Brazil’s top-flight soccer season was originally scheduled to kick off in May. However, due to the health crisis, the 2020 Serie A campaign was delayed. The country isn’t exactly in the best situation right now, but the new season is set to commence on Saturday, August 8.
Flamengo won the title last term, clinching their first Serie A triumph for ten years. But with five different teams lifting the trophy in the past eight seasons, it’s difficult to predict who will be crowned champion of Brazil this time around. Nevertheless, this post will give you insight into the league.
In this Brazilian Serie A 2020 betting guide, I prepare you for wagering on the 2020/21 season. I look at the best sites to use, upcoming fixtures, top teams and players, and odds for the main outright markets.
If you’re a soccer fanatic like myself, I’m sure you will be familiar with betting on Europe’s major leagues. Wagering on divisions such as the EPL couldn’t be easier, but it can often be tricky to find the right guidance when it comes to betting on some of the lesser-known leagues around the world.
Don’t get me wrong, Brazil’s top flight is by no means a minor division. But it is nowhere near as popular as the top European leagues. With that in mind, I urge you to open an account with one of our top-rated online soccer betting sites.
All of our recommendations are among the most trustworthy options out there, and they also offer competitive odds and bonuses. So, if you’re serious about betting on the Brazilian Serie A in 2020, I suggest checking out the sites above.
When Are Brazilian Serie A Games Usually Played?
The 2020/21 Brazilian Serie A season is set to start this weekend, with three matchups taking place on August 8. The first game on Saturday kicks off at 19:00 local time, and the final tie commences at 21:00.
The remaining seven fixtures in Round 1 take place on Sunday. Botafogo and Bahia kick off the action on August 9 at 11:00, with Palmeiras and Vasco completing Sunday’s schedule at 19:45.
The weekend kick-off times will follow a similar pattern throughout the campaign, but there will also be a number of midweek rounds to clear the backlog of fixtures created by the delay. The midweek games will always be played in the evening, ranging from 19:00 to 21:30 local time.
To prepare you for the season ahead, here is the opening round of fixtures.
Fortaleza vs. Athletico-PR
Coritiba vs. Internacional
Sport Recife vs. Ceara
Botafogo vs. Bahia
Corinthians vs. Atletico Goianiense
Flamengo vs. Atletico Mineiro
Goias vs. Sao Paulo
Santos vs. Bragantino
Gremio vs. Fluminense
Palmeiras vs. Vaso
Top Teams in the Brazilian Serie A
Brazil is home to many of the biggest soccer clubs in South America. I take a look at some of the country’s top teams below.
After finishing second in 2018, Flamengo clinched their first Serie A title since 2009 last year. The Rio de Janeiro side finished a colossal 16 points ahead of second-place Santos, losing just four of their 38 league games in 2019.
Not only was Flamengo the best team in Brazil last year, but the Maracana outfit also shone on the global stage. The club won the Copa Libertadores — the South American equivalent of the UEFA Champions League — before reaching the final of the Club World Cup. Despite losing the final to Liverpool, Flamengo can be extremely proud of their efforts.
Former New York City head coach Domenec Torrent recently replaced Jorge Jesus as manager, and the Spaniard has inherited a squad packed with attacking talent. Indeed, Gabriel Barbosa, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, and Bruno Henrique claimed the top three spots in last year’s Serie A goal involvement charts.
Flamengo has all the right ingredients to enjoy a sustained period of dominance in Brazil’s top tier, but the country’s other heavyweights will be desperate to stop that from happening.
Palmeiras is Brazil’s most successful club. The Sao Paulo outfit has secured a record ten Serie A titles and has claimed two of the previous four. In fact, Verdao hasn’t finished outside of the top three since 2015, so it’s fair to say that Palmeiras has been the country’s most consistent team in recent years.
When star striker Gabriel Jesus left for Manchester City in 2017, many believed the team would struggle without their main man. But that hasn’t been the case, as Palmeiras has continued to challenge at the top end of the table since Jesus’ departure.
A seven-game winless run saw the club part ways with manager Luiz Felipe Scolari midway through the previous campaign, but firing the former Brazil and Chelsea boss proved to be the right decision. Palmeiras only lost four of their 22 league games following Scolari’s sacking and eventually finished third, level with second-place Santos on 74 points.
Following another successful season, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that Palmeiras is among the bookies’ favorites to win the title this term.
Only Palmeiras has won more Serie A crowns than Santos, although the Peixe hasn’t had much to shout about lately. Santos claimed the title in 2002 and 2004, but the team has been forced to settle for three runner-up finishes since then.
However, it does feel like the club is getting closer to regaining the title. Santos finished second to a very strong Flamengo side last season, and with experienced head coach Jesualdo Ferreira at the helm, I’m expecting the team to challenge for the top spot again this term.
Highly-rated teenager Kaio Jorge looks set to follow in the footsteps of ex-Santos star Neymar, with Juventus rumored to be interested in the 18-year-old. Having said that, Neymar didn’t leave the club until he was 21, so the Peixe will be hopeful of keeping hold of Jorge for a little while longer. If the exciting young forward does stay, he will certainly enhance Santos’ chances of reclaiming the title.
What has happened to Corinthians over the past couple of years!? The Sao Paulo club won the title in 2015 and 2017, taking their overall tally to seven top-flight triumphs. But the team has been nowhere near the title race in the previous two seasons.
After finishing thirteenth in 2018 and avoiding relegation by just two points, Corinthians could only manage an eighth-place finish last term. Timao was expected to bounce back from their uncharacteristic 2018 campaign, but the club barely snuck into the top half of the table last season.
It is no secret that countless managerial changes and off-field issues have affected the team’s performances in recent seasons. The club is about to enter a new era under the guidance of Tiago Nunes, so it will be interesting to see how Corinthians fares in 2020/21.
Star Players in the Brazilian Serie A
Serie A has produced an endless conveyor belt of talent over the years. From World Cup winners to Ballon d’Or regulars, Brazil’s top tier has continuously churned out superstars. Let’s take a look at the current crop.
Everton is arguably the best Brazilian playing outside of Europe at the moment, and at 24, I’m seriously surprised he still hasn’t been snapped up by a major club. The tricky winger has already made well over 150 appearances for Gremio, and he is closing in on a half century of goals for the Porto Alegre outfit.
Gabriel Barbosa is undoubtedly the most lethal striker in Brazil’s top tier. “Gabigol” has claimed the Serie A Golden Boot in each of the previous two seasons, first with Santos and most recently with Flamengo. Sure, he impressed in 2018. But he took his game to another level last year.
After failing to make a name for himself in Europe, Barbosa finally appears to have settled in his homeland. Unsuccessful spells with Italian giant Inter Milan and Portuguese powerhouse Benfica could have knocked his confidence, but the 23-year-old has proved his doubters wrong.
Barbosa finished four goals ahead of teammate Bruno Henrique in last season’s Serie A goalscoring charts, so I can see him keeping Flamengo at the top end of the table in 2020/21.
Giorgian de Arrascaeta
Most players are either good at scoring goals or good at creating them, but Giorgian de Arrascaeta has got it all. The Uruguay international only featured in 23 of Flamengo’s league games last season, but he managed to rack up an astonishing 13 goals and 14 assists.
The talented attacking midfielder made a name for himself at Cruzeiro. However, he has become a truly world-class player at Flamengo. Having inspired the club to their Serie A and Copa Libertadores double last year, I’m very excited to watch de Arrascaeta progress throughout the upcoming campaign.
Latest 2020 Brazilian Serie A Betting Odds
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about Brazil’s top division, why not try your hand at betting on the new Serie A season? I assess the bookies’ odds for some of the main outright markets below.
Betting on the 2020/21 Brazilian Serie A Title Winner
Here are the title odds for the 2020/21 Serie A season.
Unsurprisingly, Flamengo (2.00) is the bookies’ favorite to retain the title. The Rio de Janeiro club was head and shoulders above the other teams in the division last year, although that’s not to say that securing back-to-back triumphs will be an easy task.
Palmeiras (4.00) finished third last term. But having recorded three consecutive top-two finishes between 2016 and 2018, I’m confident that Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s side will be challenging for the title this time around. I definitely can’t see Palmeiras ending up 16 points shy of the top spot again.
Despite finishing second last year and nine points ahead of fourth-place Gremio (6.50), the bookies seem to think that Santos (11.00) doesn’t stand as good a chance as Renato Gaucho’s men. Personally, I’m not sure why the price for Santos to win the title is so high.
If you’re looking for a safe bet in this market, look no further than Flamengo. But if you want a riskier option, I recommend backing Santos. Considering that the Sao Paulo club finished second last year, odds of 11.00 for Santos to win the 2020/21 title are seriously attractive.
Betting on Who Be Relegated
As you can see, the odds for the 2020/21 Serie A relegation market are extremely tight.
Atletico Goianiense (1.75) and Sport Recife (1.75) gained promotion from Serie B last year, so it’s hardly surprising to see them as the favorites in this market. But with four relegation spots up for grabs, backing one or two of the outsiders wouldn’t be a bad idea here.
Ceara (2.75) narrowly avoided relegation last season, finishing just three points clear of the drop zone. Botafogo (2.30) was fortunate to finish outside the top four, too, after losing exactly half of their league games in 2019. It’s also worth pointing out that only the bottom three teams lost more games than Botafogo last year.
Fortaleza (2.30) and Goias (2.50) both secured top-half finishes last time out. So, barring a catastrophe, I don’t think either of them will be in danger of relegation come the end of the season.
Ultimately, I really like the look of Ceara and Botafogo in this market.
That’s it for my Brazilian Serie A betting guide. I hope this post has given you a better understanding of how and where to wager on the league.
Don’t forget, the new season kicks off on Saturday, August 8, so make sure you get your bets for the outright markets down before then.