Ahead of the start of the Euro 2024 qualifiers, England were 7/1 second favourites to win the tournament behind co-favourites, France and Germany (11/2).
Wales were ranked as 80/1, while Scotland were a distant 200/1 to win the tournament – all those odds with bet365 Sport.
However, after a strong start by the three Home Nations listed above, the odds on each of them have been cut, in some cases quite dramatically.
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So what happened in the qualifiers over the first two matchdays to see the bookmakers adjust their odds so dramatically?
Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Euro 2024 Qualifiers
Group A – Matchday 1
Scotland 3-0 Cyprus – (McGinn 21, McTominay 87,90+3)
Spain 3-0 Norway – (Olmo 13, Joselu 83,85)
Scotland made heavy work of defeating Cyprus, reliant on two late Scott McTominay goals to make things a little more comfortable. John McGinn put the Scots in front midway through the first half, but those two late goals made things safe after a frustrating hour or so in the game.
Spain made light work of an Erling Haaland-less Norway, securing a 3-0 victory in a similar manner to the Scots beating Cyprus. Dani Olmo scored on 13 minutes and then Joselu added two goals in three minutes late in the game to hand the Spaniards a comfortable win.
Group A – Matchday 2
Georgia 1-1 Norway – (Mikautadze 60), (Sorloth 15)
Scotland 2-0 Spain – (McTominay 7,51)
If Scotland needed any added motivation for the game with Spain then the news that Norway and Georgia had drawn provided a boost for them as it meant that both their rivals would end this international break at least two points adrift of the Scots.
However, in the end it proved even better as Scotland produced an outstanding performance to defeat Spain 2-0 at Hampden Park. Scott McTominay was again the hero, scoring twice to put him on four goals in qualifying for the Scots and in doing so handing them top spot in the group.
As a result of this, bet365 Sport have cut the odds-on Scotland winning Euro 2024 from 200/1 down to 100/1.
Group C – Matchday 1
N.Macedonia 2-1 Malta – (Elmas 66, Churlinov 72), (Yankam 85)
Italy 1-2 England – (Retagui 56), (Rice 13, Kane 44(p))
North Macedonia secured an expected win over Malta, although the 2-1 scoreline suggests that they are not as strong as perhaps many people felt when they knocked Italy out of the World Cup Finals playoffs.
England produced a fantastic display to beat Italy 2-1 in Rome. Goals from Declan Rice and Harry Kane handed England a 2-0 lead, before Retagui pulled one back in the second half. Luke Shaw was sent off 10 minutes from time but England held on to record a huge win.
Group C – Matchday 2
England 2-0 Ukraine – (Kane 37, Saka 40)
Malta 0-2 Italy – (Retagui 15, Pessina 27)
The palindromic scorelines continued on Matchday 2 in Group C with England earning a comfortable 2-0 home win over the Ukraine thanks to Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka, a result which put England top of the group.
Then in Valetta, Italy defeated home side Malta 2-0 thanks to first half strikes from Retagui and Pessina, which moved them up into second spot in the group tucked in. behind England.
Group CPTeamPlPtsGd1England2632Italy2313Nth Macedonia1314Ukraine10-25Malta20-3
After the win in Italy and home win over Ukraine, England’s odds to win Euro 2024 were slashed down to 5/1 and the Three Lions are now joint-favourites with bet365 Sport alongside France.
Group D – Matchday 1
Armenia 1-2 Turkey – (Kabak 10 og), (Kokcy 34, Akturkoglu 64)
Croatia 1-1 Wales – (Kramaric 28), (Broadhead 90+3)
Turkey bounced back from conceding a 10th minute opener to claim a win over Armenia. Ozkan Kabak’s own goal was cancelled out by Kokcy’s strike on 34 minutes before Akturkoglu snatched the win with a 64th minute winner.
Croatia were expected to beat Wales in their opener and it appeared the game would go that way when Kramatic put them in front on 28 minutes. However Wales hung in there and in injury time, Nathan Broadhead’s strike handed the visitors an unexpected and very welcome point.
Group D – Matchday 2
Wales 1-0 Latvia – (Moore 41)
Turkey 0-2 Croatia – (Kovacic 20, 45+4)
Wales went from the underdogs against Croatia to the favourites against Latvia and they scraped the win thanks to Kieffer Moore’s 41st minute header, although they did have a number of other chances to extend that lead.
Croatia travelled to Turkey knowing that they needed a win after their home draw with Wales and Mateo Kovacic proved to be the main man, the Chelsea star netting twice in the first half to hand Croatia a 2-0 victory and a big away win in the context of the group.
Wales odds have been cut down from 80/1 to 66/.1 on the back of their strong start in the group.
Group H – Matchday 1
Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia – (Samorodov 23), (Brekalo 47, Vipotnik 78)
Denmark 3-1 Finland – (Hojlund 21,82,90+3), (Antman 53)
San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland – (Charles 24.55)
Favourites Denmark opened up their campaign with a solid win over Finland, Hojlund scoring a hat-trick in that game, including two late goals to clinch the win. Slovenia joined them on three points after a battling 2-1 win against Kazakhstan in Astana.
Northern Ireland were expected to beat San Marino and they did just that with Bolton Wanderers striker Dion Charles netting two goals either side of half time to give the visitors the win they needed to start their campaign off.
Group H – Matchday 2
Kazakhstan 3-2 Denmark – (Zaynutdinov 73(p), Tagybergen 86, Aimbetov 89), (Hojlung 21,35)
Slovenia 2-0 San Marino – (Sesko 56, Di Maio og 60)
Northern Ireland 0-1 Finland – (Kallman 28)
Kazakhstan’s comeback win over Denmark was the biggest surprise of Matchday 2 as Slovenia continued their good start with a 2-0 win over San Marino, which took them top of the table with a 100% record.
Northern Ireland fans hoping for a win on Michael O’Neill’s first game at home since returning as manager were disappointed as the Irish went down to a 1-0 loss to Finland thanks to Kallman’s 28th minute first half strike.
Group HPTeamPlPtsGd1Slovenia2632Denmark2313Kazakhstan2304Finland23-15North.Ireland2316San Marino20-4
With three points from their two games, Northern Ireland’s odds have remained stable at 500/1 to win Euro 2024.
Other Euro 2024 Qualifying Results & Standings
Thursday 23rd March
Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein – (Cancelo 8, Silva 47, Ronaldo 51(p),63)
Bosnia & Herz 3-0 Iceland – (Krunic 14,40, Dedic 63)
Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Friday 24th March
Bulgaria 0-1 Montenegro – (Kristovic 70)
Gibraltar 0-3 Greece – (Masouras 11, Siopis 45, Baksetas 58)
Moldova 1-1 Faroe Islands – (Nicolaescu 87(p)), (Boe Mikkelsen 27)
Serbia 2-0 Lithuania – (Tadic 16, Vlahovic 53)
Austria 4-1 Azerbaijan – (Sabiter 27,50, Gregoritsch 29, Baumgartner 69), (Mahmudov 64)
Sweden 0-3 Belgium – (Lukaku 35,49,82)
Czechia 3-1 Poland – (Krejci 1, Cvancara 3, Kuchta 64), (Szymanski 87)
France 4-0 Netherlands – (Griezmann 2, Upamecano 8, Mbappe 21,88)
Saturday 25th March
Israel 1-1 Kosovo – (Peretz 56), (Dasa 36 og)
Belarus 0-5 Switzerland – (Steffen 4,17,29, Xhaka 62, Amdouni 65)
Andorra 0-2 Romania – (Man 34, Albec 49)
Sunday 26th March
Liechtenstein 0-7 Iceland – (Olafsson 3, Haraldsson 38, Gunnarsson 48,68,73(p), Gudjohnsen 85, Ellertsson 87)
Slovakia 2-0 Bosnia-Herz – (Mak 13, Haraslin 40)
Luxembourg 0-6 Portugal – (Ronaldo 9,31, Felix 15, Silva.B 18, Otavio 77, Leao 88)
Monday 27th March
Montenegro 0-2 Serbia – (Vlahovic 79, 90+5)
Netherlands 3-0 Gibraltar – (Depay 23, Ake 50,82)
Poland 1-0 Albania – (Swiderski 41)
Austria 2-1 Estonia – (Kainz 68, Gregoritsch 88), (Sappinen 25)
Sweden 5-0 Azerbaijan – (Forsberg 38, Mustafadzada 65 og, Gyokeres 79, Karlsson 88, Elanga 89)
Moldova 0-0 Czechia
Hungary 3-0 Bulgaria – (Vecsei 7, Szoboszlai 26, Adam 39)
Rep of Ireland 0-1 France – (Pavard 50)
Tuesday 28th March
Romania 2-1 Belarus – (Stanciu 17, Burca 19), (Morozov 86)
Switzerland 3-0 Israel – (Vargas 39, Amdouni 47, Widmer 52)
Kosovo 1-1 Andorra – (Zhegrova 59), (Rosas 61)
Euro 2024 Qualification Current Group Tables
All groups without home nations teams in are shown below.
Group BPTeamPlPtsGd1France2652Greece1333Netherlands23-14Rep of Ireland10-15Gibraltar20-6Group EPTeamPlPtsGd1Czechia2422Poland23-13Moldova2204Faroe Islands1105Albania10-1Group FPTeamPlPtsGd1Austria2642Belgium1333Sweden2324Estonia10-15Azerbaijan20-8Group GPTeamPlPtsGd1Serbia2642Hungary1333Montenegro23-14Lithuania10-25Bulgaria20-4Group IPTeamPlPtsGd1Switzerland2682Romania2633Kosovo2204Andorra21-25Israel21-36Belarus20-6Group JPTeamPlPtsGd1Portugal26102Slovakia2423Bosnia-Herz.2314Iceland2345Luxembourg21-66Liechtenstein20-11
The next set of qualifiers takes place following the end of the domestic season in mid-June, with the final six matchdays taking place in September, October and November later this year.