The Copa Libertadores is in its early stages but River Plate already look like a good pick
Who do Bettors Favor?
Clubs from Brazil and Argentina have dominated this tournament over the years so it is no surprise to find them once again taking up the prominent positions in the Copa Libertadores futures markets at the best online sportsbooks. Last year’s runners-up Flamengo are the current favorites at +400 while reigning champions Palmeiras share second favorite spot with Atletico Miniero. River Plate are the leading hope for Argentina at +600 while Boca Juniors can be bet at +1400
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Copa Libertadores 101
The competition is the South American counterpart of the Champions League or the Concacaf Champions League, and it attracts teams from across the continent, although Brazil and Argentina usually have the majority of the entries.
This year’s competition features nine teams from Brazil, six from Argentina, and four apiece for the other eight nations taking part.
Once the qualifying rounds were over, the tournament proper began on April 5 and features eight groups of four teams each. A simple format sees the top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stages, which lead to the final on October 29, which this year is in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Copa Libertadores Outright Futures
With just two rounds played in the Group Phase, we’re at an early stage of the tournament, but there have already been some notable results, including a surprise defeat for Boca Juniors against Deportivo Cali and a last-minute victory for Colon against Uruguayan champions Penarol.
Current tournament favorites Flamengo won this tournament for the second time in 2019 and reached the final last year and they have made a solid start, winning both of their games so far, but it is worth noting that they finished seven points behind Serie A winners Atletico Miniero last year.
Atletico are currently +500 to win the tournament, compared to Flamengo’s +400, due largely to the fact that they have drawn their opening two games, but they should still be able to get through their Group and rate as a stronger bet to win the tournament.
At slightly bigger odds, River Plate of Argentina look a better option. They returned to the pinnacle of Argentine football last season and did it with some style, clinching the Primera Division by seven points. They won the Copa Libertadores in 2015 and 2018, and they advanced to the semi-finals in 2019 and the quarter-finals last season, so they know what is required to go deep in this competition and after two solid wins, they are already top of their Group.BetOnline
Nacional the Pick in Group C
This format always seems to produce one Group that is tougher than the rest, and this year’s toughest section is undoubtedly Group C. Argentina’s Velez Sarsfield and Estudiantes boast five Copa titles between them, while Nacional of Uruguay are three-time winners and RB Bragantino are one of the rising forces of South American club football.
Two rounds into the Group and it is still a wide-open section. Bragantino pulled off a notable win against Group first seeds Nacional in their opening game, but were then held to a draw by Velez Sarsfield. Meanwhile, the supposed worse team in the Group, Estudiantes, who had to come through the qualifying tournament, thrashed Velez and then earned a point in Uruguay against Nacional.
As a result, Nacional are now the +700 underdogs in the Group, but that may be an overreaction. The Uruguayans are only three points behind the Group leaders and are one of the continent’s strongest teams so could be worth backing at their current odds.
Bet on Porteno in Group G
Uruguayan champions Penarol were the top seed for Group G but were undone by a late winner for Colon in their opening game, which was good news for the rest of the Group. Colon subsequently lost to Paraguayan champions Cerro Porteno and the section looks wide open at the moment, with the upcoming clash between Cerro Porteno and Penarol on April 27 likely to be pivotal.
Penarol are still prominent in the Group G betting, just behind Porteno, but it could be a mistake to assume that they will bounce back from their slow start. The five-time Copa champions are also struggling domestically. They’ve only won three of their opening nine games in the Primera Division’s Torneo Apertura and are languishing in seventh position.
If Penarol’s struggles continue, that could represent an ideal opportunity for Porteno to win the Group, and they are worth a bet at this point, given the current odds.