THEY'RE HALF the price of their nearest rivals in the betting market, they've sold more than 10,000 season-tickets and they almost certainly have the biggest budget in the division, so all the portents point to Portsmouth justifying hot favouritism for League Two this season.
Older Torquay United fans will be quick to point out that, the last time Pompey played at this level (1978-80), the Gulls under Mike Green beat them both times at Plainmoor.
United lost twice at Fratton Park, to be fair, but at least honours were even.
In 1980 Pompey won promotion in fourth place, behind Huddersfield, Walsall and...well, well, well – Newport County.
Thirty-four years on, Portsmouth and Newport are both back in the fourth tier of English football, but via very different routes.
Pompey have been to the Premier League and back, with an FA Cup triumph thrown in. Newport have plunged out of the Football League, out of business and fought their way up from the depths of despair.
Free at last of the financial nightmare which has prompted the fall, Portsmouth and their manager Guy Whittingham have been able to build the sort of squad which should surely be good enough this year.
If it isn't, they need their backsides kicking.
Second favourites in many books are Fleetwood Town, whose owner Andy Pilley is again backing his manager, now Graham Alexander, to pull off what would be a second promotion in three years.
Pilley was disappointed last season, which cost Conference-winning boss Micky Mellon his job, and I've a feeling that he may be again.
Two more clubs that may not be able to answer their demanding fans' expectations are Bristol Rovers and Northampton Town.
Rovers' John Ward has been complaining about the restrictions on his wage-budget, and his squad still lacks depth.
Having seen his team routed by Bradford City in the Play-Off Final in May, Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd says he wants to change style and start passing the ball. Mmmm!
Apart from Portsmouth, the clubs relegated from League One are Scunthorpe United, Bury and Hartlepool United.
Iron manager Brian Laws has lost some key players, notably midfielder Jimmy Ryan to Chesterfield and winger Mark Duffy to Doncaster.
But Laws has managed to sign several players who should be nailed on to succeed at this level.
Bury are still emerging from a real financial crisis and, although Kevin Blackwell has been as busy as any manager in the division this summer, it would be an astonishing turnaround if he took them back up this quickly.
The same goes for new Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper, although they should be strong enough at home to avoid going into free-fall.
Two of last season's underachievers were Oxford United and Chesterfield, and I expect them both to be up with the pace this time.
The pressure is certainly on at both clubs, but Chris Wilder and Paul Cook have both recruited well.
Jimmy Ryan, from Scunthorpe, should be a class-act at this level for the Spireites, and there'll be something wrong if Dave Kitson can't score 20 goals for the U's.
Keith Hill is such a clued-up manager in League Two that I also expect Rochdale to mount a challenge for promotion.
Hill, who returned to Spotland midway through last season, has had time to put his own squad together now and he certainly expects his squad to be good enough.
And, even though they have fallen just short in the last two seasons, don't write off Cheltenham Town for third-time-lucky.
Mark Yates has wheeled and dealed cleverly, and the Robins look a little stronger, especially in attack, than last season.
Among the so-called 'bigger' clubs in League Two are Southend United and Plymouth Argyle.
Phil Brown has almost certainly lost better players than he's gained at Roots Hall, and John Sheridan needs longer to turn Argyle into a promotion outfit.
Burton Albion is an interesting one – they were terrific at home last season and that carried them into a surprise Play-Off spot.
Gary Rowett has signed two very different centre-forwards in the wake of leading scorer Calvin Zola's move to Aberdeen – old-fashioned No.9 Michael Symes and talented targetman Rene Howe from Torquay.
It's hard to imagine them playing together, so could it be one or the other with another ex-Gull, Billy Kee?
If Rowett does have the Brewers up there again, they'll struggle to keep him, but he could have his work cut out.
One or two pundits fancy York City to improve under new boss Nigel Worthington, and they should avoid a repeat of last season's struggles. But promotion - I'm not sure.
Gareth Ainsworth did extraordinarily well to get a big mid-season run out of Wycombe Wanderers last season, but money is still tight at Adams Park and that's restricted his transfer activity.
Watch out for Josh Scowen there – a young midfielder going places.
I can't really envisage major improvements there, or at Exeter City, Morecambe, Dagenham & Redbridge, AFC Wimbledon, though they did look decent at Plainmoor last weekend, or Accrington Stanley.
If you offered the fans of any of those clubs a place of guaranteed safety now, they'd probably take it.
The two promoted clubs are Mansfield Town, who won the Conference last season, and Newport.
The Stags have lost key striker Matt Green, once of Torquay, and although they should be solid enough, they may not have the firepower to go up again.
Plenty of neutral fans will be rooting for Newport, and Justin Edinburgh has done an extraordinary job getting them back into the League, but a season of consolidation will probably be exactly what they need at this stage.
So we're left with Torquay United, and their new-look squad under Alan Knill.
I wasn't going to pick them in my Seven To Follow.
Well, Knill hadn't been able to make some of his key signings, in defence and up front, until late in pre-season.
His wingers will have a key role to play, and all of them are still learning their trade.
And, without the financial clout to buy a promotion team, Torquay have always been a club which took at least a couple of years to build one.
But, encouraged by recent arrivals, I am going to include the Gulls as my 'outsiders to watch'.
A back-four of Dale Tonge, Krystian Pearce, Aaron Downes and Kevin Nicholson looks pretty good to me.
Ben Harding is a solid addition in central midfield, and there should be goals in a pacy attack.
Plenty depends on how quickly new loan centre-forward Callum Ball settles in, and don't expect the Gulls to rip it up from Day One.
But Knill and his No.2 Chris Brass know what is required at this level, United should definitely improve as the season goes on and the potential is there to make a run for the Play-Offs over the second half of the season.
My Seven To Follow are: Portsmouth, Chesterfield, Oxford United, Rochdale, Scunthorpe United, Cheltenham Town and, yes, Torquay United.