euro 2012 championship logoThe Euro 2012 Championship offers plenty of betting opportunities, and with the event stretching over a few weeks, trading markets on the betting exchanges offers another potential route to betting success. In this article we identify some specific Euro 2012 trading strategies.

The following trading strategies at the Euro 2012 Championship can only be effectively managed via a betting exchange such as Betfair, and bettors will need to have a clear understanding of laying a selection, as well as backing one.

Euro 2012 Group Stage

The most commonly held view heading into major tournaments is that the opening games will be tight, cagey affairs, and on this occasion, the general consensus is backed up by historical trends and statistics. Since 1980, up to the 2008 European championship, an average of just 1.9 goals have been scored in the first round of games in the group stage. The same set of matches also produced 3 or more goals just 27% of the time. Those are important figures to bear in mind when looking to trade on the early games in the 2012 Euro Championship.

Armed with those numbers, the obvious trades are back-to-lay strategies on tight low scoring games early on. Laying Over 2.5 goals in the opening fixtures can be a profitable route for Euro 2012 profit, but any early goals will scupper the bet immediately. An alternative is to back the draw pre-match, and look to trade out of the position either at a set time (after 30 minutes for example), or even better, when a certain target price is reached. The odds about a draw will obviously contract the longer a game remains goalless, and not only are goals generally scored less frequently in major international tournaments, but those that are, tend to be scored later than is normally the case in club competition. These subtle differences can be exploited throughout the first round of games.

The added benefit of using the draw to trade, rather than overs or unders, is that an early goal will not necessarily torpedo the bet. If one side get a goal up, the odds on the game finishing level will clearly go up – but it is statistically more likely for the side falling behind to score next (and therefore level the score) than it is for the original scorers to go 2 up – this may surprise many people, but it is the case. Given that, laying the draw has a built in defence against an early goal – as any subsequent equaliser will offer an exit point, and guarantee profit.

Euro 2012 Ireland TrapattoniEuro 2012 Ireland

When looking at specific teams to trade at Euro 2012, Ireland appear to offer some quick fire options within the group stages. Drawn in Group C alongside Croatia, Italy and Spain, the Republic of Ireland have been largely written off by the bookmakers. They are offering 18/1 for them to win the group, and over 100/1 to win outright. While taking the ultimate prize back to the emerald isle is unlikely, the group odds look a little harsh. Giovanni Trappattoni is the oldest coach at the tournament, and he will have plenty of opportunity to put that experience to good use, and will make his side a tough unit to break down.

The Irish qualified in a belligerent manner, forcing tight results out of most games, while scoring very few goals. That resilience makes the 4/1 about them qualifying from their group interesting. They drew 0-0 with Croatia back in August, so will have no fear facing them again, and they square up to an Italian side making all the wrong noises in the wake of match fixing allegations and a disheartening defeat to Russia in a pre-tournament friendly.

Spain remain threatening, but Ireland could have better prospects of emerging from Group C than the layers suggest. The key fixture is the opener versus Croatia. An Irish victory would see their qualification odds plunge, and a trade of that particular market (back-to-lay) could prove better value than an outright bet, particularly as the final group match against Italy should offer a certain level of insurance, or at least a second chance of profit.

Euro 2012 Winners

The Outright winners market will ebb and flow after almost every game, and traders can look to take advantage. One country whose odds could contract significantly are Poland. The co-hosts are in with the Czech Republic, Greece and Russia in Group A. More than capable of getting results out of any of those games, the Polish are currently available at 50/1 – a win in the opener (versus Greece) and backers can take a healthy profit.

At the other end of the market, Spain are as short as 5/2, and Germany 11/4. In a major tournament, those look tight. The small prices on offer reflect the significant question marks over some of the other leading contenders, but with tough groups to negotiate, those odds my well rise during the early stages. Germany in particular have a challenging group, they face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal first up, before taking on old foes Holland, and finishing up against underrated Denmark. Laying Germany with a view to backing them if and when their price rises should prove profitable (lay-to-back)

euro 2012 championship trading graphAvailable at 22/1, Russia are another side who may see betting momentum swing in their favour early. After a win over Italy pre-tournament, the Russians take on a lacklustre Czech Republic first up, and with Poland and Greece to follow, the Group favourites only need one strong performance for punters to get behind them and the prices will tumble.

Euro 2012 Championship Verdict

Lock in some profit by backing draws in the early games, and trading out appropriately (back to lay), and move on to the outright markets, where knee-jerk reactions will continue through the next two rounds of group games…and keep an eye on Trapattoni’s Ireland.