What a difference a day makes! The Czech Republic have seen their Euro 2012 Group A qualification betting odds heavily trimmed after picking up a vital win over Greece on Tuesday night.
As I predicted they would at a decent 5/4 prior to the match, Michal Bilek’s men proved too strong for the Greeks as goals from Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar gave them a 2-1 triumph.
The result, which came on the back of a 4-1 drubbing by Russia in their opening fixture, means they are now odds-on at 17/20 to reach the quarter-finals, having previously been out at 12/5.
And a win against Poland in their final group game on Saturday night – which is priced at 9/4 – will definitely see them through.
Should the Russians fail to beat Greece, a win for the Czechs would actually see them win Group A, which is now priced at 21/4 – quite a change from the 22/1 odds being offered before kick-off against the Greeks.
With the Greeks looking in no sort of shape to beat Russia, a draw could be good enough for Bilek’s men.
Poland have proved to be tricky opposition in the tournament so far, picking up two 1-1 draws from their opening two fixtures.
However, another draw would do little for the co-hosts other than give them the honour of exiting the tournament as an undefeated team.
The Poles know they need a win as badly as the Czechs and that outcome would send the Republic packing, as would a scenario where the Poles and Czechs draw, but Greece see off Russia.
That may make the 17/20 odds for the Czech Republic to miss out on qualification seem good value, especially considering that the odds on them to exit after the group stages were just 29/100 before the victory over Greece.
But with the Greeks looking in no sort of shape to beat Russia, a draw could be good enough for Bilek’s men.
With that in mind, those punters who took advantage of bwin.com’s market-leading pre-tournament odds of 7/1 for Russia to finish 1st and the Republic to grab 2nd place – which I highlighted as a cracking bet too – still look set to cash in.
Anyone who used their free £25 bet for registering to back that one could be rewarded with a huge £200 if Saturday’s action puts the Russians and then the Czechs through to the knockout stages.
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