Bet Primeira Liga soccer: Sean Miller picks Sporting vs Rio Ave, Porto vs Benfica
Sporting (-215) vs. Rio Ave (+575), draw (+300), 1:30 p.m. EST (GOL and Fubo.tv); Porto (+120) vs. Benfica (+205), draw (+240), 4 p.m. EST (GOL and Fubo.tv)
While all eyes are on Porto Benfica clash, Sporting looks to move further ahead in Portugal
Porto against Benfica: if you ever get the pleasure of seeing one of these derby matches in person, you will never forget it. The first time I saw the two teams play was at the Estadio Dragao in Porto, and the Benfica fans were placed in cages up in the top level of the expansive stadium. When walking up to the stadium and leaving the game, special police armed with machine guns made sure there were no problems.
Yeah, these teams (and their fans) don’t really like each other.
They have combined to win the last 18 Primeira Liga titles (Porto 11, Benfica 7), and 35 of the last 38, dating back to the 1982-83 campaign (Porto 22, Benfica 13). In fact, for the entire history of the league, only one team other than these big two has won more than one title (Belenenses won in 1945-46, and Boavista won in 2000-01).
Sporting Lisbon. Sporting was the last team to break the duopoly, winning the 2001-02 title over Boavista.
The Green team from Lisbon, down the street from Father Gonçalo’s monastery in Lisbon, is the current leader in Portugal by four points over Porto and Benfica, and has a chance today to open up a bigger lead on at least one of the chasing teams.
Look for Sporting to beat Rio Ave in the early match today, then sit back and enjoy the derby. I have to shade with Porto here in that one; I just think Benfica is slightly down this season.
Check for channel listings
PORTUGAL LIGA NOS
Sporting (-215) vs. Rio Ave (+575), draw (+300), 1:30 p.m. EST (GOL and )
Porto (+120) vs. Benfica (+205), draw (+240), 4 p.m. EST (GOL and )
Sporting -1 AH (-118)
Porto ML (+120)