GAME INFORMATION: 3 P.M., SUNDAY, JUNE 27 AT LA CARTUJA, SEVILLE, SPAIN
BETTING ODDS: BELGIUM +135/PORTUGAL +230/DRAW +210
TO ADVANCE: BELGIUM -160/PORTUGAL +110
TOTALS: OVER 2.5 +105/UNDER 2.5 -140
A pair of high-scoring sides match up in what could be one of the best knockout stage matches of the entire tournament. Portugal qualified as a third-place team from Group F, but it’s still the defending champion and features the biggest threat to win the Golden Boot in Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five goals to his name in three matches to lead the tournament. But Belgium has a solid scoring threat of its own in Romelu Lukaku, who has already struck three times and now has most of his mates back on the pitch after playing without them in the early part of the tournament. Together, these teams have scored 14 goals and conceded 7, which says this might be a high-scoring match.
MATCH BET: BELGIUM AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE, +325
Reason: Portugal has tended to be at its best on defense in the knockout stages, as it’s shut out five of its past six foes in the knockouts. But this Portugal side doesn’t look as capable of playing great defense as previous teams were. Portugal gave up four goals to Germany, and Belgium plays a similar style to Germany with players every bit as talented as the German side. I expect Belgium has no problem getting a couple goals against an aging Portugal defense, but I don’t think Belgium has really been tested yet at the back in this tournament. Expecting another Ronaldo goal makes sense here against a side that has conceded in half of its past eight matches.
SCORE BET: BELGIUM 3, PORTUGAL 1, +1800
Reason: This is probably Ronaldo’s final match at the Euros, and there’s only so much he can do to avoid the inevitable, as he’ll likely be too old in 2024. He’d like to go out with his best, and he’s the leading scorer in the tournament for a reason. Belgium’s firepower is likely way too much for Portugal to avoid a blowout, but Portugal should find a goal here before all is said and done.
SIDE BET: FIRST HALF OVER 1.5 GOALS, +195
Reason: Three of these teams’ first six matches at this tournament have seen at least two goals hit the mesh before halftime, and I think this continues because these countries feel the need to establish themselves early. Getting that first goal out would make a world of difference for both teams, and I think both believe they’re good enough to go after the contest rather than chase the match. I think this represents solid value with both sides likely to press.