Euro 2020 Betting Trends: How It Started, How It’s Going, And What Happens Next

Euro 2020 Betting Trends: How It Started, How It’s Going, And What Happens Next article feature image
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Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images. Pictured: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Four days ago, I wrote about emerging trends that were noteworthy for bettors through the first round of group games at Euro 2020. 

But life comes at you fast during international tournaments.

Here’s an update to those early observations now that all 24 teams have completed two group matches.

And as we look forward to Matchday 3 across the six groups, I also have some thoughts on what to expect next.

Second-Half Scoring

How it started: In the opening 12 games of the tournament, 21 of 28 goals scored came after halftime. That was an obvious benefit to live bettors who identified the trend early and wagered on totals.

How it’s going: The trend has more or less disappeared, though not so strongly that it’s worth fading. 

Teams playing their second group matches scored 14 of their 27 goals after halftime. The total number of goals per match (gpg) also remained stable, decreasing only fractionally from 2.33 gpg to 2.29 gpg now with 24 total matches played.

What happens next? As I suggested Tuesday, the barrage of second-half goals on Matchday 1 may have been partly due to tactical adjustments from managers seeing these squads in real competition for the first time in months.

I’d expect the second-half trend is largely over, but there’s no obvious reason there would be an excess of first-half goals going forward, either.

Home Field Disadvantage

How it started: In the first nine games of the tournament where one team was playing in its own country, bettors who wagered on the hosting country on the money line saw a -50% return on investment, according to OddsPortal. Bettors who took opposing teams home field advantage were up around 125%.

How it’s going: With England hosting Scotland, there was one fewer nation playing at home in the Matchday 2. Overall, those teams improved, but not to the point of being profitable.

If you bet $100 on the host side in all eight of those games, you came out down $84, a loss of just over 10%.

However, if you stayed away only from hosts who were underdogs — Hungary and Denmark — you were up $116, a fraction above a 19% positive return.

Belgium was the only side playing against a host team to win in Matchday 2, putting those who bet on teams playing against host sides down $600 and 75% this round (but still up on around 35% on the tournament overall.)

The big winners were those who bet the draw involving host teams. Those folks are up $858 bucks thanks to Hungary, Scotland and Poland earning draws against favored opponents, a return of almost 115%,

What happens next?: While it’s hard to suss out exactly what the stakes would be, I would be tempted to advise continuing to bet double-chance wagers where you take teams opposing the host or the draw unless there’s a compelling reason to do otherwise. (For example, if an excellent-looking Italian team is playing in Rome.)

Favorites Fly, Darkhorses Struggle

How it started: In Matchday 1, group favorites won five of six matches and made bettors a 56.6% profit. But the group second-favorites struggled, with bettors who played them on the money line losing 71% of their stakes.

How it’s going: The road for favorites has gotten tougher, but the next in line are still having a tough time of it also.

Bettors on the six group favorites lost about 11% of their stakes on Matchday 2, with only Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands winning.

The super conservative bettors who played a double-chance bet on a favorite or a draw would find themselves ahead, though, with Spain, England and France all earning a point.

Of the second-favorites, only Germany and Sweden won, with bettors on that co-hort of six teams losing 31% of their stakes.

What happens next: Matchday 3 might be a good time to fade group favorites. Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands have already secured a place in the last 16, and only Spain truly needs a victory to guarantee advancement.

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