Archive | December, 2013

Sunday’s La Liga Betting Previews – 05/01/14

24 Dec

Sevilla v Getafe

Previously winless in league away games for the best part of a calendar year, Sevilla have now won 3 in a row, most recently against Granada.

At home, however, Emery’s Rojiblancos – who were missing key midfielder Rakitic – couldn’t beat Athletic Bilbao in their last league game at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and, most recently, they also lost (albeit with a weakened starting 11) 2-0 to 3rd division Racing Santander in the Copa del Rey.

In their last two league away games, Getafe lost 1-0 away to Malaga and were hammered 7-0 by Atletico Madrid. However, prior to those defeats, the Azulones won 3 road games in a row – against Espanyol, Granada and Villarreal.

All in all, despite what I wrote in the opening paragraph, Sevilla are a strong home team, but they’ll miss midfielder Iborra, defender Cala and left-back Moreno – who has already been capped by Spain and looks like a star in the making.

Sevilla should and probably will defeat Getafe, but they’ve conceded in 6 out of their last 7 league home games and Getafe have netted in 4 out of their last 6 away, so factoring in defensive absentees (Getafe have nobody listed as injured or suspended) and assuming that Sevilla will score, BTTS looks like it’s worth a punt here. BTTS & Sevilla to win is 3.4 if you want to take a bigger chance.

Worth a punt: Both teams to score (1.85)

Barcelona v Elche

Barca have not been overly impressive in 2013/14, not by their usual standards, but they’ve won every league game they’ve played at Camp Nou and this shouldn’t change against an Elche side that has lost 4 games in a row.

Barca – 2 goals looks like a fair punt but, as is usually the case, I prefer to bet on goals. Since we might have to allow for a slow start after the festive season and the 2 week break we’ve endured, I opt for match goals rather than first half.

Recommendation: Over 3.5 goals (1.8)

Osasuna v Espanyol

Osasuna are likely to miss Sisi, De las Cuevas and Nino through injury, while Damia is suspended. Espanyol, on the other hand, will play without Victor Sanchez and Fuentes through suspension.

As for my pick in this game, well, I’m not betting on it. If you plan to, though, take note that Osasuna have only won 1 league game at home in 2013/14, against Rayo – who everybody beats – and Espanyol won 2-0 here last season.

Having looked at the handicap and double chance prices, Espanyol draw no bet looks like a fair punt at 2.2, if you must. I won’t count this as a ‘tip,’ it’s just the fairest logic I can find for those who want some form of guidance.

Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao

Well, well, well, this should be a cracker! Indeed, the obvious pick, especially in a derby game like this, is BTTS, but at 1.62 I’m not playing. Now, I do favour a La Real victory in this tie as they won at (the old) San Mames last time they faced Athletic and also tasted victory at San Sebastian in 2012/13, but I also want to bet on the more acceptably priced over goals, sit back and see what happens.

In a derby game, particularly one that’s held in Spain – it’s also worth looking at booking points. Over 60 looks perfectly doable, and is available at 2.1 with one firm.

However, ever honest, I’m desperate for my bed now (I’m on holiday) and will check who the ref is tomorrow. Hold fire on anything other than the bet listed beneath until then.

Worth a small punt: BTTS & Real Sociedad to win (4.5)

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Saturday’s La Liga Betting Previews – 04/01/14

24 Dec

First of all, Happy New Year to you all! Secondly, please take note of my new points scheme, which is detailed in my (restarted) La Liga record.

Malaga v Atletico Madrid

I’m a little spooked by this one! Of course, given that Los Colchoneros are now realistic title contenders, we expect them to win virtually every game, just like Real Madrid and Barcelona. However, Atletico will miss key midfielder Gabi, with back-up Raul Garica also suspended and fellow midfielder Suarez likely to miss out through injury.

Atletico do still have Koke – who is more of a creative player than those listed above – but their midfield lacks the ‘steel’ it usually has and I’m concerned. Perhaps I’m being overcautious, but when Atletico have dropped points in 2013/14, it’s been after a break from La Liga action.

Now, I’m not saying that Malaga are going to win or even draw this game, but the Anchovies have been in good recent form – undefeated in 5 combined league and cup games – and, put off an Atletico win at 1.53, a -1 handicap or even a HT/FT (maybe they start slow after the festive break, and sometimes Draw/Atletico is a winner in their road games), I’ve opted for a goals related bet.

It should be noted that the last two head to head matches played between Malaga and Atletico at La Rosaleda both ended in 0-0 draws, but the Anchovies have conceded 12 goals in their last five home games (this includes a cup tie) and, missing midfielders or not, the ultra-confident 2013/14 Atletico Madrid should be able to get two goals.

Recommendation: Over 1.5 Atletico team goals (1.73)

Valladolid v Real Betis

Well, first of all, let me point out that I won’t bet on this game as a Betis fan – I expect them to get relegated but pray that they don’t and won’t bet against this hope.

Statistically, my beloved Betis haven’t won a league game in over 3 months, which suggests your best bet is Valladolid draw no bet at 1.73. I’m not going to count this pick in my betting records because I’m not overly confident, but – on paper – it looks like the best and most sensible offering I can give you.

However, over 2.5 goals should also be seriously considered as 4 out of the last 5 Valladolid home games have contained 3 goals or more, with the last 5 Betis away games the same.

Indeed, as I write these very words, over 2.5 sits best with me after looking at the stats, but I’ll leave you to choose on this one. Good luck, whatever you go with.

Valencia v Levante

I find Valencia quite hard to judge right now, mainly because their league results have been poor, but also because Los Che recently sacked their manager, Djukic, after the chairman stated – on Sky TV – that the Serbian’s services were certain to be retained until the end of the season, whatever the clubs results. There is also talk of a January takeover of the club. So, in short, the club is a mess right now.

Of course, Valencia played very well in defeat to Real Madrid last time out, but I fear using this as a barometer of their form since parting ways with Djukic, simply because pretty much every La Liga team raises their game when Los Blancos come to town.

All in all, if we consider that the last three matches between Valencia and Levante have resulted in two draws and a win for Levante, factor in the general uncertainty and lack of stability at Valencia and add Los Che’s shaky league form to my opinion that Valencia have weakened in terms of playing personnel more than Levante have since the two sides last met, giving the away side a handicap start in this derby game looks like the bet to take this time.

Indeed, if we dismiss their opening day 7-0 ‘given up before a ball has been kicked’ drubbing away to Barca, Levante – who have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 4 of their 2013/14 La Liga away games – have otherwise not been beaten by more than a goal on the road this season.

Worth a punt: Levante + 1.25 Asian handicap (1.9)

Almeria v Granada

Short preview here, and while this isn’t a given and low stakes are advised, Almeria have only won 1 La Liga home game this season, while Granada have recorded victory in 3 of their last 4 (league) road games, with a defeat to Barca the blemish in those 4.

Almeria’s top scorer, Rodri, is also likely to miss this game through injury.

Worth a small punt: Granada + 0.25 Asian handicap (1.85)

Sunday’s La Liga Betting Previews – 22/12/13

20 Dec

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Espanyol (1.85) v Valladolid (5.2)

Interestingly, 5 of the last 6 head to head clashes between these two have ended in draws, with all 6 going under 2.5 goals.

In terms of games played this at home this season, Espanyol have failed to beat Betis (0-0 draw), Getafe (0-2 loss) and Malaga (0-0 draw), but have taken all 3 points in fixtures against Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid!

What that suggests is that they play above their level against top 6 teams but cannot fully be trusted against weaker sides.

Pouring a little salt on the above theory is that Espanyol lost at home to Real Sociedad in their last league home game, with a defeat to Sevilla in the fixture before. Even still, it’s hard to trust Espanyol to beat Valladolid.

In their last four away games, Valladolid have won 1 (Rayo), drawn 1 (Valencia) and lost 2 (Real Madrid and Barca), which is not a bad record considering the teams they played.

What is a worry, and something that has put me off backing them + 0.5 AH at 2.16, is that Valladolid will travel to Barcelona after playing in Madrid midweek – with their best offensive players on show, one of whom has been reported injured in some quarters, in a draining contest that they played with ten men for most of the second half.

Espanyol, on the other hand, will have a fresh Sergio Garcia available again, and they played at home in the cup midweek.

All in all, perhaps under 2.5 (1.73) is the bet, but I haven’t been able to decide on a firm punt and opt not to bet on this game.

Getafe (8) v Barcelona (1.45)

Barca HT/FT has won in 6 of their last 8 away games – with a 0-0 draw at Osasuna and 1-0 defeat in Bilbao the only exceptions. In part, that suggests that Barca will win if they can score, and if they score it’ll be in the first half.

Now, Getafe did beat Barcelona 1-0 a couple of years back at the Alfonso Perez, but the Catalans emerged with a 4-1 triumph last season and had won 3 straight in Madrid prior to that.

If you can get 2.1 on Barca winning HT/FT then it’s surely good value, and I think that we have to chance it.

For those looking to bet on a high goal count, be aware that as well as Messi, Neymar is also out, though in the Brazilian’s case this is due to suspension. Xavi – who made a big difference to the teams fluidity when he came on against Villarreal – is listed as doubtful.

Indeed, with such payers missing, Asian handicap bettors might prefer to chance Getafe + at a 1.75 price. A hard fought 1-0 Barca win would not surprise me.

Recommendation: Barca HT/FT (2.1)

Worth a punt for the Asian handicap bettor: Getafe + 1.5 (1.75)

Athletic Bilbao (1.53) v Rayo Vallecano (7.5)

With 2 out of the last 3 Athletic home games containing three goals or more, 2 of Rayo’s last 3 away the same and 4 of the last 5 head to head matches passing the over 2.5 goals mark, over 2.5 goals has to be considered.

BTTS – a winner in the last five head to head – and just as prominent as the over 2.5 stats mentioned above in recent games, also appeals statistically.

Now, I’d prefer to go with over 2.5 goals instead of BTTS, but the former is only priced at 1.7 with the latter available at 1.83.

In terms of match winner and handicaps, given that Athletic have won 5/7 at home and are undefeated at the new San Mames, you’d expect the 4th placed Basques to defeat a Rayo side that sits in 18th position having won only once in their last 8 league games.

With a push in mind worst case, -1 therefore seems like the best handicap bet for those who like such punts.

Recommendation for the Asian handicap bettor: Athletic – 1 (1.8)

Worth a punt: BTTS and Athletic to win (3.1)

Celta (1.91) v Osasuna (4.8)

Celta rested a few players in their Thursday night thrashing in Bilbao, but Brazilian forward Charles will not play due to suspension.

In terms of Celta’s home form, they did win the first leg of their cup tie with Athletic Bilbao, along with a 3-1 league defeat of Almeria, but prior to these results Celta had lost 4 in a row at home and were without a league win in Vigo this season.

So, it’s seems that Celta have ‘turned a corner’ and can now be trusted against weaker teams at home, but then Osasuna – as evidenced by wins in Malaga and Valladolid – can occasionally produce shocks.

Historically this is a low scoring game so under 2.5, especially with Charles missing, does seem to fit the bill at a generous 1.83, but I’ve deiced not to bet on Sunday’s contest.

Valencia (6) v Real Madrid (1.62)

Well, I don’t like to bet against new managers, but exceptions can be made for caretakers and teams facing Real Madrid or Barca – and there’s no rule about goal betting.

Now, I can imagine that Valencia – who, like Madrid, rested a lot of their starters for their midweek cup game – will be very happy with a 0-0, but then this fixture has a high scoring history, and after their draw in Osasuna and poor 2-0 win overly vastly inferior opposition in the cup midweek, I expect Real Madrid and Ronaldo to try and score a few goals at the Mestalla.

Finally, Pepe is out through suspension, but Ramos got one of his yellow cards rescinded and will play. Centre-back Ricard Costa is Valencia’s only listed absentee. Hopefully a defender missing for each will help the goal count in our favour.

Recommendation: Over 3.5 goals (2.05)

As always, thanks for reading, sharing and re-tweeting, and good luck, whatever you choose.

JC

Saturday’s La Liga Betting Previews – 21/12/13

20 Dec

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Villarreal (1.91) v Sevilla (4.4)

In terms of team news, Villarreal will again miss key midfielder Cani, but their other key player, Bruno, is back from suspension to bring his all round game to the Yellow Submarines midfield.

Sevilla should be without left-back Moreno, who’s been in good form recently, through injury. M’Bia also misses out through suspension.

Sevilla should be extra motivated to go for the win after their shocking midweek home loss to Racing Santander but, most notably, both teams have scored in 7/9 Villarreal home games and all 6 of Sevilla’s last 6 away.

Emery’s boys, after going most of the calender year without a league away win, have won their last 2 away games.

If we consider that Villarreal have only lost once at home and combine it with Sevilla’s improved form and the stats above, it sounds a score a draw to me.

BTTS also has a strong history in this fixture, though, so I’ll stick with that.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.8)

Betis (1.8) v Almeria (5)

Well, the new manager effect didn’t help Betis in their 5-1 defeat away to Real Sociedad last weekend and, as such, you’d be brave to back them at an odds-on price today, particularly when we consider that they’re without a league win in nearly 3 months!

On the other hand, Almeria struggle to score goals and are hard to back.

Both teams to score has won in 2 of the last 3 Betis home games and 2 out of the last three Almeria away, so that bet, priced at 1.78, has enough merit for a punt, but not a big one.

I will abstain from betting on this game as a Betis fan (told you we’d struggle and possibly get relegated at the start of the season!), but with Almeria having won 2 out of their last three away games and Betis win troubles mentioned earlier, I also offer a pick for the handicap bettors.

Lastly, if Rodri is not cleared fit to play and does not start for Almeria, the BTTS bet loses a little appeal, so I’d suggest you wait for the starting lineups before placing a bet – unless you get with the handicap offering now.

Worth a punt: Both teams to score (1.78)


Worth a punt on the Asian line: Almeria + 0.75 (1.96)

Atletico Madrid (1.17) v Levante (23)

Atletico, who have the same number of points and goal difference that Barcelona do, are imperious at home and rarely concede. They also rested pretty much all of their best eleven in the Copa del Rey midweek.

In terms of suitable bet choices, Atleti – 2 AH is 1.75, HT/FT 1.55, to win to nil 1.67 and to score in both halves is 1.67.

Los Colchoneros to score over 2.5 goals is, however, more attractive pricewise and very much plausible.

Recommendation for the goal bettor: Total Atletico goals over 2.5 (1.85)

Recommendation for the Asian handicap punter: Atletico – 2 (1.75)

Granada (2.63) v Real Sociedad (3.0)

Both teams have scored in 4 of the last 5 head to head clashes between these two, with BTTS also a winner in the last three Granada home games and Real Sociedad’s last 4 away.

In terms of the match result, Granada have lost 3 of their last 4 at home and 6/8 in total. La Real, on the other hand, have won 2 of their last 4 away – at Espanyol and Valencia, lost at Real Madrid and drawn with Valladolid.

The Basques have improved recently and should benefit from being out of the Champions League, but the Granada players have spoken of how they can’t wait for Saturday and are determined to put on a performance and win in front of their fans after a cup loss to a lesser team midweek.

That’s put me off going for Real Sociedad draw no bet at 2.1, but we can have a small tickle on the BTTS and La Real to win.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.85)


Worth a punt: Both teams to score and Real Sociedad to win (4.5)

As always, I hope my thoughts are of use to you when choosing which bets to take. Thanks for reading, sharing and re-tweeting, and good luck.

JC

Elche v Malaga – Betting Preview & Pick

20 Dec

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Elche (2.3) v Malaga (3.5)

With 5/8 Elche home games containing 2 goals or less and exactly the same statistics applicable to Malaga’s away games, under 2.5 goals springs to mind, but a best price of 1.62 is not enough to interest me.

As for 90 minute betting, Elche have lost 3 out of their last 4 home games, while Malaga have yet to win a league road game this season. Maybe a draw at 12/5, then?

In terms of who Elche have been defeated by at home, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Granada and Real Madrid are the victors in question – all teams who are superior offensively and overall, though only just in Granada’s case.

At home, Elche have beaten Valencia and Espanyol, with a draw against Real Sociedad earned in their first home game a few months back.

Now, I don’t see Malaga being as good or better than any of those, and as Elche draw no bet is a bit short to recommend at 1.62, feel that Elche – 0.25 at evens looks like the best bet if you’re looking for a punt around 2.0.

However, in a late edit, if you haven’t yet placed a bet, I’ve noticed that one firm now offers 1.78 on Elche draw no bet, which is bigger than the others (most are between 1.62 and 1.67) and my new recommended bet.

Of course, thanks for reading and good luck, whatever you bet on.

La Liga betting previews: 13-15 Dec 2013

12 Dec

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Levante v Elche

Levante (7/5) had a strange habit of picking up away wins, but have now lost five league games in a row, only scoring in one of them. They didn’t score many to begin with, but have a lot of players injured. El Zhar is, however, fit, half useful and represents their best chances of a goal.

Elche (11/4) should miss the also half useful del Moral, but Boakye is more key, and the promoted side will travel to Levante with confidence after coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in the Copa del Rey recently. In the league, Elche are in better form compared to Levante, with losses to Atletico (expected) and Villarreal (close game with a late winner), a defeat of Valencia and a draw with Getafe making up their last five league games.

All in all, if you’re going to bet on this game then you surely have to oppose the home team, particularly as Elche have draw two and won two in their last four league away games.

However, with only a 4/6 best price about the double chance and with draw no bet 6/4, I instead opt for a small punt on the straight Elche win. Take Elche draw no bet if you want a safer option. Finally, worth noting for the in-play bettor is that Elche are very good at coming from behind.

Worth a punt: Elche (11/4)

Osasuna v Real Madrid

Osasuna (12/1) away is usually a tough fixture for Real Madrid (1/4), indeed one they’ve only won twice in the last five years, including a 0-0 draw last season. Now, given that Los Blancos played Champions League midweek, and that Barca were held to a 0-0 draw in Pamplona a few weeks ago, it seems that we have enough reasoning to bet on Osasuna + as much as we can get close to evens. However, I think that Ancelotti’s side is playing well, has too much firepower for Osasuna this time and expect a comfortable away win. Besides, Barca were not playing well at the time of their draw and Levante lost to Almeria in their last home match.

Besides, eager to impress with the FIFA/Ballon d’or/change the rules as you like award coming up soon, Ronaldo will be keen to bag two or more, particularly after his penalty miss in Copenhagen.

Final word, then – If Alonso and Ronaldo start, I say go with over 2.5 total Real Madrid goals (10/11), but If Illaremendi, Jese and Morata start (surely not when experience is required in such a fixture) then attention should be directed to Osasuna + as much as possible.

Rayo v Granada

They didn’t get the win I expected at Betis, but Rayo (11/10) did at least draw 2-2 with the Seville based team in their last leage game – a result that snapped a long losing streak. However, the Rayo coach, Paco Jemez, is still under massive pressure and likely to be the next manager sacked after his Betis counterpart was recently given the boot.

As you’d expect, Barca won 4-0 at home to Granada (3/1) when the the two met at Camp Nou a few weeks ago, but Granada have been strangely more effective on the road than they have been at home this season, recording consecutive wins at Levante and Elche prior to their trip to the Catalan capitol.

In conclusion, if we factor in that Rayo, who drew 0-0 in the cup away to Valladolid midweek, have improved a little with two draws in a row and combine it with the fact that Granada have won two of their last three away games, Granada or the draw seems best. Just better hope Rayo aren’t ready to win again just yet!

Recommendation Granada or draw (10/11)

Barcelona v Villarreal

Well, I had fancied Villarreal + 1.5 Asian line or possibly BTTS since Barcelona (1/3) had lost two games in a row, but the Catalans have since racked up a few in their cup game, put six past Celtic midweek and, with key Villarreal (19/2) players Cani and Bruno listed as injured and suspended respectively, I’ve changed my mind.

Indeed, when their opponents are missing key player(s) through suspension, it usually results in an easy win for Barca as the ‘other’ teams has conceded before a ball’s been kicked. However, if anyone is to score for the Yellow Submarines, it should be Giovani. For my money, I’ll take the home side to score at least three.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 Barcelona team goals (EVS)

Malaga v Getafe

Schuster’s Malaga (11/10) managed to throw a three goal lead away to draw 3-3 at home to Osasuna in their cup fixture, but enjoyed fortune of their own after equalizing with virtually the last kick of the game away to Villarreal in their league game prior to.

In recent away games, Getafe (31/10) drew 1-1 in the cup, were hammered 7-0 at Atletico Madrid in the league, but did win away at Villarreal and Granada.

In conclusion, I’d go with Getafe + 0.5 Asian line at 11/12 on current form, but don’t want to bet on every game and opt to leave this one alone. Besides, it’s on TV in the UK so you can watch and judge in-play.

Almeria v Espanyol

Almeria (7/4) lost to Celta Vigo on the road in their last league game, but did win their first home game of the season prior to a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Real Madrid.

Espanyol (15/8) on the other hand, lost at home to Real Sociedad in their last home game, but did win away at Rayo in the game before.

All in all, I’m tempted by Espanyol, but only like to back them away at 5/2 or better and opt not to bet on this game.

Real Sociedad v Real Betis

La Real concluded their non existent Champions League campaign with yet another loss, this time at home to Bayer Leverkusen. A few days earlier, they could only draw 1-1 at Algeciras in the cup. Real Sociedad (3/4) did, however, impress in an away defeat of Espanyol in their last league game.

Betis (4/1) sacked coach Pep Mel after their 2-2 draw with Rayo Vallecano last time out, with Juan Carlos Garrido – formerly of Villarreal – quickly appointed as his successor.

In rapid conclusion, just like La Real’s win at Espanyol, styles make fights and Betis have drawn their last two fixtures at San Sebastian. For my money, with Ruben Castro back and the never oppose a new coach in his first league game rule that I have, Betis to avoid defeat is my pick. For those who like such markets, I would also expect BTTS and over 2.5 goals to be winners.

Recommendation: Betis or draw (6/5)

Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao

Sevilla (11/10) defeated Granada 2-1 on the road in their last league game, and also won 1-0 away to Racing Santander in the cup a few days later.

Of course, with Muniain scoring the only goal of the game, Athletic Bilbao (3/1) beat Barca at the new San Mames last time out.

In conclusion, I’d love to go with BTTS – a consistent winner in Sevilla home games – but it’s only 13/20. Instead, with Sevilla having played an extra game midweek, away to Freiburg in the Europa League, their key midfielder Rakitic set to miss this game through suspension, and Athletic confident after beating Barca and having won here before with similar players, I’ve gone with Athletic not to lose. Over 2.5 goals should also be a winner.

Recommendation: Athletic + 0.5 Asian line (13/14)

Atletico Madrid v Valencia

Right, this is the last one, I’m tired and want to go to bed! Nothing is impossible, but I can’t see anything other than a home win here. Atleti HT/FT is a constant winner in their home games, as is over 2.5 goals. Both bets come with bigger prices than normal.

For a longshot anytime scorer bet, Jonas – who scored a hat-trick for Valenca in their 3-0 defeat of Osasuna – is priced at 9/2.

Recommendation: Atletico HT/FT (EVS) and over 2.5 goals (4/5)

Take note that although I work for a bookmaker, this is a personal blog written in my own time with no affiliation. All prices, correct at the time of going to press, are the best market prices available.

Anyway, thanks for reading and good luck with your bets.