The Portuguese football league might be a bit hidden in the shadows of its Spanish counter-part, but it is nonetheless a league that deserves plenty of attention.

The top teams usually make it quite far in the European cups and, from time to time, they are even able to beat some of the world’s best teams. Meanwhile, the weaker teams have to go through many tough battles on their home soil, since there are not that many European football slots on offer and there is little to play for apart from that. That fact, however, also means that there is money to be made for those who are willing to invest their time into following the lesser teams fairly closely.

Betting on the Top Teams

Like many of the top leagues, even the Portuguese Primeira Liga has its elite club of a few teams that seem to be a level above the rest of the competition. Benfica and FC Porto are the two biggest names and the long-standing rivalry between the two is quite legendary, but one team, Sporting Braga, has been doing its best to catch up with them, finishing fourth in the 2010/2011 season, third in the 2011/2012 season and starting the 2012/2013 well enough for another nice finish at the end of the season.

Compared to the top two, Braga seem to be less free-flowing and more hard working, but that approach is certainly working well when it comes to the low-key encounters and it would not be shocking to see Braga challenging the dominance of FC Porto and Benfica fairly soon.

The Gap

Portuguese football is quite specific in many way and the overall situation is indeed reflected in the top Portuguese league. Football might be the most popular sport in the country, but Portugal is quite small and the base is therefore much smaller than, say, in England. Many top players also leave for some of the bigger clubs, making the situation even more difficult.

What this translates to is that there are big differences between the individual clubs – while the top teams are stable and with plenty of backing, the bottom part of the league can be quite chaotic at times, with the worst teams having an incredibly hard time. Most of this is usually established at the early parts of the seasons, so it might be worth taking a closer look at those statistics and then following them throughout the entire year.

Betting the Totals

When it comes to goals, Primeira Liga lies somewhere between the high-scoring leagues and the low-scoring competitions. The average per match stood at 2.50 goals in the 2009/2010 season, at 2.43 in the 2010/2011 season, and at 2.64 in the 2011/2012 season. With the number so close to the standard betting line of 2.5 goals, the Portuguese league can indeed prove to be a nightmare for punters that rely on statistics when it comes to betting on the totals.

The thing one needs to keep in mind is that there are some major differences between the totals depending on what teams are in action. The top teams can easily cover the overs on their own, while the battles between the lesser teams often turn into hard-fought contests with virtually no goals. The bottom line is obvious – in many leagues, it might be possible to have a few successful punts without really going into the league too much. In the top Portuguese league, however, that approach might easily see you go down in no time.

Closing Thoughts

The Portuguese Primeira Liga might not be the most prestigious league around, but it is nevertheless a quality league that offers plenty of interesting opportunities for those who do not mind staying away from the spotlight a little bit. In-depth knowledge of the top teams can be great for those who like betting on the European cups, while there is plenty of money to be made when it comes to betting on the teams from the bottom half of the league. Yes, a considerable time investment might be needed – but that investment is almost certainly going to be worth it in the long run.