Germany was doing very well during Thursday's Euro 2016 semi-final against France. Then disaster struck. Just before the end of the first half, Bastian Schweinsteiger was called for a handball inside his own penalty area. Antoine Griezmann scored to put France (+170) up 1-0, then scored again in the second half to lead the host nation to victory.
As for Portugal, they finally won a match in regulation, putting away Wales (+275) by the same 2-0 score. Things seemed headed for yet another draw (+210) after an uninspiring 45 minutes, but former Manchester United teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani broke the game open early in the second half.
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This sets up what should be a very entertaining final this Sunday (3 PM ET, ESPN) at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Les Bleus have already won twice here, beating Romania 2-1 in the opening Group Stage match, and Iceland 5-2 in the quarter-finals. With Germany eliminated, France is available on the Euro 2016 odds board as –110 favorites, with Portugal priced at +345 and the draw in regulation at +210.
France deserve to be favored. Germany may be the defending World Cup champions, but the Blues are the class of European soccer at this particular point in time. They're talented, healthy and deep, with an ideal mix of youthful energy and veteran savvy. France is also playing with verve, while for the most part, Portugal has made it this far by playing so-called “pragmatic” soccer.
Despite their quality performance thus far, France has maintained value going into Sunday's championship match. The draw is very much in play; Portugal will no doubt keep things close to the vest, with an eye on getting to the penalty shootout. However, France is also available at –250 on the “Draw No Bet” alternate line. You can also get them at +170 to record a shutout win. History is on their side – France has won 10 straight international matches versus Portugal dating back to 1978, including three of the last four by shutout.
It's going to take a miracle, though, for anyone to catch up to Griezmann (–50000) for Top Tournament Goalscorer. His two goals against Germany give him six for the tournament; Griezmann's closest competitors only have three. That includes Ronaldo (+5000) and Nani (+15000), as well as French teammates Olivier Giroud (+5000) and Dimitri Payet (+10000).
*Odds as of July 8, 2016