- League leaders Benfica (-270) hit the road for what ought to be an automatic win at 15th-place Paços Ferreira (+825)
- Last-place Aves (+151) have a real opportunity to complete their first back-to-back wins of the season, as they host a slumping Boavista (+191)
- Rio Ave (+400) could be worth keeping an eye on as they make the short trip to face Vitoria Guimaraes (-152) in a battle of two teams with identical point totals
The second half of the 2019-20 Liga NOS season gets underway in Portugal on Sunday, with all 18 teams hitting the pitch and we’re taking a look at the top three bets to make this weekend.
Liga NOS Matchday 18 Odds
|Tondela||pk, -0.5 (-119)||+119||O 2, 2.5 (+114)|
|Vit. Setubal||pk, +0.5 (-101)||+245||U 2, 2.5 (-134)|
|Famalicao||-0.5, 1 (-112)||-145||O 2.5, 3 (+109)|
|Santa Clara||+0.5, 1 (-108)||+400||U 2.5, 3 (-129)|
|Belenenses||pk (-121)||+154||O 2, 2.5 (-110)|
|Portimonense||pk (+101)||+181||U 2, 2.5 (-110)|
|Pacos Ferreira||+1, 1.5 (-105)||+825||O 2.5, 3 (-106)|
|Benfica||-1, 1.5 (-115)||-270||U 2.5, 3 (-114)|
|Aves||pk (-125)||+151||O 2 (-120)|
|Boavista||pk (+105)||+191||U 2 (+100)|
|FC Porto||-1.5, 2 (+100)||-400||O 3 (+109)|
|Gil Vicente||+1.5, 2 (-120)||+1050||U 3 (-129)|
|Moreirense||+0.5, 1 (+105)||+420||O 2.5 (-110)|
|Sp. Braga||-0.5, 1 (-125)||-167||U 2.5 (-110)|
|Sporting Lisbon||-1.5 (+109)||-278||O 3 (+117)|
|Maritimo||+1.5 (-129)||+750||U 3 (-137)|
|Vit. Guimaraes||-0.5, 1 (-115)||-152||O 2.5 (-106)|
|Rio Ave||+0.5, 1 (-105)||+400||U 2.5 (-114)|
All odds taken Jan. 23
Liga NOS Pick 1: Pacos Ferreira vs. Benfica
It’s difficult to stress how vastly different the world of Paços Ferreira (4-4-9) is from that of league leaders Benfica (16-0-1) as the two prepare to clash on Sunday.
Paços are attempting to survive in their return to the top flight, and have ground out four results (2-2-0) on the hop against largely bottom-half opponents, while Benfica has been filling the net (league-high 42 goals) at a break-neck pace en route to one of the best first halves of a season (.941) ever in Portugal.
— SL Benfica (@slbenfica_en) January 17, 2020
Granted, Sunday’s hosts have not conceded a goal in four-straight league matches. However, this Benfica team is rolling and — with a seven-point lead on second-place Porto after the latter’s slip-up last week — can smell blood as it hits the road.
Pick: Benfica -1, 1.5 (-115)
Liga NOS Pick 2: Aves vs. Boavista
While things remain fairly dire for last-place Desportivo Aves (3-0-14), they are in a much better position now — entering a key home game against sliding Boavista (4-7-6) than five weeks ago when they counted a solitary win from their first 12 matches.
Mehrdad Mohammadi has four goals in his last five outings for Aves, who are now miraculously just six points from safety after their early-season woes.
After a stellar defensive start to the season powered Boavista into the top five conversation initially, Daniel Ramos’ squad has slumped to defeats in four of its last five and six of its last eight.
Could this be the chance for Aves, at home in front of their loyal supporters and facing a struggling visitor, to finally stack a win?
Pick: Aves (+151)
Liga NOS Pick 3: Vit. Guimaraes vs. Rio Ave
As far as toss-ups go, they don’t get much more even than Monday’s contest between Vitoria Guimaraes (6-7-4) and Rio Ave (7-4-6).
Both have seen incredible highs this season — Guimaraes drew Arsenal and defeated Frankfurt in Europe, while Rio Ave slayed Sporting on the road twice — but struggled for consistency.
Rio Ave are in slightly better form, with wins in back-to-back league outings ahead of Monday’s short trip to Guimaraes, while Vitoria have defeats against Porto (1-2) and Benfica (0-1) within a mediocre last month (1-1-2).
Don’t be surprised if Carlos Carvalhal’s visitors keep things close.
Pick: Rio Ave +0.5, 1 (-105)
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