Now that the European soccer season has come and gone, the continent turns its attention to the UEFA Euro 2012. A lot of people will say that this tournament isn’t as prestigious as the World Cup – rightfully so because the South American powers won’t be competing – but it’s another thing entirely to mistake it as a B-level tournament.
The best of the best from Europe will be locked, stocked, and ready to roll when the opening ceremony takes place on the 8th of June at the two host nations, Poland and the Ukraine. We already touched on the championship odds for all the participating teams, not to mention a shot-at-the-moon €25,000 wager at 66/1 odds by a BetVictor customer for Sweden to win the whole enchilada.
In this space, we’re going to take a good look at the lines for arguably the most popular prop bet heading into the tournament: the Golden Boot Winner.
Four years ago, Spain’s David Villa won the Golden Boot after scoring four goals in the tournament. Those who backed the Spanish striker cashed in handsomely, too, thanks to the 15/1 pre-tournament odds given to him. This year, Villa’s status for tournament is still up in the air after tearing his ACL in the La Liga season. With the defending Golden Boot winner out of the picture, a new crop of football studs and some old favorites have taken his place to make up the top of the 2012 Golden Boot list.
On top of that list is German striker Mario Gomez, checking in at 7/1 odds. Gomez is just coming off of a devastating Champions League tournament after his squad, Bayern Munich, lost to EPL club Chelsea in the Finals. The question now is how much effect will that have on the same man that scored a total of 41 club goals for the season leading up to Euro 2012?
Next up is the Netherlands’ Robin Van Persie at 9/1 odds, followed by Portugal’s Christiano Ronaldo at 12/1 odds. These two have been stalwarts for their respective national teams and their recent club forms – Van Persie had 37 club goals for Arsenal this season whereas Ronaldo scored an astonishing 60 goals for Real Madrid – suggest that they’re going to find the back of the net a whole lot more than they did during Euro 2008, where they combined for a total of 1 goal, coming from Ronaldo.
After Ronaldo are three names that we’re also all familiar with: Germany’s Miroslav Klose and Spain’s “Fernan-duo” of Fernando Torres and Fernando Llorente. All three have been given 14/1 odds to win Euro 2012’s Golden Boot Award, around the same line that Villa had when he won the award four years ago.
Rounding out the top 10 favorites for the award are France’s Karim Benzema (16/1), the Netherland’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (16/1), and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski (20/1).
Noticeable names that are not in the top 10 but could give a good showing at the tournament include Germany’s Lukas Podolski (22/1), England’s Wayne Rooney (25/1), Italy’s Mario Balotelli (25/1), Spain’s Cesc Fabregas (33/1), and the Netherland’s Wesley Sneijder (33/1).