The defending Copa Libertadores champion Palmeiras has made a solid start to its title defense and looks a solid pick in the tournament futures market.
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks Brazilian teams Palmeiras at +375 and Flamengo at +450 are the favorites to win the Copa Libertadores, and another Brazilian team, Fluminese, is in third place. The pick of the Argentine contenders is River Plate, which bettors favor at odds of +800 ahead of Boca Juniors. Atletico Mineiro and Athletico Paranaense are next in the betting at +1600.
Copa Libertadores Betting Briefing
The Copa Libertadores is the premier South American club soccer tournament, run by the continental football organization, CONMEBOL. First staged in 1960, it was expanded in 2000 and the tournament proper now features 32 teams from 10 South American associations.
Since its inception, a total of 25 clubs have won the competition, with Independiente of Argentina holding the record of seven wins. Clubs from Argentina have accumulated the highest number of wins, with 25, while Brazil has produced the highest number of different winners.
The Group Stage of the tournament runs from April 4 to June 29, and features eight groups of four teams apiece. All eight groups are at the halfway point with each team having played one another once, and that will be repeated to determine the 16 teams that go through to the knockout phase. This year’s final is being staged at the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Copa Libertadores Favorites
Palmeiras and Flamengo have both won the Copa Libertadores three times and between them have won the last four editions, and it is not a surprise to find both teams at the top of the betting this year.
They have made contrasting starts to the 2023 Brazilian Campeanato season. Palmeiras, the defending champion, is in second and so far undefeated, but Flamengo has lost three of its six league games. That inconsistency on the part of Flamengo has been reflected in its Group A games so far. Jorge Sampaoli’s team has beaten unfancied Nublense, but lost to the second-ranked Ecuador team, Aucas, and was then unable to hang on for a draw against Racing, ending up with a point.
Surprisingly, Palmeiras has also struggled for consistency and lies in second place in its Group, having lost its opening game to Bolivar, before beating Barcelona and Cerro Porteno. Both teams should be able to get out of their Groups, but of the two, Palmeiras looks the more settled, while Flamengo is still learning to play football the Sampaoli way, so the reigning champion offers more value here.
Copa Libertadores Contenders
Fluminese has a relatively poor record in this competition. Ten Brazilian teams have won it, but the best that Fluminese has been able to manage is a final place in 2008. Still, it has made the best possible start to the tournament, winning all three of its Group games so far, including a hugely impressive 5-1 home win over Argentinian giants River Plate. Under Fernando Diniz, Fluminese finished in a strong third place in the Campeonato last season, and this could be a team to keep on your side in the futures market.
While Fluminese is rightly considered a leading contender after its thrashing of River Plate, for the Argentinian side, that result raised serious concerns and although the team is flying high in the Argentinian Primera Division, the post-Marcelo Gallardo era has been a disappointing one in continental football as River Plate has lost two of its three games and is in danger of elimination.
Boca Juniors faces the opposite problem. Under new boss Jorge Almiron, the team is struggling in the Primera Division, although it is early days in his tenure, but it is playing well in the Copa Libertadores, with two wins from three so far. Still, it hasn’t yet looked capable of going all the way to win the trophy.
Betting Underdogs for Copa Libertadores Glory
If you’re looking for an underdog bet in the Copa Libertadores Futures betting market it is worth remembering that 16 out of the last 18 tournaments have been won by a team from Brazil or Argentina, and between them, teams from those nations have won 47 titles, representing 75% of the winners.
So, even when looking for underdog bets, it is best to concentrate on those nations and Athletico Paranaense looks a good option. It has made a good start to the Campeanato and is top of its Group in the Copa Libertadores. The early signs from new manager Paulo Turra are promising and his team could represent a little value in the futures market.
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