Despite England’s largely lacklustre showing in the World Cup to date, patriotic sentiment has seen a deluge of cash force most bookmakers to make them strong favourites against the Euro 2004 finalists.
Those punters looking for something more exotic can bet that England exit the tournament on penalties.
Should it happen they’ll reclaim 10 times their initial outlay.
A leading bookmaking agency Ladbrokes has odds of 2/1 that the game will be settled in extra-time and 5/1 that it goes the distance.
“Turnover was slightly down for the Ecuador game because people were worried about their performances – but we’d expect it to pick up again for this game,” said Ladbrokes spokesman Robin Hutchison.
“The England betting bandwagon will be slipping through the gears again by the time Saturday afternoon arrives and we’re fully expecting anywhere between five and ten million to be punted on the game.”
England are now approaching a $13 million loser in the Ladbrokes field book alone for the outright tournament winner.
“If our field book is anything to go by the industry will lose over $55 million if the unthinkable happens and England win on July 9,” Hutchison said.
“We’ve not been unduly concerned by their performances to date – but if they beat the Portugese the bookies will only be 180 minutes from oblivion,” he added.