The summer of thumb twiddling is almost at end for the masses of Primeira Liga fans out there, with Porto’s game against Maritimo marking the return of the Portuguese top flight.
Funchal’s finest have been handed a price straight from the no-hopers file ahead of this one, with the odds gurus at bwin.com going 27/2 about the visitors in response to the Dragons’ unbackable 17/100.
For those punters not content with the prospect of their wager ending after an hour and a half, here are a couple of long haul bets to consider ahead of another campaign of Liga Sagres action.
League winner – Porto @ 4/5
They had to make do with the bronze medal last time around, but no stable has dominated the Portuguese league like Julen Lopetegui’s men this century.
Nine of the previous 12 instalments have ended in champagne-drenched celebrations for the Azuis e Brancos and with last season’s champions Benfica and runners up Sporting dealing with the loss or prospect of losing key men, it’s hard to ignore the perennial Iberian kings at this price.
To further augment the argument, they’ve responded to each of their three previous failures to win the domestic title by winning the league the following season.
Finish bottom – Pacos Ferreira @ 14/1
It wasn’t that long ago that miniscule Pacos were playing in a Champions League play-off fixture, but since losing that two-legged affair they’ve plummeted in stature.
Just seven goals saved them from the ignominy of last place in 2013/14, with no side losing more matches or conceding more frequently than Os Castores.
Having to make do without the 11 goals former Manchester United man Bebe bagged will only confound their efforts to swerve 18th-spot this time around.