Portugal may have the official best player in the world on their side, but they are still far from being the favorites for the World Cup.
Portugal are certainly strong considering the line-up including several stars and the best player in the world Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the Selecao are not considered a threat in Brazil, thus delivering a great set of betting odds at online sportsbooks in Portugal.
Looking at the betting offers under Portuguese gambling laws, we can find a line of 29.00 on Paulo Bento’s men winning the trophy in Brazil. These odds are actually eighth in line, way behind favorites Brazil and Argentina. But this makes betting on Portugal this much more interesting. Yes, they are the outsiders, but with lots of talent in the team, the Selecao can really prove lots of people wrong.
The road to Brazil
Portugal had a difficult qualifying campaign, only managing a second place behind Russia. Paulo Bento’s needed to go through the playoffs, and this was the 2-match affair dubbed Cristiano Ronaldo v Zlatan Ibrahimovic battle. The Portuguese went through with a 4-2 aggregate, and interestingly enough the 4 goals were scored by Ronaldo, and the other 2 – by Ibrahimovic.
Ronaldo, Ballon d’Or holder, and the resent winner of golden shoe in Europe, has been named captain once again. He will be joined on the team by the likes of Fabio Coentrao, Pepe, Joao Moutinho, and Nani.
Interestingly enough, Danny has been omitted from the team, despite his excellent form and a shower of goals scored for Zenit Saint-Petersburg. But with Ronaldo on the team there would hardly be lack of goals. He found the back of the net on eleven occasions in last seven internationals. And of course he’s leading the chart to become his country’s top scorer with 1.40 odds for those who bet on sports in Portugal. But the line of 12.00 for Helder Postiga to reach this height seem like a valuable bet, especially considering he outscored Ronaldo during the qualifying.
Paulo Bento will probably stick to 4-3-3 formation, which was created to exploit Ronaldo’s super-speed on counter attacks. This has been demonstrated several times by the Selecao, even in such crucial matches as the 3-2 away win against Sweden in the playoffs.
The centre-back is secured by highly experienced duo of Bruno Alves and Pepe, while full-backs Joao Pereira and Fabio Coentrao are ever-ready to stop anyone going at their goal. Moutinho is always there in the midfield ready to assist Ronaldo or spark an offense of his own out of nowhere.
The draw and betting odds
The Portuguese received a rather difficult group G with Germany, Ghana, and USA in it. Nonetheless, the Selecao got 1.50 odds to qualify for later stages. However, Bento’s men have this record of three consecutive defeats against Germany, making their 3.75 odds to finish in first place not a very safe bet. But the odds on Selecao to finish in second spot in their group are actually quite good for punters – 2.30.
Betting on Portugal at World Cup
• Portugal are underdogs to win the World Cup again
• Majority of online sportsbooks in Portugal are ready for betting action
• Smart bet is to wager on Portugal finishing in second place in their group
Qualifying from second spot will most probably put the Portuguese against Belgium in the last 16, who are also considered to be dark horses. The odds on Portugal being eliminated at group stage are 2.50, which shows that this is a real possibility. Quarter-final elimination is priced at 5.00, but this is where the Portuguese will most probably meet with Argentina, so it’s quite a safe bet.
Reaching the semis brings 6.00 odds for the Selecao, but reaching the final delivers an even higher line of 13.00. An unlikely event of Brazil v Portugal final pays at 67.00 odds, and so does the Germany v Portugal final. Portugal taking the trophy and Cristiano Ronaldo winning the golden boot combo offers wonderful 51.00 odds, but that’s a highly unlikely event.
In case Ronaldo is on his best form, Portugal will have better chances, no doubt about it, but one man really can’t drag the whole team all the way to the final glory. Depending on how far can the Selecao go of course, he 17.00 odds for Ronaldo taking the Player of the Tournament award seem extremely generous.