The opening matchday of Group H play will see Portugal take on Ghana at Stadium 974, with kickoff scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, November 24.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of watching Cristiano Ronaldo kick off what will likely be his final World Cup sounds a lot more entertaining than watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Let’s dig into the odds to pick out our Portugal vs Ghana best bets.
Portugal vs Ghana Odds
- 3-Way Handicap: Portugal (-230) | Draw (+290) | Ghana (+650)
- Tie No Bet: Portugal (-800) | Ghana (+500)
- Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 (+126) | Under 2.5 (-174)
Portugal vs Ghana odds are current as of 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Portugal hasn’t won its opening group game at the World Cup since 2006, however, that isn’t necessarily an indictment of the European side as they were matched up against Spain and Germany to open the last two tournaments.
The odds show that this Ghana side should offer less resistance to the Portuguese, who will hope to kick things off the on the right foot this time around.
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Portugal vs Ghana Prediction
Portugal 2:1 Ghana
The tournament hasn’t even begun, but Portugal already have a bit of an injury crisis on their hands. Liverpool forward Diogo Jota has already been ruled out for the tournament, alongside Wolves winger Pedro Neto and Leicester right back Ricardo Pereira.
To make matters worse, promising PSG left back Nuno Mendes and Porto center back and national team stalwart Pepe also have injury concerns heading into Qatar.
Still, there should be enough talent at coach Fernando Santos‘ disposal to get past Ghana. The African side enters the tournament on a rather poor run of form, having won just two of its 11 matches in 2022. While they didn’t have Arsenal talisman Thomas Partey for many of those, the central midfielder can only add so much.
On the other side, there could be some concerns about Portugal’s talisman, as Ronaldo hasn’t played particularly well for Manchester United of late. However, he does always seem to rise to the big occasion for his country. Expect him, club teammate Bruno Fernandes, and the Manchester City triumvirate of Rúben Dias, João Cancelo, and Bernardo Silva to lead Portugal to an opening win.
Portugal vs Ghana Betting Tips
The opening games of the group stage tend to be lower scoring, as players have to overcome the nerves of the occasion. Teams also tend to play more conservatively as they try keep themselves in the running for qualification to knockout stages for more than one game.
In the 2018 World Cup, six of the 16 opening group games ended 1-0. Three additional games had exactly two goals scored, while the rest saw three or more.
Portugal vs Ghana Best Bets
Over 2.5 Goals (+126) at FanDuel Sportsbook
It is a bit scary to take an Over in the opening round of fixtures, but I think this match is a good spot for it.
Ghana has scored in seven of their previous nine group games dating back to 2006, and are generally a competitive side. The Ayew brothers, Jordan and André, are Premier League quality attackers and are capable of nicking a goal, especially against a makeshift Portugal back line that may not have much experience playing together.
There is also a reasonable chance that Portugal could just put three past a Ghanaian defense that conceded three to Brazil and four to Japan in recent friendlies leading into the tournament.
Portugal to Win 2-1, 3-1, or 4-1 (+440) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Backing Portugal to win at -230 odds seems like a bad idea unless it’s part of a Thanksgiving parlay.
I like the idea of this correct score combination play more, as it gives me additional value in what I believe could be a higher-scoring opening game.