Euro 2020 Specials: Is Mbappe a Good Bet for Player of the Tournament?

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Euro 2020 will officially get underway on Friday. While we had to wait an extra year for the European Championships due to the pandemic, it’s better late than never. While calling the event “Euro 2020” in the summer of 2021 seems like a good way to confuse people, the bottom line is that we’ll have nonstop soccer action on our TVs for the next month. For soccer bettors and fans alike, that’s a beautiful thing.

Soccer betting sites are ramping up their offerings before the tournament kicks off. You have no shortage of options at your disposal when it comes to wagering on Euro 2020, and several sites have just released their Player of the Tournament odds. France’s Kylian Mbappe is an unsurprising +700 favorite to earn the honor, but he’ll have plenty of competition.

France are +450 favorites to win the Euros after their triumph in the 2018 World Cup. England (+500), Belgium (+550), and Germany (+700) are hot on the trail, while Portugal (+800) are in the hunt after winning the last edition of the Euros back in 2016.

Mbappe is a natural favorite, but is he the best bet for Player of the Tournament?

Mbappe’s Odds Too Short

The best player on the best team is always going to be favored for this type of award. Mbappe already has a full mantle of team and individual awards despite being just 22. The PSG star won the World Cup Best Young Player Award after helping France to its aforementioned win in 2018, while he has a total of four Ligue 1 titles on his resume with Monaco and Paris St. Germain.

Mbappe is widely considered to be the best young player on the planet. He scored 27 goals in league play with PSG last term, while he tied Cristiano Ronaldo for the most goals at the last World Cup (4).

He and Antoine Griezmann will be tasked with doing most of the goalscoring for France in these Euros, especially with Karim Benzema now injured. That makes Mbappe an easy favorite for Player of the Tournament.

Five of the six players that have won this award since its inception have been on teams that have won the competition. Griezmann, who won it back in 2016, is the lone exception, as France were beaten by Portugal in the final.

The problem with Mbappe is that France is an incredibly loaded roster. Griezmann scored 6 times in the last Euros, while the rest of the squad is littered with world-class talent.

N’Golo Kante, who just helped Chelsea to a win in the Champions League Final over Manchester City, has received plenty of praise for his yeoman’s work in the heart of France’s midfield in recent tournaments. Kante will be tasked with making sure France’s defense can withstand the pressure of some stiff competition in this tournament.

At +700, the value just isn’t there with Mbappe. You can get Griezmann at +2000, while Kante checks in at +1100. Both represent far better value bets as things stand heading into the Euros.

England, Belgium Among Favorites

England has one of the most compelling young squads of any team in this tournament, while Belgium’s “golden generation” is still looking to lift a trophy for the first time. The Belgians will likely never have a better opportunity to capitalize with Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, and Eden Hazard still in their respective primes.

De Bruyne is the star of the Manchester City juggernaut, but success has eluded him on the international stage. The Belgians secured a solid third-place finish at the last World Cup, but they entered as co-favorites. De Bruyne is unlikely to appear in Belgium’s group stage opener against Russia after suffering a facial injury against Chelsea, but Robert Martinez expects him to be in the middle of the midfield for the majority of the competition.

De Bruyne is tied with Lukaku for the best odds of any Belgian (+1400) to win Player of the Tournament. Lukaku’s viability with regard to the award is completely dependent on his ability to score goals, where as De Bruyne doesn’t necessarily need to rack up numbers in order for his two-way impact on the game to be recognized. That makes KDB the better option than Lukaku at the same odds.

Harry Kane (+1300) Leads England, and Justifiably so

Kane won the Golden Boot at the last World Cup, and there is simply not a more prolific goalscorer anywhere in the world right now. He’ll be captaining an England side entering the Euros with massive expectations after a dismal showing at the 2016 edition. Armed with starlets like Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, and Jude Bellingham, England clearly have a bright future.

There is a lot of responsibility on Kane’s shoulders. England are widely expected to improve on their fourth-place showing at the last World Cup, and they’ll be able to reach that goal if Kane is in form. You can do a lot worse than taking a stab at Kane’s +1300 odds to win Player of the Tournament.

Last Gasp for Ronaldo?

Cristiano Ronaldo is the most successful Portuguese player to ever put on the shirt, and it’s fair to wonder whether this will be his last major competition as Portugal’s captain. Ronaldo was instrumental in helping the side reach the final back in 2016, but an early injury forced him to watch the rest of the game from the sidelines.

Ronaldo scored four times for Portugal in the 2018 World Cup, but they were ultimately upset by Uruguay in the round-of-16. Three of those goals came in a memorable 3-3 draw against Spain in the group stage, while he also supplied the lone strike in Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco.

It’s easy to forget that Portugal won the most recent Euros considering they’ve had to wait five years to defend that title. Portugal has a reputation as a defensive-minded squad, but there is an awful lot of young attacking talent here now. Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota, Joao Felix, and Bernardo Silva give this team an embarrassment of riches going forward with Ronaldo still leading the line.

With so much quality on that end of the pitch, Ronaldo should find himself with plenty of opportunities to capitalize in front of goal. The 36-year-old may not be in his athletic prime anymore, but he did still score 28 goals last season for Juventus. Conventional age-related expectations don’t really apply to Ronaldo, so there is no reason to believe he won’t be up to his usual tricks in this tournament.

Cristiano would’ve won this award five years ago if he hadn’t left the final early with an injury. If Portugal are able to successfully defend their title, Ronaldo (+1700) will be first in line to receive the proper recognition.

Who Is the Best Bet?

This is going to be fun. There are realistically as many as eight different sides that can feasibly win this competition. We didn’t even get to the Netherlands, Italy, Spain. or Germany, all of whom are still looming as viable threats to the trophy.

Betting on France to win it is a safe wager, especially considering how easily they breezed their way to a World Cup triumph three summers ago. Mbappe’s +700 odds don’t look advantageous enough, especially with Kante (+1100) and Griezmann (+2000) both offering substantially more upside.

If you think this is the year England finally break through and win a major competition for the first time since 1966, Kane at +1300 is the bet to make. Barring injury, the Spurs captain is a serious candidate to take home the Golden Boot, which makes him the obvious choice for Player of the Tournament if the Three Lions can close the deal. At +1300, I’ll side with Kane.

Player of the Tournament Bet –Harry Kane (+1300)
Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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