The world was reminded about the greatness of Cristiano Ronaldo last Friday. The Portugal captain demonstrated why he is considered to be the greatest player on Earth. Just as he did during qualifying Ronaldo carried his team. Portugal played Spain to a 3-3 Betting the World Cup draw. Ronaldo scored all three of his team’s goals. Spain is a top tier favorite to win the tournament. Which means Portugal is as well. At least as long as Ronaldo is on the pitch. Morocco entered World Cup play as a decided dog. Their first game validated that status.
2018 FIFA World Cup Morocco vs. Portugal
Date and Time: Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 8 a.m. ET
Location: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
World Cup Betting Online Odds: Morocco +1 (-124), Portugal -1 (+109), Over 2 ½ (+111), Under 2 ½ (-126), Morocco +543, Portugal -167, Draw +297
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FS1
Morocco so Far
Morocco lost their opening game against Iran 1-0. The match was a stark reminder about the Atlas Lions. They are clearly a one-dimensional team. Coach Herve Renard deserves credit for getting them back to the tournament. It has been a long 20 years in the wilderness. But Renard had to utilize stone age tactics to get Morocco to Russia. The Atlas Lions rely on hard work and defense. And that is their only realistic path to betting the World Cup success. Renard changed everything attitude wise for the better. However, he lacks playmakers. And players with natural ability.
Morocco has no real offensive capability. They were able to shut down opponents to qualify. But to win the World Cup a team must eventually score a goal. There are legitimate doubts as to whether they will score at all at Russia. If they do it will likely be by Khalid Boutaib. He supplied four goals during qualifying. Hakim Ziyech is a top tier playmaker. The Dutch Footballer of the Year must make things happen. Because Portugal is certain to do so.
Portugal and Ronaldo
For Portugal the sportsbook challenges could not be more opposite. With Ronaldo they boast the greatest of talent. But the work ethic and effort are often lacking. Defensively they have been erratic. And too much reliance on older players may prove risky. The defensive lapses were exploited by Spain in the opener.
Fernando Santos Era
Fortunately, Portugal has an iron willed coach in Fernando Santos. Since taking over his team has won 20 games. With just one loss. And Ronaldo was out for that defeat. Santos led Portugal to the 2016 Euro title. Players agreed to Santos’ challenge to make themselves tough to beat. This winning mentality makes Portugal dangerous. And why they went toe to toe with Spain. Santos has created the expectation for success. Against anyone that they match with. He has killed the inferiority complex that has often plagued this team.
Defensively Portugal is anchored by older veterans. Pepe is 35 years old and the stalwart. Bruno Alves is 36 and Jose Fonte 34. Their best days are behind them.
Matchup to Watch
Ronaldo is the Betting the World Cup difference. His hat trick against Spain proved his ability to dominate a game on his own. Morocco is incapable of taking advantage of Portugal’s weak back end.
Betting the World Cup: 2018 FIFA World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Portugal is the call to win this match. Their powerful offense should send the game over the total.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Portugal
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Portugal 3, Morocco 0
Catch highlights of Portugal’s thrilling draw against Spain!