ad-fullscreen

Spain favored but not bulletproof in Euro 2012

After famously underachieving for 44 years, Spain has dominated international soccer over the past four.

“La Furia Roja” (The Red Fury) broke through to win the European Championship in 2008 and followed with its first World Cup title in 2010.

Now, Spain will try to become the first team to win three straight major international tournaments when Euro 2012 kicks off Friday in Poland and Ukraine.

“This is Spain’s tournament to lose,” SportsXradio.com handicapper Ken Thomson said. “They have so many top-of-the-line players, I’d be very surprised if they’re not in the final.”

Spain is a 5-2 favorite at the LVH to win the tournament behind midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in the World Cup final two years ago.

But Spain appears more vulnerable than at any time during its run. Several of its key players endured long club seasons with Barcelona and Real Madrid, and the team is without all-time leading scorer David Villa and veteran defender Carles Puyol because of injury.

Then there’s the Fernando Torres issue. Can the Chelsea striker regain his form, and if not, where will the goals come from?

That could open the door for Germany or the Netherlands, which both were drawn into the “Group of Death” along with Portugal, led by superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and Denmark.

Germany, the second choice at 3-1, features Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil and is seeking its first international title since 1996. In the past three major tournaments, the Germans have reached two semifinals and a final.

“They’re the public’s favorite team,” LVH oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “Everybody loves them because they’re one team whose games tend to be really high-scoring.”

The Netherlands, the World Cup runner-up, is 4-1 behind striker Robin van Persie, who led the English Premier League in goals. However, the Dutch recently have opted for brawn over their traditional beauty, especially in big games.

“They’re the darling team, but, dang, they’re the world’s greatest underachievers now that Spain has won a World Cup,” Thomson said. “It’s now or never. If they’re going to win this, this is the year.”

The Euros tend to produce more surprises than the World Cup (see: Greece 2004), and France offers value at 8-1.

After a disastrous showing in South Africa two years ago, France enters this tournament on a 21-game unbeaten run. It also is in a favorable group with England, which is 12-1 but has been ravaged by injury and is without suspended Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney for the first two matches.

Thomson also likes Russia (15-1) and Croatia (25-1), which opened at 50-1 but could reach the quarterfinals with Italy facing the distraction of a domestic match-fixing scandal.

All the group matches will be televised live by ESPN or ESPN2 at 9 and 11:45 a.m., and Cantor Gaming plans to offer in-match wagering at its sports books.

“Out of all the soccer stuff we put up, we’ll see our second-largest handle behind the World Cup,” Sherman said. “These games are readily available on TV … and they’re not going up against the NBA or the NHL. We’ll have a lot of people who don’t normally bet soccer, and a lot of that has to do with the times of the games.”

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4555.

section-ads_high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 13 of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 12 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for college football week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for NFL football week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 10 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 11
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 11 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 9 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 8 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Alan Berg go over their picks for NFL week 7.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci make their picks for NFL Week 6. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci maker their picks for Week 7 of college football. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week six of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week five of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week four of the NFL and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of NFL football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the second week of NFL football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the third week of college football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Denver Broncos 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Denver Broncos. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Miami Dolphins 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Miami Dolphins. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Jets 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the New York Jets. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week One 2017 Season
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Matthew Holt discuss their top picks for the first week of the NFL in this Sports Betting Spotlight.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New England Patriots 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the New England Patriots. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Kansas City Chiefs. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Buffalo Bills 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Buffalo Bills. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Oakland Raiders 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Raiders. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
College Sports Betting Spotlight: Alabama, Florida State and UCLA
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the first week of the college football season. They go over the biggest bets including Alabama, Florida State and UCLA. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Arizona Cardinals 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and Wynn sports book director Johnny Avello preview the Cardinals’ season in the 24th of a series of 32 NFL team videos in 32 days. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
ad-315×600
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like