Now the 2018 FIFA World Cup party can start in earnest.
Portugal and Spain will meet at 2 p.m. ET on Friday in their World Cup Group B opener. The matchup pits fourth-ranked Portugal against 10th-ranked Spain in the most highly anticipated game of the group stage.
Let’s look at the Portugal vs. Spain betting lines:
Current betting line (via OddsShark.com):
Portugal Win +300
Spain win +105
Total goals: 2
NESN.com’s picks: Draw, under
Spain’s firing of head coach Julen Lopetegui two days before the game and replacing him with Fernando Hierro hasn’t caused oddsmakers to abandon the team. No one knows now how destabilizing the move will prove to be. While Portugal must be increasingly confident of stunning their rival in the opening game, some uncertainty exists within its camp, as a number of Sporting CP players are trying to rescind their contracts with the club ahead of the World Cup.
We always believed this game will be air-tight with little standing between the teams, and the disruption on both sides might have a canceling effect. Take the draw.
Portugal will set up defensively in order to contain Spain’s normally fearsome attack, and Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. won’t enjoy the lion’s share of possession. That means scoring chances will be at a premium, and witnessing these teams score three or more goals is just a remote possibility.