defense, midfield and attack.
One good player the French won’t have is Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema. The striker was not included on the roster after being embroiled in a blackmail saga with one-time France teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape, even though he has been cleared in the courts.
Les Bleus have won their last four matches coming into this tournament, scoring 13 goals in the process and Deschamps has something of an embarrassment of attacking riches at his disposal, led by Paul Pogba. The Juventus playmaker enjoyed an impressive club campaign that saw eight goals and 13 assists in 35 Serie A appearances.
Les Bleus are looking to become the first host nation to triumph in the competition since they achieved the feat themselves in 1984, but recent editions have seen them fail to make it beyond the quarterfinals since winning their last title in 2000. France come into the event having won nine of their last 10 matches after rounding off their preparation with a 3-0 win over Scotland.
Romania isn’t just a pushover. The Tricolorii, who had reached only one international tournament since their run to the quarterfinals of Euro 2000, qualified unbeaten and no team in Europe conceded fewer than the two goals they allowed. Romania’s greatest generation reached five tournaments out of six between Italia ’90 and Euro 2000 but this will just be their second tournament since then. Coach Anghel Iordanescu, who took Romania to the quarterfinals of USA ’94, is back in the job, for his third stint.
The teams have drawn four of last five competitive matches. In this tournament, Les Bleus beat Romania 1-0 at Euro ’96 and drew 0-0 at Euro 2008.
Expert Betting Prediction
The two favored results on betting lines are France to win 1-0 or 2-0 at +350 The French might play a bit tight in their opener so I’d lean 1-0.