It’s not often we cover the Portuguese Primeira Liga here at BetUS, but we’ve got a big match in store this weekend. Second place Sporting, looking to catch league leaders Porto, plays host to fourth-place Braga in an important match for both sides.
The latest soccer lines favor the home team and Sporting will look to continue its dominant spell vs Braga.
As well explore a variety of other soccer odds here to win!
- Game: Sporting CP vs S.C. Braga
- Location: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal
- Date/Time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
|-1 Ev||-170||2½ -125o||1½ -140o
|+1 -130||+475||2½ -105u||
Sporting vs Braga Betting Preview
Head to Head
Sporting have historically been the better pick for betting online in this fixture and they’ve won the last three meetings. Jovane Cabral and Pedro Goncalves fired Sporting to a 2-1 win in August at Braga.
Sporting won six of the last 10 meetings, Braga won three and there’s been one draw.
Critical Period for Sporting
The next month is a critical period for Sporting. Currently in second place in the Primeira Liga, three points behind Porto, Sporting is firmly in the title race.
The Lions also have a midweek matchup vs Santa Clara next week in the semifinal of the Taca da Liga as they attempt to defend their trophy. Lastly, Sporting faces their toughest test of the season as they head into a Champions League Round of 16 fixture vs juggernaut Manchester City in February.
Striker Paulinho made the switch from Braga to Sporting last January as the Green and Whites won the Portuguese league title. He managed three goals in 14 league appearances last season and he’s now Sporting’s leading scorer with six goals in 17 matches.
Pedro Goncalves and Pablo Sarabia are also big goal-scoring threats who could give Man City problems next month. Where Sporting has really shined this season, especially in league play, is on defense.
Sebastian Coates never broke into Liverpool’s first team on a consistent basis, but the veteran Sporting captain has spearheaded the league’s best back line.
Sporting conceded just 10 goals in 18 Primeira Liga matches and will be looking for an eighth clean sheet in their last 11 matches. Suffice to say that they’ve been one of the best soccer picks in the league.
Braga Struggles in Big Matches
Braga’s new year hasn’t started off in ideal fashion. The club from north Portugal drew 2-2 with Famalicao and needed a 90th-minute equalizer with a man down to get a point. Then, Braga lost 1-0 on the road at Maritimo, which was just the fourth time they’ve been shut out all season.
The Archbishops’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are quickly fading away as they’re already nine points behind third-place Benfica. In fairness, Carlos Carvalhal has done well to get Braga to the Europa League knockout stage, where they’ll face a winnable fixture vs Sheriff Tiraspol.
A more consistent league performance is needed in the meantime. Captain and forward Ricardo Horta has drawn admirers from abroad and it’s easy to see why. In all competitions, he has 13 goals and five assists and is Braga’s main attacking outlet. Sporting will also look to shut down attacking midfielder Iuri Medeiros, who averages a goal contribution every 79 minutes.
The bad news is that Braga is 0-3 vs Portugal’s top three and has been outscored by a whopping 9-2 in those matches.
This is a game that Sporting absolutely needs to win to keep pace with Porto and it is a -175 favorite to do so.
Manager Ruben Amorim is only a few years removed from his playing career but the Sporting manager led them to their first title in 19 seasons last year. He appears to know how to motivate this group and they should be up for this one.
He’s 3-0 in his tenure vs Braga and I expect more of the same on Saturday. Bet on Sporting.