- League leaders Benfica (-1149) are overwhelming favorites at home against last-place Aves (+3300), in what will likely be the debut of flashy new German signing Julian Weigl for the hosts
- Moreirense (+725) will look to engineer a signature home upset as they host a surging second-place Porto (-233)
- Maritimo (+330) could give Guimaraes (-123) all they can handle as the latter head to the island of Madeira on Sunday
Another week of action continues in Portugal’s Primeira Liga this week during Matchday 16 which kicks off with three matches on Friday afternoon and six more this weekend. We take a look at three of the best bets to make this weekend.
Benfica vs. CD Aves Odds
|Benfica||-2.5 (-119)||-1149||O 3.5 (-128)|
|CD Aves||+2.5 (-101)||+3300||U 3.5 (+108)|
All odds taken Jan. 9
It’s a matchup that should not be close: First-place Benfica (14-0-1) has won 12 games on the hop entering Friday’s date with Desportivo Aves (2-0-13), a club that has experienced nearly the exact opposite reality thus far in 2019-20.
As Benfica have steamrolled opponents from the bottom-third of the Liga NOS to the tune of 17-2 this season, Aves have been dealt loss after loss.
Whether it’s a VAR decision, defensive breakdown or, more recently, an inability to score goals, Aves are a deserved last place outfit and sit eight points from safety.
Benfica has scored a boatload of goals this season (38) — eight more than anyone else in Portugal — while their visitors Friday have managed a respectable 15 in as many games.
Also important to note: Aves have conceded the most goals (31) in the league, and their last two defeats (0-1, 0-1) came against Setubal and Gil Vicente teams which aimed to stifle games. That won’t be the case at the Luz on Friday.
Pick: O 3.5 (-128)
Moreirense vs. Porto Odds
|Moreirense||+1, +1.5 (-120)||+725||O 2.5, 3 (+108)|
|Porto||-1, -1.5 (+100)||-233||U 2.5, 3 (-128)|
On paper, this is another non-starter: Porto (12-2-1) have dropped points in just 20% of their games this season, while Moreirense (4-5-6) are the definition of average.
However, a closer look hints at the possibility of Friday’s hosts getting a result against their big, bad, blue visitors; Moreirense earned two solid results (W v. Braga, D v. Porto) at home against major opposition last season, while Porto has battled inconsistent performances at points this season.
We aren’t saying Moreirense is going to shock the league and get a result — though they might — but we do believe there is value to be had in backing the hosts to keep things close. They are undefeated in four (2-2-0) at home since a 2-1 loss to Benfica back in September.
Pick: Moreirense +1, +1.5 (-120)
Maritimo vs. Guimaraes Odds
|Maritimo||+0.5 (+103)||+330||O 2.5 (+100)|
|Vit. Guimaraes||-0.5 (-123)||-123||U 2.5 (-120)|
Teams no. 5-14 in the Liga NOS are currently separated by just four points.
At either end of that spectrum lie Guimaraes (5-6-4), fresh off a spirited but unsuccessful European campaign and in 5th place, and Maritimo (4-6-5) whose one less victory leaves them halfway down the table from the former.
The two teams collide in Sunday’s marquee matchup, with Maritimo — fresh off a pair of 1-0 wins against respectable opponents in Rio Ave and Boavista — a strong candidate to get a result against Ivo Vieira’s skilled but inconsistent Guimaraes team.
Sunday’s visitors have also drawn their last three games in league play, while Maritimo come in on a roll with points in five-straight (2-3-0) home matches.
At better than even-money, it’s just a play that makes sense.
Pick: Maritimo +0.5 (+103)
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