The European Championship is less than a week away. Euro 2020 betting sites across the world are adding interesting Euro 2020 futures markets for the tournament. Sportsbook is no different, having added markets for total goals scored, total cards and total penalties, both missed and converted. We break down all the markets below with a detailed analysis of the data to help you make better informed decisions.
At Sportsbook, the total goals market has been divided into three handicaps: UNDER 130 goals across the tournament is the favored outcome with odds of -140. OVER 134 goals is currently at +200 and the total goals to be exactly between 130 and 134 is at odds of +450.
Total Goals Scored
Odds as of June 7 at Sportsbook
Analyzing the Goals Scored Market
This European Championship will see 24 teams playing across 51 games in 12 cities. Each of those numbers has varying significance on this market. The most important metric is 51 games across a month, which would equate to 2.549 goals per game if you’re looking at UNDER 130 goals (-140). OVER 134 goals (+200) equates to 2.62 goals per game.
The 130-134 inclusive (+450) is an extremely tight market, equating to between 2.55 and 2.62 goals a game. This market is all about the mathematics as well as the styles of soccer of some of the higher-profile teams.
Sportsbook favors UNDER 130 goals to be scored at this tournament, which is why the odds are lowest at -140. That is an implied probability, according to Odds Shark’s calculator, of 58.33 percent. But why is that market so heavily favored? For one, there are several teams that don’t prefer the high-press style of Germany. Portugal, Spain and France, for example, are concerted teams that move the ball methodically through the phases.
In soccer betting, you will almost always be offered odds for 2.5 goals as the default market for each game, unless a team like Germany is playing a massive underdog. As a result, this comes down to simple math for bookmakers in creating these odds.
Betting Strategy for Total Goals Scored
The data is imperative to your decision-making for this tournament. The 130-134 market is just not an enjoyable experience, in terms of sport consumption. After 51 games, it’s also highly implausible that the total goals are restricted to a five-goal band. Sportsbook’s odds of +450 are a fair indicator of that likelihood.
More than 134 goals is a compelling choice. From a subconscious perspective, spectators prefer more goals because it makes for better viewing. So, bookmakers would factor that in by increasing the total goals by 5-10 percent and increasing the odds to bring in more bets. Odds of +200 are high, with an implied probability of 33.33 percent. It’s not implausible but it’s unlikely in a tournament like this. And here’s why.
Let’s take a look at the recently concluded Premier League as an example. This was one of the highest-scoring leagues in the top flight of English soccer for a while. There were a total of 1,023 goals scored but that equated to 2.69 goals per game. The biggest home win was 9-0 by Manchester United against Southampton.
The European Championship will not have a ball moving as quickly through the phases as the Premier League, particularly in the knockouts with several games decided by a solitary goal. The probability is a fair indicator of which way to lean. I’d be leaning toward the UNDER.
Betting Tip 1: Total Goals to Be Scored in the Tournament: UNDER 130 (-140)
Total Corners Taken
Odds as of June 7 at Sportsbook
Analyzing the Corners Taken Market
The corners taken market is almost always directly proportional to goals. There are also other factors to consider, such as the strength of the wingers. If there is speed and incredible dribbling technique among the wingers, they will force the ball down toward the corner flags and win more corners. On the other hand, if teams prefer a more central approach, directing the ball through a holding midfielder or playmaker, then the corners are reduced drastically.
From a numerical standpoint, the UNDER 501 market (-140) equates to 9.80 corners per game. The OVER 510 market (+200) equates to just over 10 corners per game. And the 501-510 inclusive market (+450) requires between 9.81 and 10 corners per game.
If you like the UNDER 130 goals market for the tournament, you will love the UNDER 501 corners market. Just like the goals market, there is an emotive factor for bookmakers to consider. A quicker-moving soccer ball just makes for compelling viewing. That leads to more corners and more goals. The handicaps are adjusted to reflect that.
In soccer betting, the default corners market is 9.5 per game, plus or minus one corner depending on the strength and quality of the teams participating. Considering that default, fewer than 501 corners provides a delta of 0.3 corners per game (9.8 as the tournament averages minus 9.5 as the match default average). That in itself provides you with an early advantage if you like the UNDER in this market.
Betting Strategy for Total Corners Taken
Here is some statistical evidence to help you analyze further. Let’s start with this season’s EPL. Liverpool managed the most corners at 260 (6.84 per game) and conceded 122 (3.21 per game). In total, a game involving Liverpool averaged 10.05 corners per game.
West Brom conceded the most corners at 267 (7.03 per game) and managed 145 at 3.82 per match. In total, a game involving West Brom averaged 10.85 corners per game. The rest of the Premier League was, more or less, in between these two. Now remember, the EPL was one of the quickest-moving leagues in Europe.
Let’s look at the La Liga and the Bundesliga as well. Bayern Munich added the most corners: 236 at 6.94 per game. A match involving Bayern Munich involved 10.41 corners a game. Werder Bremen had the fewest corners in the Bundesliga (117 at 3.44 per game). In a match involving Werder Bremen, the total corners was 8.44 as an average.
The Bundesliga is also a fast-paced league. In the La Liga, Real Madrid had the most corners (225 at 5.92 per game). Osasuna had the fewest corners (117 at 3.08 per game). A match involving Osasuna had an average of 7.74 corners per game. You can start to see the difference in corners based on pace of play.
I would expect the European Championship to be between the pace of the Bundesliga and the La Liga. Using the median averages, my output is below 9.8 corners, which is Sportsbook’s average for the UNDER 501 goals market. The math has done the work for this market.
Betting Tip 2: Total Corners Taken to Be UNDER 501 (-140)
Total Missed Penalties
|Total Missed Penalties||Odds|
Odds as of June 7 at Sportsbook
Analyzing the Missed Penalties Market
First, what is a missed penalty? If a player’s penalty attempt is saved by the keeper and subsequently put back into the goal on the rebound, it does count as a missed penalty. Again, there is plenty of math to do in this market.
Sportsbook’s favored market is OVER 10 missed penalties (-110), followed by UNDER 10 missed penalties (+120). If there are exactly 10 missed penalties in the tournament, there is a handy return of +650.
OVER 10 missed penalties is Sportsbook’s favored option, bringing with it an implied probability of 52.38 percent. It’s important to note why it is so heavily favored. One of the most influential reasons is the presence of VAR.
Leagues across the world have seen a massive rise in penalties being awarded as the video referee requests the on-field referee to reconsider his decision. Real-time decisions are never perfect, and so there have been many overturned calls.
For this particular market, it’s fairly simple for bookmakers. If there are more penalties awarded, there is a higher chance of those penalties being missed. To use a baseball analogy, if a team’s on-base percentage is low, the probability of scoring runs and subsequently winning games is reduced.
Betting Strategy for Total Missed Penalties
I’m actually in favor of going against the trend in this market. Even though the probability of VAR intervening is extremely high, the volume of overturned decisions has found a balance in soccer in the last few months. VAR is reviewing several decisions but not many are being overturned unless there are clear and obvious errors.
Another factor is the quality of the penalty-takers. In a high-class continental tournament like the European Championship, you will see the absolute best, the cream of the crop of Europe. Even though the goalkeepers are also fantastic, you would expect several penalties to be converted and few to be missed. There is also the higher return and profit considering this is not a favored choice.
Some more quick math. In 51 games, there will be several games with no penalties awarded. On average, UNDER 9 in 51 games equates to 0.18 missed penalties per match. That’s quite high. Also, if you look at a bookmaker’s odds at the time a penalty is awarded, you would get odds of between -450 and -500 for that to be converted. The probability is surprisingly with the UNDER in this market.
Betting Tip 3: Total Missed Penalties to Remain UNDER 10 (+120)
Total Converted Penalties
|Total Converted Penalties||Odds|
Odds as of June 7 at Sportsbook
Analyzing the Converted Penalties Market
A converted penalty is the result of a goal from the first touch of a player from the spot. To clear up this market, it’s first important to analyze how Sportsbook has broken this down. Firstly, it expects a total of 46 penalties to be awarded (a mean average of 10 missed and a mean average of 36 converted).
Here is where Odds Shark’s calculator helps immensely. Converting 36 of 46 penalties equates to a conversion rate of about 78 percent. As mentioned earlier, your odds on any sportsbook for a penalty to be converted during in-play betting ranges between -450 and -500, which represents an implied probability of between 80 and 83 percent. So, creating these handicaps is very much a scientific act as opposed to artistic in nature.
Sportsbook’s favored outcome is for OVER 36 penalties to be converted, which is fair if you expect 46 penalties to be awarded. That’s just simple math. UNDER 36 penalties to be converted pays out -140 and exactly 36 penalties to be scored, which is extremely unlikely, is at odds of +1200.
Betting Strategy for Converted Penalties
I’m going against the trend in this one. If you have followed soccer closely over the last few months, you would have noticed that VAR is important but the rate of overturned decisions is significantly less than earlier in the season, when some farcical decisions were made.
An average of 46 penalties to be awarded is 0.90 penalties per game. That’s extremely high, even with VAR’s ubiquitous involvement. Truthfully, I just don’t see 46 penalties being awarded. The average conversion rate of 78 percent is fair, but the outcome will still remain UNDER 36 converted penalties if 46 decisions are not awarded in favor of the attacking side.
I don’t have much data to support my hypothesis but my instinct and gut says the UNDER is more compelling than the favored OVER. There is also the additional advantage of the higher payout considering this is not the expected outcome.
Betting Tip 4: Total Converted Penalties to Stay UNDER 36 (+120)
Total Yellow Cards
|Total Yellow Cards||Odds|
Odds as of June 7 at Sportsbook
Analyzing the Yellow Cards Market
An important point to note. The maximum card count per player is three, which means a second yellow card (which results in a red card) is counted as two yellow cards and one red card. Sportsbook is looking at OVER 185 cards as the favored market.
That pays out -115. If there are UNDER 175 cards over the course of the tournament, the sportsbook pays out +275. Meanwhile, the thin band of 10 cards between 175 and 185 is not unlikely, according to Sportsbook, as odds of +225 attest to.
In 51 games, OVER 185 cards is favored the most. That equates to about 3.647 cards per game on average. Here is a rule of thumb for this market. Whenever there are more goals, there are more cards as players try to defend or attack with additional vigor as a result of attempting to hold a lead or come back in the game. There is also a case to be made for more cards with defense-oriented teams, as is the case with Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Betting Strategy for Yellow Cards
There is plenty of data to help you with these decisions. Here is a breakdown of that data into insightful information. Let’s return to the Premier League to analyze how that league fared. Sheffield United was the most undisciplined team, with 1.92 yellow cards per game.
A match involving Sheffield involved 2.87 yellow cards on average. On the other end of the scale was Liverpool with just 1.05 yellow cards per game this season. A match involving Liverpool involved just 2.52 cards per game, significantly below Sportsbook’s asking average.
The Serie A, however, is a notoriously rash league when it comes to tackles. Here is evidence of that. In the recent season, Lazio picked up 2.82 yellow cards per game. In its matches, there were an average of 5.11 yellow cards per game!
League winner Inter Milan was the most disciplined tackling team, with just 1.61 yellow cards per game and 2.85 yellow cards total per match. The divide between Italy’s Serie A and England’s Premier League is massive.
This market will eventually come down to style of soccer. The cards picked up will likely fall somewhere between the Serie A and the Premier League. However, it must be said that under the bright lights of the European Championship, there will be several more tackles attempted per game than the Premier League’s average.
Even though the favored market pays out a lower amount for the same investment, it does seem the better choice simply based on the above data and the expected style of soccer.
Betting Tip 5: Total Yellow Cards to Be OVER 185 (-115)
Total Red Cards
|Total Red Cards||Odds|
Odds as of June 7 at Sportsbook
Analyzing the Red Cards Market
If a player receives two yellow cards, which results in his expulsion from the game, it is still counted as one red card. Sportsbook’s handicaps are quite interesting for this market. If you think there will be seven or more red cards, you receive a payout of +130. If there are five or fewer red cards, you can exactly double your money. If there are exactly six red cards, which isn’t implausible, the payout is a massive +450.
Again, this market comes down to how you see the games panning out. There will be a few red cards – it just comes down to how close to the mean average of six. Five or fewer cards is the most favored market, according to Sportsbook. I would tend to agree with that for several reasons.
As fatigue increases, tackles arrive later and create a higher chance of red cards. In a short tournament like this, you wouldn’t expect too much tiredness, at least in the first half of the tournament. In 51 games, the average to win this market is 0.09 red cards per game or one red card in every 10.2 matches. Fair? Yes, I would say so.
Betting Strategy for Red Cards
Four teams in the Premier League didn’t receive a red card over the duration of 38 games – Liverpool (0.05 red cards total per game), Wolves (0.13 red cards total per game), Burnley (0.05 red cards total per game) and Leicester City (0.05 red cards total per game). In matches involving these four teams, only the opposing teams received red cards.
In the Serie A, every team had at least one red card. Parma was the most disciplined team with an average of 0.06 red cards per match. Juventus led the Serie A with six red cards in total at an average of 0.16 per game.
For the sake of further clarity, let’s take a look at the German Bundesliga as well. Five teams had exactly one red card and three teams didn’t pick up a red card over the course of 38 games. Hoffenheim was the most undisciplined team in the Bundesliga with 0.12 red cards per game (a total of four red cards in 34 matches). Still, the average in a match involving Hoffenheim was just 0.18 red cards, double that of Sportsbook’s asking average for the UNDER.