Sunday Euro 2020 Odds, Picks, Predictions & Preview for Belgium vs. Portugal (June 27)
Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images. Pictured: Romelu Lukaku, Axel Witsel and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate during Belgium’s match against Finland.
- Belgium and Portugal are set for a heavyweight Euro 2020 battle in the Round of 16 in Sunday's matches.
- Belgium is led by Kevin De Bruyne, who seems to be in top form for the slight favorite.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down the showdown below and delivers his top betting pick.
Belgium vs. Portugal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+116 / -139)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ABC | ESPN3|
|Odds updated Saturday afternoon via DraftKings.|
In one of the two star-studded matchups in this Euro 2020 round, Belgium takes on Portugal.
Belgium is in the midst of a golden generation, hoping to finally capitalize on it. The Red Devils have two premier attackers in fine form, plus others who could make them even more lethal if they find their strides.
Meanwhile, Portugal was fairly underwhelming at times in the group stage. It needed three late goals to beat Hungary, was hammered by Germany and then drew with France thanks to a pair of penalty kicks.
That said, let’s see where there’s betting value in this elite matchup.
Belgium Goes Through De Bruyne
Belgium’s expected goals in this tournament aren’t very impressive, but I consider it more a sign of its quality. The Red Devils registered 1.37 xG against Russia; 0.88 xG against Denmark; and, 1.61 xG against Finland, while scoring six in those matches.
Romelu Lukaku, who has three goals, looks like his normal physically imposing self so far. Thorgan Hazard has embraced a wing-back role as well. Whether Hazard’s brother, Eden, joins him in the starting lineup for this game will be interesting since the Real Madrid man is the Belgian captain, but lacking any positive form.
However, you know who does appear to be in stunning form? Kevin De Bruyne.
The Belgians will go as far as De Bruyne’s performances take them, which was clear based on their 2-1 win over Denmark. The Manchester City standout came on at halftime and was sensational, setting up Thorgan Hazard with a beautiful assist before pulverizing a left-footed shot into the net for the winner.
In midfield, Axel Witsel and Youri Tielemans is the usual midfield pairing, although De Bruyne started with Witsel against Finland. Against Portugal, I’d expect De Bruyne in one of the three Belgian attacking roles instead of the midfield.
Portugal Needs More in Attack
Defending De Bruyne will be the key for Portugal. Defensive midfielder William Carvalho will have his hands full tracking him. Danilo Pereira seems unlikely to play after being knocked out against France, so a midfield of Carvalho, Renato Sanches and João Moutinho seems likely to start a second consecutive game.
Going forward, Portugal needs to create more from open play. A 2-2 draw with France is a great result, but getting the two goals from the penalty spot isn’t hugely encouraging.
Obviously, Cristiano Ronaldo is the go-to man for Portugal, but he needs help. I don’t expect the hugely disappointing Bruno Fernandes to start after he was benched against France.
Ronaldo will look to isolate Belgium’s back three, which lacks much pace, by getting behind the wing backs and trying to take them on. He’ll likely prefer to fade out to the left, which will allow Diogo Jota to spend plenty of time in the middle of the field.
Defensively, Lukaku will likely try to isolate Pepe more than Rúben Dias, the Premier League player of the year. Pepe is overmatched by Lukaku in every way, aside from characteristics we’ll refer to as “veteran savvy.”
Betting Analysis & Pick
I’ve written a few times during this tournament about how overrated I think Portugal is. The nation has won three of its last nine group-stage games at major tournaments and were very lucky to win the Euro 2016 title. At the 2018 World Cup, Portugal was rightly ousted by Uruguay.
Meanwhile, Belgium is finally healthy with De Bruyne back. There are some key lineup decisions to be made, but I think its quality and experience will shine through here.
Belgium is the better team. I don’t think there’s much doubt about that. I’ll happily take them at a number like this on DraftKings as my top pick.
Pick: Belgium ML (+150)