As 2010 champions Spain remains a World Cup betting odds favorite. Despite the disaster of 2014 they remain highly regarded. Head coach Julen Lopetegui is a big reason for the optimism. In fact, Spain qualified with brilliance after he took over. So dominant was their performance that they are again feared Lopetegui got Spain to play with confidence. Portugal is respected if not feared as well. Reason being was their 2016 European championship. Nine wins in ten qualifying matches added to their regard. Bargain hunters believe Portugal may be a top dark horse. Anticipation is high for Spain vs. Portugal.
2018 FIFA World Cup
Date and Time: Friday, June 15, 2018, 1 p.m. ET
World Cup Betting Online Odds at your favorite sporstbook: Span -1/2 (-114), Portugal +1/2 (-106), over 2 ½ (+132), under 2 ½ (-152), Spain -109, Portugal +340, Draw +250
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: Check Listings
Cristiano and Company
Cristiano Ronaldo brings instant World Cup betting odds credibility to Portugal. A star for Real Madrid he is the face of the team. At age 33 this is Ronaldo’s final chance at a World Cup. With 81 goals and 149 caps he brings cache as captain. Qualifying so well, Portugal is considered stronger than the 2016 European champion team. Defensive organization was the key to that title. Since then offensive creativity is an added element. In addition, Bernardo Silva and Andre Silva are also key contributors to the enhanced attack. However, Defense could be weaker.
World Cup championship glory of 2010 turned to anguish in 2014 for Spain. After falling to a final finish of 23rd at the last World Cup redemption is on their minds. Spain is celebrated for team speed and ball movement. First, David Silva is the key to Spain’s return to prominence. His 35 goals top the charts for the team. Second, Sergio Ramos is team captain and a top defender. His 151 caps lead Spain. Third, perhaps the most important player of all for Spain is Isco. Isco’s brilliance in a win over Italy stood out to everyone. In fact, Real Madrid is his pro team.
Fernando Santos vs Julen Lopetegui
Fernando Santos is Portugal’s 63-year-old coach. Now in his third year he is considered the best coach in team history. Winning the 2016 European championship certainly enhances his acclaim. Spain is led by 51-year-old Julen Lopetegui. Noted for open mindedness he has proven to be the fresh voice that was needed. Lopetegui is respected for mixing the Spanish lineup. Blending youth and experienced veterans has been a successful formula.
Spain a sportsbook favorite
Outclassing Italy 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu made Spain a sportsbook favorite. Since that win they have been touted as a favorite. Lopetegui has proven to be the right man at the right time for Spain. He is arguably the most important coach in the World Cup. Considering the disaster of 2014 Spain has the most to gain.
Matchup to Watch
Without question this match is among the best of the first round. Spain begins
World Cup betting odds action against a dangerous opponent. Portugal can take command of Group B with an upset. Cristiano Ronaldo and Andre Silva are a terrific tandem. Value wise Portugal makes sense as a quality dog.
2018 FIFA World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Portugal is fully capable of the upset and is the pick.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Portugal
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Portugal 2, Spain 1
Check out a quick profile of Ronaldo and Silva of Portugal!