2014 World Cup Betting: Ghana vs. Portugal Picks & Odds

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 2:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2014 2:59 PM UTC

Ghana and Portugal are set to collide in a dramatic final day of Group G action, with their World Cup dreams hanging by a thread. It’s a must-win if each wants to have a chance of advancing. Will Portugal pull a Houdini yet again or will Ghana prove too tough? Find out as we deliberate on this matchup and deliver our free picks.

Portugal flirting with disaster
Portugal are the quintessential flirts. So often they flirt with disaster, it would seem they know no other way but the route of a coquette on the big stage. Three of the last big tournaments (two World Cups and the Euro Cup) have seen Portugal emerge out of the playoffs, justifiably earning themselves the moniker: Playoffs Masters.

This final Group G clash has the whiff of playoffs, except this time around the odds (figuratively) couldn’t be stacked more against them. By that, we mean, the difference here is that their destiny isn’t simply in their hands only. They need a win AND Germany to win their clash over USA in order to have a shot at advancing, which would then be down to maths as both sides would be level on four points.

Portugal earned this tenuous position with a last-minute gasp against USA in the second round. Down 2-1 to the USA, time was running out on Ronaldo et al, until, 60 seconds to time, the Real Madrid striker deftly sent a cross in front of the box where a waiting Varela pounced on it and summarily stabbed home.

 Ghana valiant against Germany
Ghana rallied from a goal-down to Germany to take a 2-1 lead and, for a while, it looked as if they might actually hold the lead to pull off the shocking victory. Germany, though, true to their lofty standards, drew level 2-2 shortly thereafter and so it remained to the end.

The draw notwithstanding, it was still a shocker. Germany looked so good in their opener against Portugal that few expected them to waffle so against Ghana. Credit, therefore, must be given to the Black Stars for really taking it to the German juggernaut.

Ghana are now third in the table with a point, ahead of Portugal on goal difference alone. The Black Stars must win this match and hope for a USA defeat in order to have a shot at advancing.

 World Cup Betting Verdict
As far as odds makers are concerned, Portugal are the favourites at +125 and Ghana are the underdogs at +200. However, this market stands in stark contrast to the respective accounts of both teams in the first two rounds. Ghana have looked the fresher, tougher and more focused. They were a little bit unlucky to lose against USA in the opener while superb against Germany, even if they did settle on a draw. Portugal, on the other hand, have looked tired, unimaginative and a little rough for wear.  They were thoroughly outplayed by Germany in their opener, and were extremely fortunate to salvage their campaign against USA.

Based on their respective accounts, one has to consider Ghana would be the value soccer pick at +200, especially if they punch at the same level. Of course, Portugal can never be underestimated. They’ve flirted with tight situations before to live another day. So, if there were a team that could do it, certainly it would be Portugal at +125.

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