Dozens of nations gear up for the start of European Championship qualifying this week including Holland who will look to bounce back from a devastating World Cup qualifying result last time around as they play against Belarus as heavy favorites. We break down the odds and betting tips for the action on the pitch so you can get a leg up on all your wagers.
One of the most disappointing teams at the recent World Cup will look to get back on track as Germany host Serbia in a Wednesday friendly. The Germans are going with a new look, bidding farewell to Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller among others. But the hosts are still heavy -250 favorites as they look to overcome the sting of failing to reach the elimination round in Russia last summer.
Serbia (+700) have shown great form since the World Cup with four wins and two draws from six matches.
The two favorites to advance out of Group I will get things started Thursday as Belgium host Russia on the opening day of Euro 2020 qualification. The Belgians (-334 vs. Russia) are mammoth -500 favorites to win the group, and -5,000 to post a top-two finish in a weak group that also features Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino.
The Russians (+800 vs. Belgium) are -275 choices to reach the next round, and have been sensational on the back end since losing in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Russia have allowed just one goal in their past four international matches, earning two wins and a draw in that span.
Too Close to Call?
Austria and Poland are expected to have one of the fiercest battles for top spot of any Euro 2020 qualifying group – and they'll waste no time getting acquainted as they face off Thursday at Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna. The host Austrians are slight +125 favorites in the first of two meetings between the teams, and have fared well of late with two wins and a draw in their previous three international matches.
Poland are installed at +230 but have yet to win an international game since beating Japan to close out their World Cup. Poland are, however, +110 favorites to win the group, with Austria right behind at +137.
Germany is still expected to win Group C despite its lackluster showing last summer – but Holland might have something to say about that as they look to recover from their own World Cup disaster. The Dutch side open Euro 2020 qualifying action Thursday against Belarus, and are -700 favorites to kick things off with a home win.
This is a critical stretch for Holland, who failed to qualify for last year's World Cup – a shocking outcome for the once-formidable soccer nation following its equally surprising omission from the 2016 European Championships. Belarus (+1,400) posted four wins and two draws in six Nations League matches.
- Goals have been plentiful in German's most recent international matches. The Germans have gone above the 2.5-goal total in three straight games, and are -154 to extend that streak in Wednesday's international friendly vs. visiting Serbia.
- There's plenty of friendly action on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, as well, with the United States hosting Ecuador on Wednesday. Ecuador have scored just four goals in the past five meetings, and are +225 to strike twice or more in this one.
- Beware the Scots! Kazakhstan had better heed the warning as they host Scotland in the opener of their Euro 2020 Group I qualifying tilt. Scotland have scored 10 goals in their past four games, and are +400 to score at least three goals Thursday.
- Keeping Poland off the scoresheet will be critical for Austria in Thursday's match – and they've shown great form in that regard, having allowed just one goal in four Nations League fixtures. An Austria clean sheet vs. Poland is set at +162.
- Low-scoring affairs have been a trademark of Russia's recent international games, with the 2018 World Cup hosts having finished under the 2.5-goal threshold in three straight. The under for Thursday's tilt with Belgium is installed at +120.
- Looking for the highest-scoring game on the Thursday calendar? Holland-Belarus might not top the list, but it's up there; they combined for four goals in their last meeting, and the over-3.5 option is very much in play this week at +110.
- Croatia are one of Thursday's biggest favorites as they tangle with a visiting Azerbaijan team coming off a listless showing in a 4-0 loss to Kosovo. That makes the Croatians an intriguing play at +250 on a -3 handicap.
- Slovenia wrapped up its stretch of Nations League games in style, recording three consecutive 1-1 draws. A similar result in Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against host Israel could land bettors a nice payday at +500 on the exact score prop.
- The race for top goalscorer in the English Premier League is an absolute jumble, with Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and his 18 goals sitting one clear of four other players, including Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Tottenham's Harry Kane. Aguero is the oddsmakers' top choice at +150 to win the title, followed by Salah at +333 and Kane at +350.
- Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund enter the European Championship qualifying break level on points – but oddsmakers aren't ready to put the teams on equal footing. Bayern are whopping -275 favorites to repeat as Bundesliga champions, while Dortmund, who have fallen on hard times of late, are now listed at +200.