Though meaningless on paper, fans and bettors love a good friendly match. Today, two big guns go at it when Holland travels to the Algarve to take on Portugal. Here are the odds.
If there has been an Achilles heel for Holland on the international stage over the last decade, it has been Portugal. Having been eliminated at the knockout stage from Euro 2004, the 2006 World Cup, and Euro 2012, Holland simply haven't been able to crack the Portuguese nut.
Holland hasn't beat Portugal in their last nine matches dating back to 1991. Still, it is a friendly match and both teams have a pretty strong roster coming into the match.
The visitors come in at 3.00 over at William Hill, with an increase to 6.50 for the draw/Holland result in the halftime/fulltime offering. The Dutch will be without Wesley Sneijder today but will still have Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben, along with most of their familiar faces. Their World Cup qualifying campaign has seen them win all six of their matches, the only team in Europe to do.
The outright draw is at 3.20 with the double draw coming in at a flat 5.00. Considering the European season is here, I certainly don't expect players to go all out, which could see this as the better selection of the 1x2.
After some hard struggles early on in their World Cup qualifiers, the Portuguese built a litle bit of momentum having beat Croatia and Russia in their last two games. Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the lineup as will the majority of their starting cast.
The hosts are listed at 2.40 going into the match to win outright. The team is notorious for crashing against weak opposition while stepping it up against world beaters, so expect Paulo Bento's crew to come out with a decent performance.
The over 2.5 is at 1.95, which I like given Van Persie and Ronaldo's expected starts. Speaking of the two forwards, the correct score market is listing CR7 at odds of 1.91 to score at any point in the match, while Van Persie is at evens (2.00).