Betting on Portuguese Football
With regards to betting, the Portuguese Primeira Liga wouldn't have the popularity associated with Europe's 'Big 5' leagues of England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. This is mostly due to the unfamiliarity of the majority of the teams in the 18-team competition, but there are notable exceptions. Games involving the league's 'Big 3' teams of Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto attract considerable attention, and are a common sight on Portuguese football accumulator coupons.
As well as the Primeira Liga (also known as the Liga NOS due to sponsorship reasons) our Portugul football odds comparison tool offers the best odds on the Segunda Liga, the Taça de Portugal (the premier knock-out cup competition in the country), the Taça de Liga (the League Cup), and the Portuguese Super Cup.
In addition, Portuguese teams feature heavily in European competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League, while international matches involving Portugal's senior and under-age teams are also prominent. The Portuguese Football Federation known as the FPF is the governing body for football in Portugal.
Portugal Football Odds
When looking at building a Portuguese football coupon, there are specific markets you may want to avoid and others that deserve a greater degree of focus. One example of the former is the usually-popular 1x2 market, mostly because games involving the star attractions of Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto are characterised by low odds. Handicap betting therefore offers much greater value when betting for or against these teams.
Home form is another strong feature of the Primeira Liga and the 'Big 3' teams in particular. In the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons the top two teams didn't lose a home game. The number of goals per game is at the standard global average of around 2.67, so this can be a tricky market to master unless you are betting on the big teams again, or indeed in matches not involving the big teams which tend to be slightly lower-scoring affairs. However, this can be harder to judge towards the end of the season.
There are usually a couple of mid-table teams which specialise in draws over the course of the season too, so this market can also offer lucrative odds and therefore excellent returns if you do your research.
The Portuguese leagues tend to spread their games quite evenly over the weekend, making it a good league for building or adding to your football accas, and the split is usually quite even between Saturday and Sunday, with the latter being slightly busier. Remember that the Primeira League is an 18-team championship too, unlike the leagues in England, Italy, Spain and France, which have 20 teams.
Portuguese Football History
The Portuguese football league, running under one name or another since 1934, perhaps doesn't boast the same level of competition as Europe's elite leagues (sometimes referred to as the 'Big 5' of England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France), but the Primeira Liga contains some grand old names: Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto in particular.
Odds on these teams don't tend to be favourable, but that is to be expected when you consider the last team outside of this triumvirate to win the competition was Boavista in 2001. In fact, that was only the second time in the competition's history that a team outside the Big 3 hadn't won the premier prize in Portuguese football.
Historically, Portuguese football and its teams have produced some remarkable moments. Benfica, who play their games at the world-famous Estádio de Luz (now officially called the Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica) – the original Stadium of Light – became only the second team to win the European Cup by ending Real Madrid's dominance in 1961. The team from the capital city retained their title the following season, beating Real in the final.
FC Porto have continued that success, albeit more recently, with wins in 1987 and then famously in 2004 under the guidance of one José Mourinho, perhaps Portugal's most famous football coach.
Then there are the players: Luís Figo, Rui Costa, Paulo Futre, Pepe, João Pinto, Paulo Sousa and José Águas, to name but a few of the iconic names. However, Portuguese football can surely be defined by the careers of two particular players, Eusébio, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both are considered to be among the finest players of their generation, or indeed any generation.
Eusébio scored an incredible 733 goals in 745 matches, winning the Golden Boot at the 1966 World Cup and the Balon d'Or in 1965. Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, has dominated the modern sport, especially in his iconic rivalry with Lionel Messi. As of 2019, Ronaldo has five Balon d'Or awards (the joint most in the award's history), and five Champions League winners' medals.
Yet even these successes were perhaps crowned by his country's most glorious footballing moment: winning the 2016 European Championships for Portugal's first, and as of today, only success on the international stage. At the start of the tournament, Portugal's betting odds to win the tournament were at around 20/1.