Soccer Betting Odds for Euro 2016 Semifinals
We are down to the Final Four in the 2016 European Championship soccer tournament. The first semifinal features Portugal against little Wales on Wednesday and then Thursday the marquee matchup has Germany against host nation France. The Germans are the +150 favorites to win the championship. Wales is the +600 long shot on sportsbetting odds.
Taking a Closer Look at the Soccer Betting Odds for Euro 2016 Semifinals
Portugal-Wales features two of the best players in the world in Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Wales’ Gareth Bale — they are teammates with Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid. Bale became the world’s most expensive footballer when he joined Real from Tottenham for £85m in 2013, surpassing the £80m the Spanish club paid Manchester United for Ronaldo in 2009. The two players have formed a potent attacking three with French striker Karim Benzema, helping Real to win two Champions League titles in the last three seasons. Some pundits are predicting that the victor here could land the Ballon D’Or award this year following Real’s Champions League triumph.
Portugal is a +120 favorite with Wales at +260 and a regulation draw at +260. The over/under goals total is 2.5, with the under a -220 favorite. It’s the first competitive meeting between the sides; Portugal has won 2 of the previous 3 matchups, all friendlies.
Portugal is yet to win in 90 minutes at Euro 2016. It got here with a penalty kick win over Poland in the quarterfinals after the teams finished extra time tied 1-1. Both goals came in the first half as Renato Sanches’ effort for Portugal cancelled out Robert Lewandowski’s early strike. Then Portugal won 5-3 in penalties. The goal made Sanches, at 18 years and 317 days, the youngest ever to score a goal in a Euro knockout stage, and third youngest overall after Switzerland’s Johan Vonlanthen and England’s Wayne Rooney both scored in the group stage in 2004. It’s the fifth time Portugal has reached the semifinals of this tournament but has yet to win it.
Wales is the first Euro debutants to reach the semifinals since Sweden in 1992. It advanced with a 3-1 upset of Belgium. Ashley Williams cancelled out Radja Nainggolan’s opener, before Hal Robson-Kanu’s spectacular goal put Wales ahead and Sam Vokes finished it off with five minutes to play. But the Welshmen will be without both Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies, who will be suspended after bookings vs. Poland. Portugal midfielder William Carvalho is also suspended.
On Thursday, Germany and France are both +170 with a regulation draw at +230 and the total at 2.5 goals, with the under a -200 favorite. It’s the fifth finals meeting for the neighbors; France is yet to win a significant encounter. France is unbeaten in its past matches and Germany is in its past six.
The French advanced after putting an end to Iceland’s magical run with a thorough 5-2 victory in Paris on Sunday. The Germans had a far more difficult time in the quarterfinals, needing penalty kicks to exorcise its past demons and defeat Italy 6-5 in the shootout after a 1-1 draw.
France has dominated the recent history between the two sides, going 6-2-1 in their nine meetings dating back to 1990. Germany has won the only match of real significance, in the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals. Mats Hummels‘ early header off a set piece was the difference in the 1-0 victory. Hummels won’t be available on Thursday, as he’s suspended for yellow card accumulation.
Expert Betting Prediction
I like France and Portugal on betting lines to set up a terrific final.