European Championship Betting Guide: Tuesday 6/22/21
Tuesday sees the excitement of Matchday 3 at Euro 2020 shift to Group E, where all four teams still control their own destiny in the quest to reach the next round.
For more on what might take place in this pair of finely-poised matches on British soil, read on, plus be sure to check out FanDuel Sportsbook for all the odds on Euro 2020 and more!
Croatia vs. Scotland
Hampden Park | Glasgow, Scotland | 3pm ET
The Pick: Croatia +120
Let’s be honest; neither of these last-place teams in Group E enter this must-win match at Glasgow in the greatest form.
Croatia have won just twice in their last 11 outings, while Scotland have only two wins in their last nine. The two have combined to score a solitary goal at this tournament.
So, what will give in a game that should see the victor advance to the Round of 16?
Unfortunately, the numbers don’t give much of an edge to either.
Both have played roughly the same amount of time in their opposition third (27% for Scotland; 26% for Croatia), neither have been pegged back in their own end much (27% each), and both have registered the same number of official attacks (72).
The statistical case for Steve Clarke’s team? Only Italy and Denmark fired more shots in the first two matchdays than Scotland, while the Tartan Army have earned more than double the number of corners (11 to 5) than their upcoming opposition.
Working against the Scots is the uncertainty of who will actually be available for selection on Tuesday after star midfielder Billy Gilmour tested positive for Covid-19. At the time of posting, no other Scottish players have been ruled out, but it’s a worrying development for a team with so little depth.
On the other hand, the best argument for the Vatreni is based almost solely on recent big-match success, as Zlatko Dalić’s side is only three years removed from a memorable run to the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while the Scots have never reached the knockout rounds in any of their major tournament appearances.
Ivan Perisic with a stunner!
GAME. ON. pic.twitter.com/nsi6cDuaQG
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 18, 2021
Could Scotland utilize home-field advantage and make history? Of course, but Croatia have more match-winners in their side, more experience in these situations, and don’t have a troubling Covid situation to deal with.
And in a fairly even contest on paper, that’s enough to swing the pick in favor of the reigning world runners-up.
Czech Republic vs. England
Wembley Stadium | London, England | 3pm ET
The Pick: England -180
It’s been a similar tournament for these two Group E leaders, as both the Czechs and English posted impressive shutout victories on Matchday 1, only to follow those results with a pair of disappointing Matchday 2 draws.
For all of England’s firepower, the Three Lions have yet to click in attack at these Euros. They’ve managed just one goal in two games, and their output of 1.5 shots on goal per match is third-fewest in the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic have offered more of a threat going forward. With an average of 4 shots on target and 10.5 shots total per match, they rank in the group stage’s top half in both categories, plus they feature one in-form attacking player in Patrik Schick, whose three goals currently tie him in the Golden Boot race with Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, even though they’ve allowed just one goal through two matches -- a highlight-reel strike from Croatia’s Ivan Perisic -- Jaroslav Šilhavý’s men have had a tendency to invite pressure. They’ve given up 15 shots per game, tied for fourth-most in the tournament, and that 2-0 win over Scotland on Matchday 1 is their only clean sheet in their last seven games.
And yes, the Czechs did beat England 2-1 in qualifying back in October of 2019, but that match was in Prague, while this meeting is at Wembley, the site of a 5-0 win for Gareth Southgate’s side in March of 2019.
A @sterling7 hat-trick
Throwing it back to our game against Czech Republic at @wembleystadium in 2019 for our Classic Match with @BudLightUK: pic.twitter.com/3WGMjNwWs9
— England (@England) June 21, 2021
Then there’s this: a draw will be enough for the Czechs to win the group -- while the Three Lions need to win to claim first-place -- so expect England to be the aggressor, a mentality that might just help them find their groove in the attacking third.
The odds on a Czech win (+650) or a draw (+250) are enticing, but this Three Lions team averaged 4.6 goals per game in qualifying, and it’d be surprising if a so-so Czech defense can keep them at bay on Tuesday.