||ESPNsoccernet: Euro 2004
Saturday, July 3, 2004
Euro 2004 final betting
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?
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
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
Verdict: Prepare for extra-time (3.2 at Bet 365).
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).
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).
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).