The final matchday of Group H play will see South Korea take on Portugal at the Education City Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 2.
These two nations last met in the final game of Group D play at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea, with the host nation earning a 1-0 victory over nine-man Portugal to top the group. Among those manning the midfield that day for Portugal was none other than current South Korea manager Paulo Bento.
Whether Bento, who managed his home country from 2010-2014, will have any institutional knowledge that may provide an advantage in this matchup remains to be seen, but nevertheless, this should be a fascinating contest between two teams with top talismans in Cristiano Ronaldo and Son Heung-Min.
Let’s dig into the odds to pick out our South Korea vs Portugal best bets.
South Korea vs Portugal Odds
- 3-Way Handicap: South Korea (+600) | Draw (+330) | Portugal (-210)
- Draw No Bet: South Korea (+440) | Portugal (-700)
- Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 (-108) | Under 2.5 (-112)
South Korea vs Portugal odds are current at FanDuel Sportsbook as of 5:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
Oddsmakers aren’t sure how many goals to expect from this match, as the juice on the Over/Under is pretty evenly split at 2.5 goals. However, there is less indecision about the winner of the match, with Portugal heavily favored to emerge with three points.
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South Korea vs Portugal Prediction
South Korea 1-2 Portugal
South Korea have won just once in their last six group games at the World Cup (1-1-4), but that win came against a Germany side that needed a result from its final group game four years ago.
If Portugal haven’t clinched their spot in the knockout round by kickoff, they will be very wary of their opposition, especially given Bento’s familiarity with the Portuguese setup.
Still, the Taegeuk Warriors will have to overcome a massive talent discrepancy, as Son is one of two English Premier League players in the squad. Meanwhile, Portugal’s team is filled with top division talent, including three players apiece from Manchester City and Manchester United.
While Fernando Santos will have more talent at his disposal, he also has a worrying chemistry issue to deal with in the wake of Ronaldo’s public criticism of his club, which drew the ire of club teammate and midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
Ronaldo has struggled for form of late, so his performances, along with how he gets on with his teammates, will likely determine how far the Portuguese go at this tournament.
I’m not confident they’ll go far, but this should be a winnable match.
South Korea vs Portugal Betting Tips
If this match goes as expected, Portugal should control the play for long stretches as they try to break down the South Korean defense. Eventually, they should find success. That could come from Fernandes picking out a nifty through ball or crosses coming in from the fullbacks, as Ronaldo will have an aerial advantage against this backline.
South Korea will look to hit Portugal on the break with Son and Hwang Hee-Chan being the most likely candidates to cause problems. I think there’s a decent chance they find a breakthrough, but it probably won’t be enough.
South Korea vs Portugal Best Bets
Portugal to Win 2-1, 3-1, or 4-1 (+350) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Portugal have scored at least one goal in six straight games at the World Cup, while South Korea have found the back of the net in four of their last six.
Both teams have elite forwards who are capable of keeping those trends going in this matchup, one that Portugal should eventually run away with.
While I could play the Over, I’d rather take my chances with this prop at a much better price.