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Analysis | Wednesday, May 29, 2024 11:06 AM (Revised at: Thursday, June 13, 2024 3:23 PM)

The Biggest Betting Upsets In European Championship History

The Biggest Betting Upsets In European Championship History

Underdog tales often carve the most unforgettable narratives, with the biggest betting upsets in the European Championships in years gone by being no different. From Hungary’s stunning draw against Germany in Euro 2021 to the legendary Greek triumph in Euro 2004, these unexpected results remind us that in football, the underdog often has the potential to defy the odds and script moments of pure magic. 

As we delve into these tales of David versus Goliath on the football pitch, we uncover the essence of the beautiful game—where passion, determination, and the sheer thrill of competition converge to create unforgettable spectacles that resonate through the ages.

Note: Upsets have been determined based on betting odds through the modern betting era beginning with the 2000 Euro tournament.

But First, bettingexpert’s Free Euro 2024 Betting Guide is out NOW!

The bettingexpert Euro 2024 Betting Guide


Our guide takes a different approach to any other tournament preview. The analysis and insight you’ll find in the document is based on our in-house betting data which goes back decades. This betting data is on the following markets:

  • Match Result (1X2)
  • Handicap Betting
  • Total Goals (Over/Under 2.5)

Using this as a foundation, we’ve split the guide into several different sections:

  • 8 historical tournament  analysis articles
  • 24 team-by-team articles
  • BETSiE projections for every team and group
  • Unique analysis from our experts including exclusive quotes from Mikael Silvestre and John Barnes

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1. Finland 1-0 Denmark: Euro 2020, Group Stage: The Biggest Betting Upsets In European Championship History

Pre-match odds: Finland 11.80, Draw 4.90, Denmark 1.36

Finland’s unexpected victory over Denmark in Euro 2020’s Group Stage is a poignant reminder of the sport’s unpredictability. Amidst the pre-match odds heavily favouring Denmark at 1.36, Finland emerged as the unlikeliest of victors, clinching a 1-0 win, with Pohjanpalo’s decisive goal in the 60th minute. 

However, the distressing moments surrounding Christian Eriksen’s collapse overshadowed the game’s outcome, etching this match into the annals of football history for reasons far beyond the final score.

2. Hungary 2-2 Germany: Euro 2020, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Hungary 21.00, Draw 10.75, Germany 1.13

Here we’ve got another upset from the Euro 2021 tournament when Hungary earned a draw over a much fancied German outfit. Hungary came into the match at odds of 21.00 to get the win, and after entering the lead twice during the game, the Hungarians would eventually hold on for the Draw at odds of 10.75 pre-match.

Leon Goretzka’s late equaliser to pay out on the Draw meant Germany met England in the knockouts. That didn’t go too well. Hungary? They headed home as bottom-dwellers in Group F, which consisted of Germany, France, and Portugal.

3. Iceland 2-1 England: Euro 2016, Round of 16

Pre-match odds: Iceland 9.15, Draw 4.20, England 1.45

Iceland’s unlikely run through the Euro 2016 tournament continued thanks to their stunning upset over an England squad that entered the 90 minutes as heavy favourites. The Three Lions’ odds of 1.45 felt about right after they took an early lead thanks to a Wayne Rooney penalty in the 4th minute. 

Iceland responded within less than two minutes. Ragnar Sigurdsson capitalised on a flick-on in the box following a long throw. The rangy number 5 lunged at the opportunity to drag his nation back to honours-even in a clinical fashion. Twelve minutes later, after a passage of intricate build-up play on the edge of the box and a shot which squirmed under a helpless Joe Hart – a moment that shocked the continent. Iceland were ahead. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson had the minnows in front. It was a lead they would not surrender. .It is not a bad idea to bet on the underdogs at the Euros. 

4. Greece 1-0 France: Euro 2004, Quarter-Finals

Pre-match odds: Greece 7.60, Draw 3.95, France 1.50

Many might have thought Greece’s unlikely saunter through the 2004 tournament peaked in their seismic 1-0 quarter-final win over France.  History says…bet on under 2.5 goals in the Euro knockout stage. 

Greece went into the match at odds of 7.60 to lock in the victory in the regulation 90 minutes. David Trezeguet and Thierry Henry started up top for the French. Zidane and Robert Pires sat deeper than them in a central role that saw both often drift out wide in possession, whilst Olivier Dacourt and Claude Makelele patrolled the midfield with the aim of putting out any fires.

It was a French side stacked with quality. Yet, Greece, and especially Andreas Charisteas, didn’t read the script. The 1.50 favourites wouldn’t have it their own way. In the 65th minute, France’s fall from a pedestal many bettors placed them on was deafening. A cross into the 18-yard box found the imposing Greek number 9 in acres of space. A guided header past Fabian Barthez nestled home seamlessly. That wouldn’t be the last we heard of Greece.

5. Greece 2-1 Portugal: Euro 2004, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Greece 7.00, Draw 3.70, Portugal 1.60

Not far from the banks of the River Douro was the scene for an opening round upset in Euro 2024, with onlookers in Porto none the wiser that this early Group Stage clash would form an unforgettable showpiece final only weeks later.

The Greek ensemble headed into the match at odds of 7.00. Very few gave them a chance. The lofty price was soon questioned when Georgios Karagkounis fired in an effort from 30 yards that evaded the Portuguese stopper and arrowed into the corner of the net after just seven minutes. 

Pierluigi Collina had no choice but to intervene just after half-time as a young Cristiano Ronaldo halted a fast Greek counterattack in the box. Angelos Basinas converted coolly in the top corner from the spot. Those in Greek blue fell into ecstasy in the stadium. Ronaldo scored a late goal for the host nati on, but it was not enough. These paths would cross once more.

6. Czech Republic 2-0 Netherlands: Euro 2021, Round of 16

Pre-match odds: Czech Republic 6.30, Draw 4.15, Netherlands 1.60

Patrick Schick would be the man to put the next underdog story to bed. The tables turned not long after half-time in a match the Dutch dominated. While falling to his knees, Matthijs de Ligt reached out to stop the ball and halt a Czech goalscoring opportunity with his hand. He saw red. The Czech Republic saw potential.

Tomáš Holeš turned potential into something more vivid when he headed the ball into the net following a free-kick from the right and a header back across the goal into his path. Twenty minutes were left on the clock for the 6.30 underdogs – up steps Schick. Holeš was involved again, pulling the ball back to Shick, who killed the tie there and then.

7. Hungary 2-0 Austria: Euro 2016, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Hungary 6.05, Draw 3.65, Austria 1.65

The Hungarians are back. This time, though, at a much shorter 6.05 price compared to the offering around their neck against Germany.

Following a scoreless opening half, Hungary would take the lead in the 62nd minute, thanks to a Ádám Szalai goal after an impressive give-and-go with an advancing teammate. The victory was secured at a desirable 6.05 when Zoltán Stieber raced through with Austria now down to ten men, outdoing the onrushing goalkeeper with a delightful chip into the middle of the goal with only three minutes to play.

8. Northern Ireland 2-0 Ukraine: Euro 2016, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Northern Ireland 5.95, Draw 3.35, Ukraine 1.75

The Biggest Betting Upsets In European Championship History

We’re staying in the Group Stages of Euro 2016 as Northern Ireland clinched a memorable win over Ukraine despite trading at odds of 5.95 before a ball was kicked. This was their first-ever win at a European Championship, so it’s no wonder why the bookmakers might not have favoured them.

After a goalless opening half, Gareth McAuley leapt into the air and latched onto a deep free-kick in the 49th minute. Substitute Niall McGinn put the result beyond doubt, scoring in the sixth minute of added time after Ukraine’s goalkeeper parried a shot into McGinn’s path.

9. Slovakia 2-1 Poland, Euro 2020, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Slovakia 5.90, Draw 3.45, Poland 1.75

A Milan Skriniar finish taken like a true marksman, resembling a finish Robert Lewandowski would’ve been proud of, downed Polish spirits in their group opener in St Petersburg.

The match’s turning point was a red card to Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak less than ten minutes before Skriniar’s control and finish. In the first half, Robert Mak’s slaloming solo run put the 5.90 outsiders in front. A scuffed Karol Linetty strike just 30 seconds after half-time pegged back the lead—they all count! But, in the end, ten-man Poland fell just short.

10. Croatia 2 Germany 1, Euro 2008, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Croatia 5.65, Draw 3.40, Germany 1.75

11. Denmark 1 Netherlands 0, Euro 2012, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Denmark 5.40, Draw 3.60, Netherlands 1.75

12. Norway 1 Spain 0, Euro 2000, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Norway 5.40, Draw 3.40, Spain 1.80

13. Croatia 2 Spain 1, Euro 2016, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Croatia 5.20, Draw 3.0, Spain 1.90

14. Sweden 2 France 0, Euro 2012, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Sweden 5.10, Draw 3.75, France 1.75

11. Greece 1 Russia 0, Euro 2012, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Greece 5.05, Draw 3.60, Russia 1.75

12. Greece 1 Portugal 0, Euro 2004, Final

Pre-match odds: Greece 5.0, Draw 3.45, Portugal 1.80

13. Latvia 0 Germany 0, Euro 2004, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Latvia 10.30, Draw 4.95, Germany 1.35

14. Wales 3 Belgium 1, Euro 2016, Qtr Final

Pre-match odds: Wales 4.80, Draw 3.35, Belgium 1.85

15. Romania 3 England 2, Euro 2000, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Romania 4.70, Draw 3.65, England 1.80

16. Turkey 2 Belgium 0, Euro 2000, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Turkey 4.65, Draw, 3.65, Belgium 1.80

17. Italy 2 Germany 1, Euro 2012, Semi Final

Pre-match odds: Italy 4.60, Draw 3.35, Germany 1.90

18. Italy 2 Spain 0, Euro 2016, Round of 16

Pre-match odds: Italy 4.50, Draw 2.90, Spain 2.10

19. Iceland 1 Portugal 1, Euro 2016, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Iceland 9.0, Draw 4.50, Portugal 1.40

20. Czech Republic 2 Germany 1, Euro 2004, Group Stage

Pre-match odds: Czech Rep 4.30, Draw 4.25, Germany 1.75

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