2022 World Cup: Best Bets for Portugal
by Kevin Richard | by Kevin Richard
Qatar 2022: What bets to make for Portugal?
32 nations are set to battle it out in Qatar from November 21st to December 18th as five cities play host to 64 matches for the first ever November-December 2022 World Cup. Portugal is the focus of our attention today, as the winners of the 2016 Euros and 2019 Nations League look to add a first ever World Cup title to their collection.
Portugal’s best ever finish in the World Cup came in 1966 when they finished third. They almost broke through to their first ever final in Germany 2006 but would ultimately go on to finish fourth. Since then, Portugal would be eliminated in the round of 16 in 2010 and 2018 as well as crashing out of the group stages in 2014. Can this talented team finally go one step further after falling short of expectations recently and provide a storybook ending to one of the greatest players ever to grace the field? We’ll take an in-depth look at their team, the storylines and the matchups they’ll face in Qatar, as well as the latest odds provided by some of the top online betting sites.
Portugal’s Chances: A Fairytale Ending for Footballing Royalty?
Portugal certainly made life difficult for themselves in their qualification road to the 22nd edition of the famous tournament.
A Seleção's UEFA World Cup qualifying campaign culminated in a final day showdown against Serbia in Lisbon to decide the fate of Group A and which team would win automatic qualification to Qatar. Portugal were in a commanding position, even on points but leading on goal differential and with the match being played on home soil. After taking the lead just two minutes into the match, nerves would eventually get the better of the Portuguese as Serbia would go on to a spirited comeback, ultimately winning the match 2-1 thanks to a 90th minute Mitrovic winner.
Portugal were condemned to face the nerve-wracking gauntlet of the single-elimination playoff for their ticket to Qatar. Fernando Santos’ men would eventually prevail after a 3-1 win against Turkey followed by a 2-0 victory over North Macedonia secured their sixth consecutive trip to the World Cup group stages and eighth appearance all-time.
The spotlight will be on Cristiano Ronaldo in what could be the legendary #7’s last World Cup as he seeks to add the final missing piece to what has already been an illustrious career. The 37-year-old has expressed an interest in possibly taking part in the next iteration of the tournament but Ronaldo will be 41 by the time the North American 2026 World Cup kicks off, meaning there is a strong possibility this will be the five-time Ballon d’Or winners' final crack at the trophy.
So, do Portugal possess enough talent around Ronaldo to actually win the World Cup? The answer is unequivocally yes. They boast one of the deepest squads in the world with top-class players at nearly every position. The midfield, in particular, is amongst the strongest and most versatile in the tournament. The likes of Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Diego Jota are all entering their prime years and are capable of filling a number of roles across the pitch. Along with Manchester City’s Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo adding solidity and dynamism to the backline, it’s hard to pick holes in this team.
Manager Fernando Santos’ has come under criticism for seemingly his entire eight-year tenure at the helm for being too reliant on the defensive side of the ball. Despite the 67-year-old being the team’s most decorated manager, the main point of contention leveled at him is his inability to utilize the wide array of attacking talent at his disposal. Even when Portugal triumphed over hosts France in the 2016 Euros, they were very much a defensive-first side and wound up drawing six of their seven matches after 90 minutes on their way to lifting the trophy.
World Cup 2022 - Portugal’s Fixtures
Portugal have been handed a rather favorable draw and will be expected to top Group H. A Seleção were drawn out of the first pot and hold the highest ranking at the time of writing, coming in at #9 according to FIFA. Their biggest challengers will be 13th ranked Uruguay, the team that knocked Portugal out of the 2018 World Cup in the round of 16. South Korea and Ghana round off the group, ranked at #28 and #60, respectively.
Their full schedule is as follows:
- Thursday, Nov 24 vs Ghana (Stadium 974)
- Monday, Nov 28 vs Uruguay (Lusail Stadium)
- Friday, Dec 2 vs South Korea (Education City Stadium)
How to Bet Portugal at the 2022 World Cup
Portugal are currently priced at 12/1 to win the World Cup among the majority of sportsbooks including Bet365, Vbet, Bwin and William Hill - putting them at roughly the eighth most likely team to lift the trophy. At that price, there’s definitely some value in taking a shot on them as there seems to be a sense that the Portuguese are being a bit overlooked due to their underwhelming display in Russia in 2018 and the 2020 Euros. Portugal represents a good potential sleeper pick with nations such as Brazil, France, England and Spain garnering the majority of the attention, despite being very close in quality to Cristiano Ronaldo and company.
Another bet that looks to be a good price is Portugal to win Group H, which you can find at odds of around 1.66 at Bet365 and William Hill. This Portugal side is a clear cut above the rest of the group in quality and should have little trouble getting the full three points against Ghana and South Korea. The deciding match will likely come against Uruguay, with the oddsmakers currently having the Portuguese favored in the early lines that are available for that matchup.
Looking ahead to the Uruguay match, it could be a good idea to get in early on backing under 2.5 goals at odds of around 1.65 on Vbet and Bwin as this line is likely to move. Both teams prioritize the defensive side of the ball and with this match looking like it might decide who tops the group, neither manager is likely to take an overly cavalier approach. This could be a match where both Portugal and Uruguay would be content with a point, which usually results in cautious, low-scoring kinds of games.
Lastly, let’s talk about potential golden boot winners in this Portugal squad. The most obvious name is Cristiano Ronaldo and for good reason. Ronaldo shared the golden boot award with Patrik Schick at the 2020 Euros, netting five goals in only four matches played for the then 36-year-old. Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing down despite his age and netted 24 goals across 38 matches last season for Manchester United. He also holds the record for most international goals scored all-time with 117 in his 189 appearances for his country. You can back Ronaldo at odds of around 13/1 to finish as the top goalscorer of the tournament.
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