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Portugal Looks to Capitalize on Shocking Spanish Manager Move

Matchday 1 of the 2018 World Cup features some interesting matchups but none will be more anticipated than the fixture between Iberian rivals Spain and Portugal. There’s no shortage of star power between these two, and this will be a chess match. Spain has sacked Julen Lopetegui in favor of Real Madrid legend Fernando Hierro and it will certainly be a disruption, so let’s take a look at some appropriate betting options.

  • Spain has kept a clean sheet in 6 of its last 8 matches in World Cup qualifiers.
  • Portugal has kept a clean sheet in 5 of its last 6 matches in World Cup qualifiers.
  • There have been UNDER 2.5 goals scored in Portugal’s last 3 games in World Cup qualifiers.

Online shop Bovada still has Spain as favorites in moneyline markets but the line went from -110 to +105, Portugal comes back at +310 and the draw sits at +220. As far as totals are concerned, OVER 2 is priced at -120 while UNDER is sitting at +EVEN.

The Spaniards certainly have the ability to score in bunches, but the Portuguese are traditionally great at limiting quality chances and exploding on the counter. Portugal’s WC unit has 10 players missing from the squad that won the 2016 Euros, but there are some grizzled vets in the mix like Carvalho, Pepe and Ronaldo who won’t be fazed by a Spanish attack that will carry the bulk of possession. With this opening match likely deciding the final standings of Group B, the draw looks like a great value play at +220 as both teams will be desperate to walk away with at least a point.

If you like the draw play, consider the +400 draw and both teams to score prop being offered at Bovada. But, if you’re a Spain backer, a Spain to win and both teams to score prop is being offered at +350. As cagey as this game could be, both teams have clinical finishers up front and I expect to see them convert if given the opportunity.

I love a Portugal moneyline play here at +300. I’m sure Spain will eventually get sorted but this first match has a lot of potential to go CR7’s way.

Bet on the 2018 World Cup here