Just one of the irritations of ITV’s coverage of the Euros, beyond the doe-eyed homosocial longing that Adrian Chiles projects towards Roy Keane, is the plethora of obnoxious adverts for bookmakers in the all-too-frequent commercial breaks.
There’s the Chris Kamara one for Ladbrokes, perhaps amusing at first viewing but begins to grate as swiftly as his Soccer Saturday colleague Paul Merson’s hilarious rhyming slang. Then you’ve got Ray Winstone urging you to go for ‘cards’n’cornahs’ on behalf of Bet365 before introducing an entirely unrelated set of live odds. And, of course, the vaguely xenophobic efforts of Paddy Power.
For all the effort the fixed-odds boys put into self-promotion, it can be difficult to find a decent bet with them. A case in point, England are generally 8/1 for the tournament, I mean, seriously. They should probably be 8/1 to make the semis.
I thought I’d have a scout round the spread markets and see if I could find anything more appealing.
Sporting Index currently go 1.9-2.1 on tournament extra time goals. This could be a profitable buy. It is worth remembering that there is no ‘golden goal’ at this tournament, so it’s possible to have more than one goal in each occurrence of extra time. This bet has a limited down side and with a number of evenly matched teams you’ll be in with a shout here.
This evening’s fixture between Portugal and Czech Republic is a tough one to call. Both had mixed group stages (indeed both sides lost their first game) though there would appear to be a goal threat at either end. The total goals quote of 2.4-2.6 pre-kickoff looks fully priced, but it might become more attractive as a buy if it drifts down to the 2 mark after a quiet opening fifteen minutes.
A lot of punters are going crazy for Cristiano Ronaldo following a couple of goals in the group stages and are piling into his player goal minutes (currently 29-32). I’d leave this inflated price alone and perhaps have a look at some of the Czech players (Rosicky is 7-10 although might not start).
In tomorrow’s Eurozone crisis clash between Germany and Greece, I can’t see the German footballers being as generous to the Greeks as their taxpayers will have to be. I’ll be getting on board with the Germans over the Greeks at 1.5 on the supremacy and perhaps looking to buy their goal minutes at 111 to boot.