Portugal and Spain are two teams capable of taking home the trophy at the 2018 World Cup. They face off on Friday at 2:00 p.m. ET in a crucial Group B matchup. Spain enters the 2018 World Cup match as a -117 money line favorite, meaning you would need to bet $117 on Spain to win to earn $100. Portugal, the 2016 European Champions, is +344 on the money line, which means a $100 wager on the Portuguese to win would earn $344. The current World Cup odds for a draw is +239. The Over-Under, or total number of goals expected to be scored, is 2.
Before you make your pick on this highly anticipated 2018 World Cup match, you need to see what SportsLine football expert Thomas Rongen has to say. The Dutch-American commentator was the assistant coach and chief international scout for the U.S. men's national team. He also was named MLS Coach of the Year with the Tampa Bay Mutiny.
Rongen is an astute evaluator of talent and extremely familiar with these rosters. He has scrutinized all of the matchups and trends that will determine the outcome and even isolated a crucial x-factor based on his knowledge of these coaches and players that you're not even considering.
Rongen is aware that in the nations' lone head-to-head World Cup contest eight years ago, Spain shut down Portugal 1-0. The Spaniards boast one of the fiercest defenses in the world, but the Portuguese have perhaps the top player on the planet in Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Ronaldo was directly involved in more goals than any other player in the qualifiers," Rongen told SportsLine. "But he has gone 340 scoreless minutes against Spain."
Spain, the 2010 World Cup champions, is making its 15th World Cup appearance. They're hoping the influx of young talent and veteran leadership will be the right formula to hoist the trophy for the second time in Spain's history. However, the Spaniards have had to deal with a lot of uncertainty after manager Julen Lopetegui was fired just days before the start of the 2018 World Cup.
Luckily, Spain is led by a host of veterans like Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta, who were around for their 2010 World Cup triumph.
So which squad does Rongen believe will win its World Cup opener? And where does all of the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see Thomas Rongen's exclusive Spain vs Portugal pick, all from the Dutch-American soccer coach who served as chief international scout for the U.S. men's national team.