Weblog: The football punter
Starter looks good, but bring on the main course
I'M officially excited but officially wondering if my excitement is misplaced.
I can't wait for the tournament to begin but I can't wait for the beginning to end.
In other words, I'm not expecting Poland and Greece to get us off to a flyer, but unfortunately I don't think I'm alone in coming to that conclusion after my extensive research.
I was hoping for a half-juicy price about under 2.5 goals to sink my teeth into but there's barely any pierogi for me to get my chops round (Polish cuisine! I told you I'd been doing my research).
A couple of bookmakers have no goalscorer favourite to be first goalscorer (only in the world of betting do sentences like that make sense) in both of the opening-day matches. Uh oh.
Everyone's pinning their hopes on Robert Lewandowski (either to relieve the tedium, to delight the co-hosts, or simply to get their top goalscorer bets off to a flyer) and I'm not convinced he will find it easy to click straight into top gear under the huge pressure.
In the outright market, like currywurst, autobahns and Pilsner, I'm all over Germany (you didn't seriously think we were going to get through this without some lazy national stereotypes did you?) and I've also had a little tickle on Mesut Ozil at lofty prices to be top goalscorer.
Bear with me on this one. I know he's more of a creator – that's why he's so short in the player of the tournament betting – but he scored only one goal fewer than Mario Gomez during qualifying and last time I checked, that Gomez bloke was quite prominent in the Golden Boot market.
I've heard people say Ozil's too unselfish to go for goal often enough and that may be true for Real Madrid, but he seems to be getting more involved for his country.
Of the players in the tournament, only Cristiano Ronaldo, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had more shots on target during qualifying than he did. If you try to tell me that at least two of those players aren't selfish then you're a liar.
Back to the opening game and since I can't have my pierogi and eat it with bets on hardly any goals, I've settled for a small nibble on Poland to get things started.