Portugal vs. Iran, 2 p.m. ET, Fox
- Portugal -138
- Iran +459
- Draw +259
Bet to Watch:
Portugal have a clear formula in international tournaments. They hold on for dear life and hope Cristiano Ronaldo can create a moment of magic to get them a result. That’s how they won Euro 2016, and it’s how they’ve accrued four points in their first two matches in Russia.
In Portugal’s last game, against Morocco, Ronaldo scored an early header, and the team did just enough to skate by the Atlas Lions. Morocco were the better team, but Portugal came away with the undeserved win.
Iran should be a confident bunch considering how they played against Spain in their second game. The Lions of Persia proved a brutal bunch to break down, and they muddied up the game against La Roja Furia and almost came away with a famous point. In fact, Iran found the back of the net against Spain, but the goal was disallowed for offside. Still, it was a match that proved to Carlos Queiroz’s side that they can hang with the big boys.
Not surprisingly, Iran played a very conservative style against Spain, but they actually looked the more likely team to score after Diego Costa’s deflection gave Spain the 1-0 lead. Iran found some success going forward, which was a bit surprising but should encourage the underdogs, as they will almost surely need to win to have a chance to get through to the round of 16.
I think this team can find the back of the net against a Portugal team that looks uninspired with the ball, and that could throw everything into chaos.
At the current odds, Iran is being given ~17.9% chance to beat Ronaldo and Portugal, and I think that’s low. I put it closer to 25% and see a good amount of value on backing the Lions of Persia to pull off the major upset. Even though you lose this bet more often than you win, it doesn’t make it a bad wager, considering the odds.