Value betting the overall Euro 2012 Tournament Winner.
Yes folks it's that time of the year again when we start getting out the England bunting and buying those silly little England flags that hang out of the rear car window.
Only this time something is not quite right! This tournament is missing a vital ingredient!
What's that then I hear you ask?
Well as if you hadn't noticed the expectation and noise level is way below what we have come to expect from England fans and that has everything to do with the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England manager.
Hodgson, as expected, has failed to ignite even the teensiest bit of interest in the England team with his dour personality and defensive tactics but I guess that won't stop the little Engurlanders piling into the pub come match time.
For the first time in living memory England start a major tournament without the burden of expectation that traditionally follows the team into oblivion and that can only be a good thing.
Not that I'm suggesting you lump your hard earned cash on England to win the tournament by any stretch of the imagination.
With the manager leaving one of the best centre halves in the world (Rio Ferdinand) twiddling his thumbs at home "for football reasons" (what other reasons eh?) and taking a player who is banned for the first two games (Rooney) Hodgson is showing just how badly he can perform at the very top level. Surely excluding John Terry on the basis that he has been badly out of form would have been far more believable from a fans point of view.
The one good thing that Hodgson will bring to this England team is the ability to bind together an under achieving set of players and get them playing team football. If that means hoofing long balls "down the channels" for the forwards to chase then you should enjoy watching England play in this tournament.
Enough Hodgson bashing. Even though he had a torrid time at Liverpool he did manage to mould West Brom into a cohesive unit and if he can bring that methodology to the England team in the short time he has available then England should at least progress from the group stages.
Outright Winner Betting.
Who can see beyond Spain?
The Spanish play a beautiful blend of football that befits a nation who invest thousands of hours into their children's football education every year. Whilst we are lucky if we can get our kids to turn up to one PE lesson a week without providing a fake sick note the Spanish have football education down to a fine art and it shows.
Nearly all of the Barcelona first team have graduated from their academy and the Spanish progression from perennial strugglers to world cup holders is the yardstick by which all other teams are being measured.
But what's this? Here I have an offer that you absolutely must take up if you have any shred of streetwise gambling credibility about you:
Betvictor sports are offering to refund all losing bets if Spain wins.
The maximum stake refunded is £50.00. This offer is only available until kick off on the 8th June so if you are reading this after the tournament has kicked off then I'm sorry but you've missed the offer and that's a good reason for you to register for updates so you don't look a gift horse in the mouth again.
So if we are going to put this offer to its best use and we think Spain are going to win who should we choose as a long shot?
Breaking this down logically let's see who we think are the teams most likely to progress from the group stages.
Group A: Poland, Greece, Cech Republic, Russia.
Russia and Poland should both progress as the other two teams have the worst scoring record in qualifying. Greece and the Czech Republic registered 14 and 15 goals respectively in ten games on the way to the finals.
Group B: Holland, Denmark, Germany, Portugal.
This is a three way group and you would think Denmark are the weak link here even though they scored plenty of goals on the way through they did have inferior opposition. I'm plumping for Germany and the thugs from Holland to go through but Portugal could throw a surprise in this group.
Group C: Spain, Italy, Ireland, Croatia.
Spain and Italy are the hot favourites here with Ireland and Croatia trailing behind by a long distance. Italy are strangely behind England in the overall winner betting.
Group D: France, England, Ukraine, Sweden.
Again we have what looks on the face of it to be a three way group with France and England sure to qualify but Sweden could easily throw a spanner in the works. And remember what a horrible world cup France had last time around.
So our theoretical quarter final teams are:
Russia, Poland, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and England.
Of the two teams that have the best credentials for party pooping Portugal and Sweden are the most likely and Ronaldo could well make the difference for Portugal so they are a good outside bet at 20/1. Bet this at skybet.com using your free £10 bet.
If Portugal do go through it will be at the expense of Holland or Germany and as the Teutonic machine is a well-oiled tournament one the value says that Holland would be the team to lose out if Portugal found form.
If we think Spain and Germany are the likeliest finalists and we think that Portugal are a good value bet at the expense of Holland then we should be looking at France, England and Italy to provide extra value for this tournament.
One thing that England have that the others do not is what I consider to be the best goalkeeper in the tournament in Joe Hart. Overlooked for the World Cup Hart is in stunning form and is going to be the best shot stopper on display in the finals.
In addition Andy Carroll will play to Hodgson's long ball game and he is in fine form too. With Rooney available from the third game onwards England are a decent outside bet for this tournament.
Overall Tournament Winner: Spain.
Bet on a long shot at Betvictor.com and if Spain wins then you get your money back.