Being drawn alongside two of the most potent sides in the competition in the ‘group of death’, Portugal find themselves as third favourites to escape the group and reach the knockout stages.
Qualification for the summer showpiece in eastern Europe was secured through the play-offs with a victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina but since that success back in November, the Selecção have failed to record a win.
Despite their poor form in international friendlies, the best sides turn it on when it matters, so if Portugal mange to rekindle the form of previous big tournaments in recent years then anything is possible.
With a whole host of Euro 2012 markets available with bwin, I have scoured the lists to find the three best antepost bets in regards to Portugal.
Portugal to go out in the semi-finals @ 19/4 (free bet £25 wins £143.75)
This may not appeal to all punters with Germany and Holland firm favourites to qualify from Group B, but Portugal have reached the semi-finals in two of the last three European Championships.
Only a controversial extra-time penalty from the great Zinedine Zidane saw Portugal lose in the semi-finals to eventual winners France in 2000 and a shock defeat at the hands of Greece in the final when hosting Euro 2004 prevented Portugal from claiming their first ever major international trophy.
After years out of the spotlight of international football, Portugal have turned a corner in the last 15 years and have become a feared nation when it comes to the big tournaments.
It may be a big ask for Portugal to weave a way out of their extremely tough group, but if they can seal that second spot behind either Germany or Holland – because in all honesty Portugal topping the group is nigh-on impossible – then a so-called weaker side will be waiting in the wings as quarter-final opposition.
The winners of Group A, which consists of co-hosts Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Portugal’s Euro 2004 final conquerors Greece, will meet the runner-up of Group B and whoever ends up in that slot will be big favourites for the last-eight tie.
A victory at this stage will then see Portugal reach the semi-finals and most probably come up against world and European champions Spain, with elimination at this point almost inevitable.
A long-shot possibly, but at big odds of 19/4 it has certainly attracted my attention and all it takes is one sublime performance against either Germany or Holland in the group stages and Portugal could quite easily find themselves sneaking into the semi-finals and pocketing us a nice sum of money.
Cristiano Ronaldo to be Portugal’s top scorer @ 3/2 (free £25 bet wins £62.50)
Having chosen a slightly risky pick for the first of my three selections, I will give punters a sure-fire winner with my second option.
Everyone knows that Portugal are heavily reliant on skipper Cristiano Ronaldo and Europe’s greatest footballer has been in simply phenomenal form for the past two years at Real Madrid. This is not to say he was not playing exceptionally well while at Old Trafford, because even in his short spell at Manchester United Ronaldo wrote his name in the club’s folklore.
However, 60 goals in all competitions this season demonstrates that the Madeira-born striker is at the very top of his game, so it is difficult to look past the him when studying this market.
Admittedly, 3/2 may seem a short price considering there are four or five other players who can bag a few goals, but anyone who is even considering backing another player to be Portugal’s top goalscorer must be crazy or enjoy throwing money away!
I for one will look no further than the first name on the list and 3/2 is plenty enough value for a bet that looks a certainty.
Portugal to score over 3.5 goals in Group B @ 9/10 (free £25 bet wins £47.50)
When looking at markets revolving around Portugal and the group of death, it is tricky to know which way to lean, but for my third and final choice I believe I have found a cracking little bet for bwin customers.
Goals have been hard to come by for Paulo Bento’s men in recent fixtures, so punting on Portugal to rack up a few goals in the group stages may seem ludicrous – but wait until you have finished reading before completely dismissing this tip.
Euro 2004 saw Portugal drawn alongside Germany, England and Romania in another so-called group of death, but despite being underdogs, legendary winger Luis Figo had a magnificent tournament and led his side to a maximum nine points and top spot.
Could a 3-0 victory over Germany be a good omen and a sign of what is to come on June 9th? Maybe not, but Portugal backers can at least have a little optimism given their recent history against the Germans.
Portugal recorded seven goals in their three group-stage fixtures at Euro 2000 and then four and five more at Euro 2004 and Euro 2008 respectively, which suggests the Portuguese do bring their A-game to the big competitions.
I admit that it does make for bleak reading when looking at the recent results of Bento’s side, but a massive 21 goals during the qualifying campaign shows that they can find the back of the net at crucial times.
As a result, I may be sticking my neck out slightly with this prediction, but plump for Portugal to score over 3.5 goals during the group stages of Euro 2012 and hopefully we will reap the rewards.
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Euro 2012 odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting