Euro 2004 final betting

July 3, 2004
By Sean Smith

Portugal v Greece (Sun)

Well, nobody expected that - and it means that the bookies have once again walked away with a fortune. Forget the grand gesture they made when they offered everyone their money back on England bets - that just produced more cash at the tills.

Portugal are now massive favourites to take the title - and keep the Euro 2004 party swinging late into the summer, and few would argue. But wait, before we throw our money away, aren't the Greeks in with a shout?

90 minutes

Greece (6.0 at Bet 365), after all, have already beaten Portugal - in the first match of the tournament - and looked comfortable in doing so. Since then they have held the Spanish, beaten the French and now knocked out the Czech Republic.

They have overcome all the favourites for this tournament - and not looked lucky in doing so. Surely that must count for something when it comes to the final? Portugal (1.66 at William Hill) celebrated like they had won the thing when they beat The Netherlands on Wednesday night. It was as if the act of making the final may be enough to keep them happy.

It is their first ever final, after all. They looked irresistible in parts against the Dutch. Before that they outclass a tired England, and beat their local rivals, the disappointing Spain. But they have lacked cohesiveness at times - and it has been left to their coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari to bail them out with some very bold decisions.

In what may be a tight and nervy final the draw (3.2 at Bet 365), which was the correct result in one semi-final and two quarter-finals is a definite prospect.

Verdict: Prepare for extra-time (3.2 at Bet 365).

Outright

Inevitably the bookies are offering no value on Portugal (1.36 at William Hill) winning in their own backyard, but Greece (3.5 at Coral) are generous enough to consider, particularly when you look at how hard their defence is to break down.

Another smash and grab is on the cards for the Greeks. After all, history is on their side: remember the Danes?

Verdict: Greece to win Euro 2004 (3.5 at Coral).

First goalscorer

Greek first goalscorers are not the best bet this tournament. The team have managed to make the final without a real out and out goalscorer, making predicting the first netter a tough one to punt on.

It has been to their advantage, though, and the bookies confusion has been such that generous odds can be had on a number of Greek players: Angelos Christeas (10.0 at Bet 365), Dimitris Papadopoulos (12.0 at Coral), Zissis Vryzas (13.0 at William Hill), Theodoros Zagorakis (51.0 at Coral) and Angelos Basinas (26.0 at Bet 365) stand out.

Portugal are a team of faces - that's their strength. We picked out Cristiano Ronaldo (9.0 at Bet 365) to score with his head against The Netherlands and he duly did. So, the bookies bring the price in. Luis Figo (9.0 at William Hill) owes the tournament a goal. Pedro Pauleta (6.5 at William Hill) is beginning to threaten one. Everyone saw what Nuno Maniche (15.0 at Bet 365) is capable of in the semi-final.

I think I'm upsetting the neutrals here, but I don't see either team scoring in 90 minutes (8.0 at William Hill).

Verdict: No goalscorer (8.0 at William Hill).

Correct score

Tight Greek defence, nervous hosts. Only one result for me. 1-0 either way (Portugal: 6.0 at Coral, Greece: 11.0 at Bet 365) are good back-up bets.

Verdict: 0-0 (8.0 at William Hill).