Euro 2024: England still betting favorites after group stage

While there was certainly some drama in the UEFA European Championship group stage, the tournament’s betting favorites largely escaped unscathed — a relief for the majority of bettors, who will watch as the teams they backed battle it out in the event’s single-elimination rounds.

France, 2018 World Cup champions and 2022 finalists, have taken the most tickets at ESPN BET (23%), DraftKings (24%) and FanDuel (15%, tied with Germany). Les Bleus also lead in handle at BetMGM (20.9%) and FanDuel (17%, tied with England).

Despite the somewhat significant liability on the French, their odds have lengthened from the beginning of the competition from +400 to +550 thanks to a spirited performance from Austria that saw them win Group D. The Austrians closed as +800 underdogs to win the group, taking just 4.7% of the bets and 3% of the handle, per ESPN BET. Austria moved from 100-1 at open to 20-1 to win Euro 2024.

The betting favorites, as they were at the start of the tournament, are still England, who have seen their odds shorten slightly from +350 to +325. Euro 2024 is the first major tournament the Three Lions have entered as betting favorites since the 1970 World Cup, though a pre-tournament favorite has not won the European Championship since Spain in 2012, per ESPN Stats & Information.

England generated the most money at ESPN BET (30%) and FanDuel but have otherwise been relatively quiet in the futures market, potentially owing to their favorite status. That said, the English have been the most bet-on team on a game-by-game basis at ESPN BET, with their match against Serbia representing the third-most-bet of the group stage.

“England just seems to be a draw for money from year to year,” DraftKings director of sportsbook operations told ESPN. “Any tournament they’re in, they usually do draw quite a bit of money.”

Two other high-profile sides, host Germany and Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal, have also been robust ticket and handle drivers in both the future and match markets, with BetMGM ranking them as two of their biggest tournament winner liabilities, along with France. However, the best performing team of the group stage has largely flown under the radar with bettors.

Spain is the only team in the tournament with three wins after three matchdays, which vaulted their odds from +700 pre-tournament to +450 as of Thursday on ESPN BET, making them the second-favorite behind England.

Many bettors may not have seen them coming: La Roja rank fifth in futures by bets (10%) and handle (6%) at ESPN BET, with similar standing at other sportsbooks. Their matches were also not among the most-bet in the group stage.

As far as betting goes around the race for the Golden Boot, there aren’t many surprises given the popularity of France and England.

Kylian Mbappé (+600) and Harry Kane (+700) remain the favorites to take home the honor as the tournament’s top goalscorer, though each have seen their odds lengthen from +450 and +550, respectively, as they have each recorded only one goal. Mbappé is the leader in both bets and handle at several sportsbooks, while Kane is fighting for second with Ronaldo, who has seen his odds plummet from 12-1 to 25-1 after a goalless group stage.

There’s a four-way tie for second place of the award, with the Netherlands’ Cody Gakpo (11-1) and Germany’s Niclas Füllkrug (12-1) each climbing the odds boards and recording two goals. However, it’s Fullkrug’s countryman, Jamal Musiala (11-1), who represents one of the biggest hazards to sportsbooks.

The 21-year-old, who also has two goals, generated 10.4% of the bets and 13.7% of the handle at BetMGM, making him the book’s second-biggest liability behind Mbappé. He also has 7% of the tickets and 6% of the money to win Player of the Tournament at DraftKings.

In an ironic twist, the Golden Boot’s current leader, Georges Mikautadze (three goals), was not even on most odds boards to start the tournament and now appears as a 12-1 underdog after Georgia’s Cinderella run to the Round of 16; BetMGM reports that it has not taken a single bet on Mikautadze to win the award.