2016 PROMISES to be one of the biggest years in sport we have seen in some time.
The Summer Olympics, UEFA Euro 2016 and the Twenty20 World cup are all set to captivate audiences worldwide.
With so many great events taking place across the year, we have taken on the onerous task of dissecting all the 2016 permutations and compiled our best bets for the next 12 months.
No matter what sport you are into, 2016 will be a fantastic year – and, if you are keen to make some money in addition to watching the world’s best athletes ply their trade, then look no further than this article.
EURO 2016 – Belgium to make an impact
Euro 2016 in France promises to be one of the most open tournaments in the event’s history, with a multitude of teams all capable of winning the coveted title.
One team that seems to be overlooked with the majority of the bookmakers is Belgium.
As of January the Belgians are the number one-ranked team in the world, but given that the national team has not progressed past the qualifying stage in the last 15 years, few pundits are giving them a chance of taking out the 2016 Euro title.
Belgium boast arguably the best attack in the world, with Man City’s Kevin De Byrune, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool’s Christian Benteke.
Their defence is sound too, with Chelsea’s gloveman Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany amongst the best players in the world at their position.
Such has been their dominance at international level, the Belgians have lost just four matches from 33 outings – a record that places them high above the other four teams inside the FIFA top-5 rankings.
After taking all of this into account, the $5.00 on offer from Sportsbet for Belgium to make the Euro 2016 final looks to be a shrewd bet, with the $12.00 quote for the number one ranked team in the world to win the tournament also an enticing prospect.
Australia to break through in India to win their first Twenty20 World Cup
As far as international cricket goes, few can argue that Australia is one of the most dominant countries in the world.
One trophy has eluded the Aussies since its inception, and that is the Twenty20 World Cup.
Since the tournament began in 2007, the best finish the Australians have had is a second placed finish in 2010 to England in the West Indies, with the men in green and gold failing to reach the final in any other year.
The 2016 World Cup is played in India, which typically favours the subcontinent teams, but the Aussies – who currently sit at number two in the ICC Twenty20 world rankings – boast such an imposing line up that no venue should hold any fear.
The Aussies have firepower with both the bat and ball, with Dave Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith three of the best batsman in the world, while Mitchell Starc is arguably the best pace bowler in the world with the white ball.
Australia is currently the second favourites behind India to win the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup, but at $5.50 with William Hill, the odds look incredibly enticing.
Novak Djokovic to win his first ever French Open title
It is hard to deny that Novak Djokovic is one of the greatest tennis players of all-time; but one major title has eluded the 28-year-old in his career to date – the French Open title.
The Serbian has made the final three times in his career to date, with 2015 his best shot to date.
Unfortunately for the man they call Nole; Swiss star Stan Wawrinka played one of the matches of his life to deny the Serb his maiden French Open title last year.
A win in 2015 would have been a calendar Grand Slam for Novak – a feat that only two men in the history of the game have been able to complete – but it was not to be.
Nevertheless, a French Open title in 2016 would give Djokovic a career Grand Slam – something only seven men in the history of the game have been able to achieve.
Last year’s loss to Wawrinka was attributed to overworking in the lead up, with the Serb playing an incredible amount of circuit matches leading into the tournament – he won’t let this happen again.
The $2.20 quote with Sportsbet for Djokovic to win the 2016 French Open will be the best odds you can get on the Serbian prior to the tournament, and given exactly what a win at Roland Garos would mean to Nole, you can be assured this is the event he covets the most this year.
Cam’s the man if the Panthers make Superbowl 50
The Panthers had the best record in the NFL across the regular season, losing just one game in 2015/16, handing Carolina home field advantage for the playoffs – making them the Superbowl favourites with Sportsbet at $4.50.
Much of the Panthers’ form can be attributed to quarterback Cam Newton, who broke a plethora of records this season en route to what should be his maiden MVP award.
Newton became the first player to win five NFC Offensive Player of the Week awards in a nine-week span within a season and his five awards tied for the most in a season in NFL history.
Along with this, his 45 touchdown passes tied the record for the most thrown by a quarterback in a single season since 2013.
If the Panthers are to make Superbowl 50 (which seems like a strong possibility) Cam Newton looms as the key player in the game, given he has the ability to throw with precision and run the football himself.
Cam Newton is $5.50 to be named the Superbowl MVP.
Australia to fall short of the mark in Rio
Since Australia’s first appearance at the Summer Olympic Games in 1896, only four times have the Aussies acquired more than 10 gold medals.
Two of those Olympics were hosted by Australia, when the host nation had almost double the amount of athletes competing as the previous year’s, meaning there was a greater chance of getting the gold.
2016’s host city Rio de Janeiro will mark the first time a South American nation has hosted the Summer Olympics, however, the games have been held in the Americas seven times in the event’s history.
The Australians have never won over nine gold medals in that time.
To compound this, one of Australia’s best gold medal hopes Sally Pearson is still on the sidelines with a fractured wrist she suffered in Rome, and is no certainty to even take to the track in Rio.
The over/under market for the 2016 Summer Olympic games has the gold medal tally for Australia at 10.5 – a feat that history shows the Aussies find hard to surpass.
Australia is at $2.15 to win less than 10.5 gold medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.