The Portuguese Primeira Liga has been going strong for six round, and Benfica’s perfect 6/6 record has left the last two winners of the championship title already playing catchup. Indeed, Roger Schmidt’s side have won 11 out of 11 games in all competitions, with Eagles fans excited at what they see as a real prospect of ending a three-year trophy drought.

Reigning champions Porto are in third, while 2020/21 winners Sporting are languishing in seventh place, albeit having picked up form in recent weeks.

And to make things even more interesting, Braga appear set on getting amongst the traditional title contenders. The Arsenalistas have arguably been playing the best football seen in Portugal this season, and after 5 successive wins Artur Jorge’s team are just two points behind Benfica. 

The passion for football can be seen every year in Portugal, with huge crowds leaving the streets around the stadiums awash with their team’s colours on match day.

It is for this very reason, that sports betting is a hugely popular pastime in Portugal. With so many football fans, it isn’t at all surprising that so many people in the country are willing to place such trust in their team, and to place a wager on their victory.

But it isn’t just in Portugal that the Primeira Liga enjoys popularity. Thanks to online bookmakers, most of which offer boosted odds and other perks and bonuses to help punters, the Primeira Liga has become a popular football league to bet on all over Europe. So, let us take a look at how the first six rounds have been going, and which are the teams to keep a close eye on.

Benfica dominant

Benfica are certainly announcing themselves as a different team this year. They led the Bwin Liga 2022/23 table from the outset, winning every single match they have played so far. A 4-0 thrashing of Arouca and a confident 3-0 win away at Boavista in the first and third Liga matches of the season suggested Benfica would be blowing away teams.

But things have proved far from easy in their other four games, all of which have been won by just a one-goal winning margin. Their match against Vizela at the Estádio da Luz in week five was especially troublesome. Vizela took the lead very early on, and although David Neres scored a spectacular equaliser in the second half, with Benfica controversially reduced to ten men and deep into stoppage time, it appeared the home fans would see their team drop points. But a late penalty winner, after more refereeing controversy, kept up Benfica’s 100% record, which was extended on the weekend at Famalicão.

While Benfica will be happy to sit atop the table at this stage, the fact Braga and Porto are just two and three points behind them, having had more difficult fixtures, is a stark warning that nothing is won in September. Both northern outfits are looking as strong as ever, especially free-scoring Braga who have hit a remarkable 21 goals in their six Bwin Liga matches so far – six more than the next highest scorers, FC Porto.

And although Sporting are some way down the table at this point, the Lions appeared to have turned the corner with an impressive run of results that includes a first ever victory in Germany at the 15th attempt, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 in the Champions League.

Marítimo and Paços de Ferreira struggling badly

At the other end of the standings, spare a thought for Marítimo and Paços Ferreira. Even in their worst nightmares they would not have imagined losing every one of their first six matches.

Paços de Ferreira did quite well against Benfica in round four, managing to score two goals against the leaders in Lisbon, but fell to a 3-2 defeat nonetheless. For those curious to know every detail about the Portuguese league, all the official news and results can be found here for your perusal.

Even worse that Paços are Marítimo, who currently sit rock bottom in 18th place in the Primeira Liga. Heavy defeats and five straight losses resulted in Vasco Seabra becoming the first coach to be sacked last week, but a change in the dugout did not help the Madeira club at the weekend, with João Henriques seeing his team fall to a 2-1 defeat at home to Gil Vicente in his first game in charge.

A traditional mainstay of in the Portuguese top flight, the fans in Madeira will be hoping Henriques can quickly turn around their fortunes.

 

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