Santos are made strong favourites by bwin to progress to the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals after they edged to a home victory over America in their last-16 first leg last week.
The Brazilian Cup holders are priced at 9/20 to successfully defend a 1-0 lead when they kick off at La Corregidora in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Punters looking to bet on them to win on the night can get odds of 7/4, with the Mexican giants priced at 13/10 and the draw available at 11/5.
However, the tense nature of the first leg, which was decided by a solitary strike from highly-rated playmaker Paulo ‘Ganso’ Henrique, suggests the return will be tough to call.
These two have plenty of previous in the Copa Libertadores, having also met in the knock-out stages in 2007 and 2008.
America were unbeaten in their two home matches in those two-legged ties, drawing the first 0-0 before winning the second 2-0 en route to eliminating the Brazilians from the competition.
With that in mind, bwin’s odds of 31/50 on the hosts keeping a clean sheet in the first half could be tempting, particularly as they will surely look to keep it tight early on in a bid to avoid conceding a potentially fatal away goal.
Anyone looking to bet on America to reach the next round at 31/20 will also be encouraged by their impressive record of three home wins from three in a tough group containing Fluminense, Argentinos Juniors and Nacional.
However, Santos are in decent form at present, having reached the final of the Paulista Serie A1 – where they meet Corinthians – after firing 40 goals in 19 regular-season matches.
That record is hardly surprising considering their array of sublime attacking talent, such as Ganso, former Manchester City midfielder Elano and new Brazilian sensation Neymar.
So perhaps betting on Santos to score the first goal at odds of 23/20 would be a wise move, while a successful £10 bet on them to score exactly once on the night would return £82.
The case for the former selection is strengthened considerably by the fact that the visitors have scored four of their 12 goals in this year’s competition in the first 15 minutes of matches.
Santos have also notched on four occasions between the 46th and 60th minutes of their seven games to date and they are priced at 31/20 to strike first in the second half.
It must be said that Muricy Ramalho’s men are unpredictable at the best of times, so any bets placed on them to thrive in Mexico should be placed with caution.
But it would be a surprise if they cannot finally breach the America rearguard on the road, which would give them a great chance of making it through to the last eight.
A winning £10 bet on America and Santos to draw 1-1 would return £70 at odds of 6/1 with bwin.
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