Portuguese Primeira Liga is the leading football league in Portugal. It is under the supervision and operation of the Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional (Liga Portugal). Due to the quality of the teams in the Portuguese Primeira Liga Betting opportunities can be excellent.
Many great players have started out their careers in this division or they have developed as players later in their careers and gone on to achieve great things in some of the more major leagues and competitions across Europe.
More about the league
The Portuguese Primeira Liga has contained 18 teams since the 2014/2015 season. At the end of each season, the two teams that finish at the bottom of the standings will be relegated down into the LigaPro. These two sides will then be replaced by the two leading teams from this lower division.
There was an exception made during the 2018/2019 season to this rule. It saw three teams from the Portuguese Primeira Liga dropping down to the lower division. This is because the Portuguese Football Federation wanted to have Gil Vicente in the Portuguese Primeira Liga for the 2019/2020 season.
Each season, there are 34 games, with each team playing each other twice. One fixture will be at home, with the other fixture being an away game.
There are incentives for finishing high up the title, apart from winning the Portuguese Primeira Liga title. The team that finishes at the top of the division will automatically qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. The team that finishes in second place in the Portuguese Primeira Liga standings will then be put Into the play-offs for a group spot in the Champions League.
The sides that end up in third and fourth place in the Portuguese Primeira Liga will gain entry to the UEFA Europa League. The same goes for the winner of the Taca de Portugal Cup. However, if the winner of this competition has already secured a place in Europe through its league standings then the team that finishes in fifth place in the Portuguese Primeira Liga will gain an entry into the Europa League group stages also.
History of the Portuguese Primeira Liga
The beginning of this league dates all the way back to 1934. It was originally started as a trial league, being known as the Campeonato da Liga da Primeira Divisao. In 1938, it became a legitimate and permanent part of football in the country, being called the Campeonato Nacional da Primeira Divisao up to 1999. This is when it was renamed as the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
Over the decades, there have been more than 70 different teams that have participated in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. However, at this time there have only been five separate winners. This showcases how just a handful of teams are dominating the competition every season.
The big teams in the Portuguese Primeira Liga over the years have been S.L. Benfica with 37 league titles, FC Porto with 28 league titles and Sporting CP with 18 league titles. The only two other teams to win a Portuguese Primeira Liga title were Belenenses in the 1945/1946 season and Boavista in the 2000/2001 season.
The status of the Portuguese Primeira Liga
Over the past decade or so, the Portuguese Primeira Liga has been growing more and more popular in Europe. In 2019, it is the 6th best domestic league in Europe as per the UEFA rankings. It was briefly in 5th place in these rankings back in the 2011/2012 season when it gained the position held by French Ligue 1. This was the first time that this has happened since 1990.
In terms of the attendance at Portuguese Primeira Liga games, it is mainly the three big teams that garner the big crowds. Benfica had the highest average attendance per game in the 2017/2018 season with 53,209 people attending games on average. After considering the Sporting CP and FC Porto attendances, there is then a significant drop-off in game attendances.
Who are the top Portuguese teams
- FC Porto
- Sporting Lisbon
As there are a handful of teams that dominate the Portuguese Primeira Liga, opportunities for placing decent bets on these games will be a bit more limited. However, this is where handicap betting came come to the fore. This is an ideal form of betting when one team is a strong favourite in a game as it allows you to apply a handicap to the favoured team in order to get some adequate odds.
Outside of the top few teams, the league is generally a lot more even, so these other games can often present good opportunities for a wide range of different betting markets.
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