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Previewing the 2021 Brazilian Serie A Season

| May 20, 2021 7:53 am PDT

Following a truncated off-season, top-flight soccer returns to Brazil on May 29, with newly promoted Chapecoense hosting Red Bull Bragantino in the much-anticipated curtain raiser.

Having won each of the last two titles, Flamengo heads into the new campaign as the team to beat. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Rogerio Ceni’s team is the bookies’ favorite to win the 2021 Brazilian Serie A title.

But with clubs like Internacional, Atletico Mineiro, Sao Paulo, and Fluminense pushing Flamengo all the way last season, this year’s title race is set to be fiercely contested.

In this post, I look at the 2021 Brazilian Serie A title odds ahead of the new season. I also assess the betting favorites and sleepers before sharing my predictions for the 2021 Brazilian Serie A season.

Let’s start by checking out the latest Serie A winner odds for 2021.

Latest Brazilian Serie A Winner Odds for 2021

Here are the latest 2021 Brazilian Serie A winner odds. The prices for this market may vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, so make sure you shop around at the best online sportsbooks and find the best odds.

As you would expect, Flamengo is the bookies’ favorite to win the 2021 Serie A title. Rogerio Ceni’s men have won each of the last two titles and have only finished outside the top three on one occasion since 2015.

Palmeiras triumphed in 2016 and 2018 but could only manage a disappointing seventh-place finish last season. Still, the oddsmakers expect the 2020 Copa Libertadores champion to come back fighting this year.

Atletico Mineiro finished three points shy of Flamengo last term, while Internacional ended up just a single point behind the champion. Both clubs are in the mix for the title this year.

Priced slightly higher but still in with a genuine chance of success, Gremio, Sao Paulo, Corinthians, Fluminense, and Santos will all fancy their chances of upsetting the 2021 Brazilian Serie A winner odds.

Before we take closer look at the Serie A betting favorites, let’s go over what happened last season.

What Happened Last Season?

Flamengo may have clinched back-to-back titles last term, but it was by no means a formality. Internacional and Atletico Mineiro pushed Flamengo all the way, while Sao Paulo and Fluminense remained in contention throughout the campaign.

2020 Brazilian Serie A Standings

As the table below shows, the top five teams were separated by just seven points last season.

BRAZILIAN SERIE A – 2020 FINAL STANDINGS (TOP 5)
Position Team Wins Draws Losses GD Points
1 Flamengo 21 8 9 +20 71
2 Internacional 20 10 8 +26 70
3 Atletico Mineiro 20 8 10 +19 68
4 Sao Paulo 18 12 8 +18 66
5 Fluminense 18 10 10 +13 64

Ceni’s men were the top scorers in the league, netting 68 goals in 38 games. However, the six sides directly below them all finished the year with a better defensive record.

Internacional conceded just 35 goals last season, giving them the best goal difference in the division.

Brazilian Serie A Top Scorers in 2020

Here are the top goalscorers from the previous campaign.

  • Claudinho (Red Bull Bragantino) – 18 goals
  • Luciano (Sao Paulo) – 18 goals
  • Thiago Galhardo (Internacional) – 17 goals
  • Marinho (Santos) – 17 goals
  • Gabriel Barbosa (Flamengo) – 14 goals

Red Bull Bragantino’s Claudinho and Sao Paulo’s Luciano shared the Golden Boot last season, scoring 18 goals each. Thaigo Galhardo and Marinho both finished just one goal behind the joint top scorers.

Flamengo’s Gabriel Barbosa bagged 25 goals on his way to claiming the Golden Boot in 2019, but he only managed to net 14 goals last term.

Right – let’s assess the favorites to win the 2021 Brazilian Serie A title.

Analyzing the Brazilian Serie A Favorites for 2021

Below, I analyze the 2021 Brazilian Serie A betting favorites. The odds suggest there are five frontrunners, so let’s take a look at those teams in more detail.

Flamengo (4.50)

When Flamengo won the title in 2019, they finished a whopping 16 points clear at the summit. Last season, the gap between first and second was just a single point.

Of course, securing back-to-back titles is an incredible achievement; let’s not forget that. But it wouldn’t be fair to say that Flamengo dominated Brazil’s top division last term.

Although they finished as the league’s top scorers, Ceni’s men finished the previous campaign with the twelfth-best defensive record. If they don’t tighten things up at the back, they will struggle to defend their crown.

That said, with Gabigol leading the line – anything is possible. The prolific forward has racked up more than 80 goal involvements in under 100 appearances since joining the club in 2019.

Palmeiras (7.00)

Boasting ten top-flight titles, Palmeiras is officially the most successful team in Brazil. However, the club endured a poor 2020 campaign – finishing 13 points behind Flamengo in seventh place.

Granted, Abel Ferreira’s side won the 2020 Copa Libertadores. But the “Big Green” was nowhere near the level required to challenge for the Serie A title last year.

Palmeiras won the title in 2016 and 2018 before finishing third in 2019. If they want to mount a serious title challenge in 2021, they will need to rediscover their best domestic form.

PALMEIRAS’ RECENT SERIE A FINISHES
Year Position
2016 1st
2017 2nd
2018 2nd
2019 3rd
2020 7th

Internacional (7.50)

It is worth pointing out that Internacional lost fewer games than Flamengo last season. The runners-up suffered eight defeats, while the champions lost nine matches.

Goalkeeper Marcelo Lomba was the star of the show for the Reds in 2020, keeping a mammoth 15 clean sheets – three more than his nearest challenger. Unsurprisingly, Inter finished the previous campaign with the best defensive record in the division.

With Lomba between the sticks, Internacional will almost certainly find themselves in the race for the title once again.

Atletico Mineiro (9.00)

Atletico Minerio’s last top-flight triumph came all the way back in 1971. Since then, the club has registered five runner-up finishes – most recently in 2015 – but has not been able to add to its title tally.

However, Cuca’s men established themselves as one of the strongest teams in the country last season – and the bookies’ 2021 Brazilian Serie A winner odds prove that.

Atletico only finished three points behind Flamengo last term and also scored just four goals less than the champions. Can they compete with the top teams again in 2021?

Sao Paulo (9.00)

Led by former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo, Sao Paulo will be focused on building on last season’s fourth-place finish and closing the gap to the top teams in the league.

Just like Internacional, Sao Paulo only lost eight games last term. But with 12 draws to their name, the 2008 champions ended up falling five points shy of Flamengo.

If Crespo’s men start turning more draws into wins, they will be difficult to stop this year, especially if Luciano picks up where he left off last season.

Assessing the 2021 Brazilian Serie A Outsiders

There are several hugely successful clubs sitting just outside the bookies’ group of favorites. Can any of the Serie A sleepers challenge for the title this year?

Gremio (13.00)

Gremio finished second in 2013 before sealing a third-place finish in 2015. Still, the two-time champs (1981, 1996) haven’t had much to celebrate in recent years.

The Porto Alegre outfit ended up sixth last term – 12 points behind Flamengo.

Although Tiago Nunes’ side appears to be heading in the right direction, it will be difficult for the club to challenge for the title in 2021. Future winners? Perhaps. But not right now.

Corinthians (13.00)

Only two teams have won more Serie A titles than Corinthians. The seven-time champions last triumphed in 2017 but have since spent a few years in the doldrums.

Remarkably, the fallen giant finished closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table in 2020, so it will be tough for the club to jump from twelfth to first in the space of a season.

Following Vagner Mancini’s departure, Corinthians is on the look-out for a new head coach. Needless to say, the newcomer will have his work cut out.

CORINTHIANS’ RECENT SERIE A FINISHES
Year Position
2016 7th
2017 1st
2018 13th
2019 8th
2020 12th

Fluminense (15.00)

Fluminense finished 13 points ahead of Corinthians in the previous campaign, yet the bookies have priced the Rio de Janeiro club at 15.00 to win the title this year.

That is probably fair, though, as Flu last won the title back in 2012 and hasn’t registered a top-three finish since then.

Highly rated winger Marcos Paulo holds the key to his side’s chances of success. The 20-year-old notched five goals and five assists last term, further enhancing his growing reputation.

Santos (17.00)

Despite reaching the 2020 Copa Libertadores final, Santos finished eighth in Serie A last season. It could be argued that their continental commitments disrupted their domestic campaign.

Santos finished second in 2019 but clinched the most recent of their eight titles all the way back in 2014. New head coach Fernando Diniz will need to get the best out of star players like Kaio Jorge and Marinho.

Who Will Win the Brazilian Serie A Title in 2021?

At this stage, it is difficult to look past Flamengo. The defending champions have won each of the previous two titles, and their consistency over the past five seasons has been unrivalled.

Having said that, last year’s title race went down to the wire.

Internacional finished just one point shy of Flamengo, while Atletico Mineiro was only three points behind. Even fourth-place Sao Paulo and fifth place Fluminense remained in contention until the very end.

I expect Palmeiras to bounce back this year, and Corinthians cannot possibly perform as poorly as they did last season. With teams like Gremio and Santos also in the mix, betting on the 2021 Brazilian Serie A title winner isn’t easy.

At 4.50, Flamengo looks like a safe bet. But if you are feeling lucky, why not back one of the outsiders to win the title?

Sao Paulo seems well priced at 9.00, especially when you consider that Crespo is among the most highly rated young managers in the game.

I also like the look of Santos at 17.00. The 2019 runner-up endured a difficult 2020 campaign, so they will be desperate to prove a point this year.

If you’re looking for more advice on how to pick a title winner, make sure you check out our guide to betting on soccer futures and outrights.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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