Now that the last decisions of the season have been made, bettors will probably only have the European Championship on their minds. What else should you place your money on, what else should you entertain yourself with? In contrast to the summers of the odd-numbered years, there is at least one major event this year. The otherwise sour cucumber season is bridged dazzlingly. There will certainly be a lot of movement on the market before the start of the European Championship, especially a lot of money…

As for my own approach: the database always does its job faithfully and reliably, of course. Even if one could accuse it (and thus the author), not entirely unjustifiably, of never being able to take all the little things into account and thus not being able to declare the search for the pure truth to be over, it does have one advantage: it is incorruptible. Once you have entered assessments, once you have decided on them, for all teams, then it delivers the results, all coordinated with each other, that it delivers. However, “results” are only assessments in the sense of probabilities, of course. And this ice is extremely thin, on which one moves, since every event, which one only assigns a certain probability of occurrence, could only result in a shrug of the shoulders, both in the case of occurrence and non-occurrence. “I didn’t say it was coming. I merely said that it would come 70% of the time, and thus 50% of the time it would not come. Now it’s just that the 30% has come. So what?”

As profound and subsequently interesting as such philosophical considerations may be, let’s be a little more concrete. So: in the computer there are assessments for all teams of which either the leagues have been recorded or which are in action internationally. It is quite clear that the more results there are and the closer the league is, the more reliable the assessments will be. Logically, the national teams are also represented.

These assessments are based on past results, the results of which are evaluated in the sense that the playing strengths are adjusted after each match played. Since international matches are not that frequent and the squads as well as the motivations can be different, these assessments are less reliable compared to everyday league play. In particular, however, all teams will prepare for this tournament as well as possible, bringing the best available coach and the best players to the starting line-up, i.e. under no circumstances, as is perhaps customary in the course of the season, will a player be spared at the request of a club (unless he simply reports injured due to too many appearances). So: all the stars will be called up and they will be as fit as can be.

This little back story should only explain why one is always prepared to make a few adjustments before such a major event occurs. These should not be excessive, of course, but in any case logical and comprehensible, not according to spontaneous convictions but rational considerations.

The one work that has been done in any case is on the author’s side. All players in the European Championship squads were recorded as representatives of the team for which they play in league play. After all, the teams they play for regularly are (almost all) represented in the database. And they have an assessment, with expected goals scored and expected goals conceded. If you now add up the sum of all the club teams of the players in the squad and divide it by the number of players (classic average calculation), you also have an estimate of the national team for which these players appear together.

The result of this work was astonishing: the differences were not that huge. In some cases there was even astonishing agreement. Spain, for example, clearly came out on top, while Germany clearly, in this and that ranking, came in second. As the saying goes: a team is more than the sum of its individual players and it should by no means be forgotten that the national team itself has shown what they can (and cannot) do in previous performances. So the adjustment should not be exaggerated, since there are (sufficient) results from the team as a whole.

On the other hand, however, there should be an adjustment for the reasons mentioned above. In any case, the values resulting from the extra work have had the following small effects: Sweden had to be lowered a little, since their squad has long since, apart from Ibrahimovic, no longer included any real foreign exports or stars. The same applies to Denmark and Ireland. These teams will have a difficult time, perhaps more difficult than in previous tournaments.

The Czech Republic, too, has long since lost its squad, but recent results have already ensured an adjustment, so that an intervention did not seem necessary.

Better than in the database are above all France, Portugal, Ukraine and Russia. A few adjustments were made here. It is simply the case with France that they have a number of outstanding footballers in their ranks. One also remembers how they played against their coach at the last major event, the World Cup in South Africa, as they later admitted (you probably felt it a bit on the pitch, it wasn’t really France). So if they concentrate their energies on the pitch, on getting good results this time, pull together, then you should expect a better performance, the potential is there, it just needs to be called upon. The adjustment is justified.

With Portugal, the adjustment was only slight, as they have been producing pretty good results anyway. You can still put it this way_ you can expect a lot from Portugal, maybe more than the market does.

Ukraine also has a strong team, and they also have a certain home advantage. In any case, the teams from Ukraine have shown in recent years that they are competitive in Europe, with very good results in some cases, so that an adjustment was also necessary and seems sensible.

The Russian teams have also been quite successful in the European Cup in recent years, so that an adjustment was also made here.

All adjustments have been moderate, except for the one on France perhaps, as they really have a much higher potential than the results they have delivered in total.

Of course, the effects were only reviewed after the fact. This only means that while France has been adjusted, it is still possible that they should be opposed. Conversely, it may now happen that, after statements made above, one does not think much of Sweden, but that one finds that the market does to an even lesser extent – and that one should therefore support them. Of course, one readily admits that the adjustments, if they lead to such a result, can be carried out a little further. One has a certain leeway in doing so.

The fact of communicating this to the reader and friend of sports betting (and not simply printing out results here and wanting to sell them as the purest objectivity) is due to precisely this circumstance: it is supposed to be objective, in this respect at least explained in a comprehensible way. Manual interventions happen, they have to happen. Because: there are things between heaven and earth that the computer cannot grasp. Can man…?

Here, at last, are some figures:

2012-06-08 18:00 EM Poland Greece 2.59 3.22 3.31
2012-06-08 20:45 European Championship Russia Czech Republic 2.41 3.20 3.68
2012-06-12 18:00 Euro Greece Czech Republic 2.94 3.12 2.94
2012-06-12 20:45 European Championship Poland Russia 3.20 3.19 2.67
2012-06-16 20:45 European Championship Greece Russia 3.71 3.11 2.45
2012-06-16 20:45 European Championship Czech Republic Poland 3.28 3.30 2.55
2012-06-09 18:00 European Championship Netherlands Denmark 1.69 4.28 5.77
2012-06-09 20:45 European Championship Germany Portugal 2.09 4.03 3.64
2012-06-13 18:00 European Championship Denmark Portugal 5.17 4.11 1.78
2012-06-13 20:45 European Championship Holland Germany 3.31 3.93 2.25
2012-06-17 20:45 European Championship Portugal Holland 3.05 3.47 2.61
2012-06-17 20:45 European Championship Denmark Germany 8.07 5.76 1.42
2012-06-10 18:00 European Championship Spain Italy 1.98 3.48 4.83
2012-06-10 20:45 European Championship Ireland Croatia 3.48 3.02 2.62
2012-06-14 18:00 European Championship Italy Croatia 2.39 3.22 3.68
2012-06-14 20:45 European Championship Spain Ireland 1.61 3.98 7.97
2012-06-18 20:45 Euro Croatia Spain 6.61 4.36 1.62
2012-06-18 20:45 Euro Italy Ireland 2.31 2.89 4.53
2012-06-11 18:00 Euro France England 3.23 3.16 2.67
2012-06-11 20:45 Euro Ukraine Sweden 2.29 3.62 3.49
2012-06-15 18:00 Euro Ukraine France 3.50 3.09 2.56
2012-06-15 20:45 Euro Sweden England 4.87 4.14 1.81
2012-06-19 20:45 Euro Sweden France 4.32 3.43 2.10
2012-06-19 20:45 Euro England Ukraine 2.20 3.60 3.75
2012-06-21 20:45 European Championship Poland Denmark 2.42 3.53 3.29
2012-06-22 20:45 Euro Greece Netherlands 5.54 3.77 1.80
2012-06-23 20:45 European Championship Spain England 2.08 3.72 3.99
2012-06-24 20:45 European Championship Italy France 3.23 2.83 2.97
2012-06-27 20:45 European Championship Poland Spain 7.28 4.49 1.56
2012-06-28 20:45 EM Greece Italy 4.64 3.19 2.12
2012-07-01 20:45 EM Poland Greece 2.59 3.22 3.31

First of all, here are the fair odds for all preliminary round pairings. If you want, you can already use them to compare the market. However, the event is still too far away, so the market is not yet that tight. There is also not too much displayed. It’s possible that a little more will be adjusted, especially since there will now be a test match phase in which you can examine the teams’ line-ups and form.

2012-06-08 18:00 EM Poland Greece 2.18 3.25 3.90 102.28%
2012-06-08 20:45 Euro Russia Czech Republic 2.14 3.40 3.80 102.46%
2012-06-09 18:00 EM Netherlands Denmark 1.60 3.95 6.40 103.44%
2012-06-09 20:45 European Championship Germany Portugal 1.85 3.75 4.60 102.46%
2012-06-10 18:00 EM Spain Italy 1.87 3.55 5.10 101.25%
2012-06-10 20:45 EM Ireland Croatia 3.75 3.40 2.18 101.95%
2012-06-11 18:00 Euro France England 2.84 3.25 2.72 102.75%
2012-06-11 20:45 Euro Ukraine Sweden 2.38 3.15 3.35 103.61%
2012-06-12 18:00 Euro Greece Czech Republic 3.10 3.15 2.46 104.65%
2012-06-12 20:45 European Championship Poland Russia 3.15 3.30 2.40 103.72%
2012-06-13 18:00 European Championship Denmark Portugal 4.20 3.40 1.89 106.13%
2012-06-13 20:45 EM Netherlands Germany 3.10 3.45 2.32 104.35%
2012-06-14 18:00 Euro Italy Croatia 2.14 3.25 3.55 105.67%
2012-06-14 20:45 EM Spain Ireland 1.28 5.00 10.00 108.13%
2012-06-15 18:00 Euro Ukraine France 3.25 3.45 2.22 104.80%
2012-06-15 20:45 European Championship Sweden England 4.30 3.50 1.89 104.74%
2012-06-16 20:45 Euro Greece Russia 3.95 3.35 2.04 104.19%
2012-06-16 20:45 European Championship Czech Republic Poland 2.72 3.35 2.64 104.49%
2012-06-17 20:45 European Championship Portugal Netherlands 3.35 3.30 2.12 107.32%
2012-06-17 20:45 European Championship Denmark Germany 7.20 4.10 1.50 104.95%
2012-06-18 20:45 Euro Croatia Spain 6.80 3.95 1.57 103.72%
2012-06-18 20:45 Euro Italy Ireland 1.64 3.55 4.70 110.42%
2012-06-19 20:45 European Championship Sweden France 3.65 3.45 2.02 105.89%
2012-06-19 20:45 Euro England Ukraine 2.10 3.30 3.75 104.59%

Some of the games shown here perhaps? As you can see from the percentages, it’s just not close yet (it’s getting much closer to 100% on the games, which means you’d get a bit more on all the odds). For many games, however, a “lay” to the other side, mostly the favourite side, of course, is much more likely. This is mainly because the computer sees the draws as somewhat more likely than the market. As a result, the advantage on the other side (the “lay” side) is greater.

In any case, you can see the preference for Portugal.

Here are the odds for the group winners:

Group A 
Computer betfair

Poland 3.01 3.85
Russia 3.77 2.60
Greece 4.18 5.60
Czech Republic 6.09 5.10

Group B 
Computer betfair

Germany 2.22 2.18
Holland 3.25 2.92
Portugal 5.31 6.00
Denmark 17.85 19.50

Group C 
Computer betfair

Spain 1.66 1.59
Italy 4.76 4.60
Croatia 9.25 9.20
Ireland 12.34 20.00

Group D 
Computer betfair

England 2.88 2.84
France 3.61 2.70
Ukraine 4.06 6.00
Sweden 7.69 7.40

As you can see there is a pretty good match with the market. The bets on Poland and Greece could also be summed up as betting against Russia. As much as it was argued for them above, these values can no longer be reconciled. Poland does not have such a bad team and plays at home, while Greece, with many players from Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, who have always done well in the Champions League over the years, has quite a decent team that could stand up to the Russians. So: bet on Greece and Poland or against Russia.

You can actually save the bet on Portugal. Because: the advantage is much smaller on this bet than on the individual games. And without a win they will hardly get any further, especially since you can simply play “Lay Deutschland” in the game against Germany (as a traitor to the fatherland).

The bet on Ukraine is really recommendable and tasty. Why shouldn’t they be able to hold their own in the home games? Of course, a “Lay” on France is also possible. By the way, this is even more due to the fact that the computer always sees few goals with them (confirmed over the years), thus more draws occur, and this hinders in winning the group.

So much for today.

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