Portugal is listed as a 25-1 darkhorse in 2010 World Cup odds.
They are in a brutal group along with Brazil and Ivory Coast so there is no guarantee of anything for Portugal in World Cup betting. How far the team goes largely depends upon how well Cristiano Ronaldo plays.
Portugal was very impressive in their win over Cameroon in a recent friendly. Raul Meireles scored twice and Nani added the other goal. Portugal is the 3-1 second choice in Group G behind Brazil with Ivory Coast right behind and North Korea a hopeless longshot. Portugal will have another warm up as they play Mozambique in Johannesburg next week. They open up World Cup play in a key match against Ivory Coast on Tuesday, June 15th. Portugal is +130 on the three-way line in that match while Ivory Coast is +200 and the Draw at +210.
Portugal is going to live or die based on how Cristiano Ronaldo performs. He actually comes into the World Cup with something to prove as Lionel Messi has taken away his mantle as the best player in the game. If Ronaldo shows up in top form then Portugal has a chance to be a real threat in the 2010 World Cup.
Portugal is led by coach Carlos Queiroz who will try and get everyone on the same page for the World Cup. Many of the players on the Portugal team have very little experience on the International stage. It will be important for Portugal to get Ricardo Carvalho and Jose Bosingwa healthy for the match against Ivory Coast.
The pressure is not on Portugal as much as in past World Cups and that could be a good thing for the team. The team really choked eight years ago when they didn’t make it out of the group stage while four years ago they made it to the semifinals before losing to France. Ronaldo has not scored for Portugal in 15 months but the team needs him to be a major force if they are to get out of a very tough group. Ronaldo has promised that he will score goals in the World Cup and lead Portugal to victory. He still has the talent but it has been a while since he has used it. If he gets it all together in the World Cup then Portugal could be a real bargain at 25-1.