Those prone to addressing issues at the last minute will be scrambling to place their Euro 2016 wagers before France and Romania kick off the competition tomorrow evening.
Like a baying horde of Black Friday bargain hunters, plenty of these punters, blinded by desperation and haste, will visit their online bookie and begin to wildly wield the contents of the bank account on the first bets they see, oblivious to just how poor the investment they’re making is until the adrenalin rush has subsided.
However, if you’re lucky enough to do your betting at bwin.com, you needn’t make this mistake.
The black and gold bookmakers’ tipping taskforce have been carefully mulling over the form of the 24 protagonists ahead of the curtain raiser so, please, before you rush in with that £100 on England to win it, take a deep breath, make yourself comfortable and read on to discover who’s hot and who’s not.
Portugal – 18/1 to win Euro 2016
Fringing on genuine longshot territory to conquer the continent, the Seleccao have limbered up nicely ahead of the tournament.
They’ve beaten Norway 3-0 and Estonia 7-0 either side of a 1-0 defeat to England at Wembley, a game which they played for approximately an hour with ten men and came within four minutes of keeping yet another clean sheet.
France – 12/5 to beat Romania with a -2 handicap
Les Bleus are quite rightly favourites to reign supreme.
In addition to hosting the tournament, they’ve prevailed in their previous four friendlies, scoring at least three goals in each game. No flat-track bullies, this spate includes victories over the Netherlands and Russia, while they signed off with a routine 3-0 win over Scotland.
Switzerland – 17/20 to beat Albania
It’s banana skin territory for the Swiss in their opening game against potential Group A whipping boys Albania, who are an interesting 17/4 to nab a shock win.
Bosnia and Belgium both recently recorded friendly wins against Vladimir Petkovic’s men, who almost fluffed their lines in the confidence-boosting clash they arranged with Moldova, though they escaped with a 2-1 victory in the end.
Republic of Ireland – 5/4 to finish bottom of Group E
Amazingly, Martin O’Neill was handed a new Eire contract this week, despite recording the second-lowest win percentage of each of their last five managers, his 38.46% only marginally beating the widely derided Steve Staunton.
Two failures to prevail in the warm-up fixtures for Euro 2016 have had a negative impact on O’Neill’s win rate, with a 2-1 home defeat to Belarus enormously undermining a credible draw with the Netherlands.