Archive | January, 2014

Round 22 La Liga Betting Previews

29 Jan


Granada v Celta Vigo

Sitting in 12th and 13th place respectively, this should be a relatively even match between Granada and Celta.

Granada (2.1) drew their last home game 0—0 against Osasuna and have only won three home games in 2013/14 La Liga competition. They did, however, thrash Valladolid 4-0 just before the Osasuna game, but then pretty much everyone puts three or four goals past Valladolid when they play away.

Celta (3.8), with Brazilian striker Charles banging the goals in, have improved recently, but are still not faring well on the road, losing their fourth league away game in a row to Espanyol a couple of weeks ago.

All in all, Granada are not trustworthy at home and Celta certainly aren’t away, but both teams have scored in the last three head to head clashes between these two and I’ll take a chance on the same happening again since we can have evens.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (2.0)


Barcelona v Valencia

Barcelona (1.15) pretty much always win this fixture and, with little having changed at Valencia (26.0) since new coach Pizzi was appointed, this weekend shouldn’t be any different.

Los Che are capable of holding Barca to a two goal defeat, so Valencia + 2.25 has a little appeal at 2.02, but Malaga are not that different to Valencia in terms of strength these days and they lost 3-0 last weekend.

We can no longer trust over 1.5 first half goals and, as Barca often score against their opponents after the 30 minute mark at Camp Nou, cannot put our faith into the goal before before 30:00 bet either.

Both to score is not trustworthy, nor is over 3.5 match goals. Indeed, unless you’re prepared to chance a draw/Barca double result here, I can’t find a good value – or just appealing – bet.

Perhaps value will reveal itself before game time, or maybe I’ll just bet in-play.


Levante v Rayo

Levante (2.25) are coming off the back of an amazing 3-2 defeat of Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and, with second bottom Rayo (3.8) having lost in the cup here only two weeks ago and generally tasting defeat every week, I feel we have to back a home win here.

My punt has, however, been taken on the Asian line and reduced to ‘worth a punt’ status as a few of Levante’s starters played against Barca in their dead rubber second leg match midweek.

Worth a punt: Levante – 0.25 Asian handicap (1.91)


Getafe v Valladolid

Having had a legit goal ruled out, Getafe (2.0) were unfortunate to lose away to Almeria last weekend, while Valladolid (4.2) pulled of an impressive 1-0 home defeat of a tired looking Villarreal.

All in all, Getafe should have just about enough to beat a Valladolid side that has lost their last four away games and will miss key player Ebert – who wants to leave and says he isn’t mentally right to play.

Worth a punt: Getafe (2.0)


Malaga v Sevilla

Well, annoyed after Sevilla (2.5) failed to beat Elche in their last away game, I was going to revert back to BTTS – a winner in the last nine Sevilla road games- against Malaga, but as the Anchovies have failed to score in their last five competitive games I’m going to chance my money on an away win instead.

Malaga (3.0), though fairly resolute defensively, are obviously gun shy, while Sevilla had won five on the bounce (in all competitions) prior to their game in Elche.

However, just in case this ends in a 1-1 draw and BTTS again, I’ve taken Sevilla draw no bet at a very fair price.

Recommendation: Sevilla draw no bet (1.8)


Elche v Almeria

Elche (2.0) should be able to edge out Almeria (4.2) due to home advantage, but they aren’t worth betting on at 2.0 and attention might be better turned to under 2.5 goals (1.73) – a winner in the last four Elche home games.

However, I opt not to bet on this game at all.


Betis v Espanyol

Betis (2.38) and their new coach were hammered 4-2 away to Celta last Friday evening, proving that, as expected, they are an exception to my never back against a new coach in his first league game theory.

Espanyol (3.4) rested a few players but, in any event, the regulars that did play used little energy in Tuesday night’s 1-0 Copa del Rey defeat to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu – a match in which Los Blancos took the lead in the sixth minute before ‘going through the motions’ in the remaining 84.

Over 2.5 goals may well be overpriced at 2.1 considering how leaky Betis are at the back, but I can’t even remember when the Seville based side won a league game and feel that you have to oppose them.

Recommendation: Espanyol + 0.25 Asian handicap (1.95)


Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad

Both teams were scheduled to play Copa del Rey football midweek, but Real Sociedad played no more than thirty seconds of uncontested football after their hosts, Racing, refused to compete in protest at not being paid for more than six months!

Simeone’s Colchoneros, on the other hand, fielded a large portion of their starters, enduring a grueling contest (in which their left-back suffered an injury) against an Athletic Bilbao side that had yet to lose at their new stadium until Atletico ran out 2-1 winners. The result wasn’t a fair reflection of the game, for what it’s worth.

In my eyes, Atletico look to have run out of a little steam recently and are struggling to score goals. Of course, you can argue that they got four away to Rayo last weekend, but wide-open Rayo concede bucket loads of goals to everyone so I wouldn’t read much into that.

In conclusion, Real Sociedad have improved a great deal after their Champions League ‘no show’ and are playing well and scoring lots of goals – even beating Atletico at the Vicente Calderon last season – so I think that we have to give them a handicap start here, particularly as they are well rested.

Recommendation: Real Sociedad + 1.5 Asian handicap (2.0)


Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid

Real Madrid usually defeat Athletic in Bilbao, but the Basque’s have yet to lose a league game at their new San Mames stadium, even beating Barcelona here, and Ancelotti’s Los Blancos have been keeping clean sheets and winning 1-0 a lot recently.

So, with the short priced over goals hard to trust, it sounds like we should give the home side – who should be highly motivated and still have a league home record to preserve – a handicap start that gives us our money back if Madrid win by one goal.

Recommendation: Athletic + 1 Asian handicap (1.84)


Granada v Celta Vigo – Friday Night La Liga Betting Preview

29 Jan


Granada v Celta Vigo

Sitting in 12th and 13th place respectively, this should be a relatively even match between Granada and Celta.

Granada (2.1) drew their last home game 0—0 against Osasuna and have only won three home games in 2013/14 La Liga competition. Granada did, however, thrash Valladolid 4-0 just before the Osasuna game, but then pretty much everyone puts three or four goals past Valladolid when they play away.

Celta (3.8), with Brazilian striker Charles banging the goals in, have improved recently, but are still not faring well on the road, losing their fourth league away game in a row to Espanyol a couple of weeks ago.

All in all, Granada are not trustworthy at home and Celta certainly aren’t away, but both teams have scored in the last three head to head clashes between these two and I’ll take a chance on the same happening again since we can have evens.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (2.0)

Round 21 La Liga betting previews

24 Jan


Celta Vigo v Real Betis

As many of you know, I won’t bet against a new coach in his first game in charge. Therefore, it’s double chance or + 0.5 Asian handicap on the team with a new boss in such scenario’s.

However, although the recently dismissed Garrido did win his first game in charge – in the cup – his appointment did not bring about the desired change of momentum when it came to La Liga. Indeed, Betis were beaten 5-1 at Real Sociedad in the former Villarreal boss’ first league outing.

My guess is that Betis will have hired a fourth coach in 2013/14 within a couple of months, and he won’t make any difference to the Andalusian club joining the Segunda ranks for 2014/15.

So, in conclusion, Betis are probably an exception to my rule, but I’m not sure enough that Celta will win and have decided not to punt or pick a bet in this game.

For what’s its worth, unable at home for several months, Celta have won two of their last three league matches in Vigo, drawing the other.


Real Madrid v Granada

Well, we know that, bar against a ‘walk through at will’ Betis defence, Real Madrid have not been scoring as many goals as we’ve expected them to recently.

Contrary to last season and the beginning of this one, Los Blancos have also been keeping clean sheets, meaning that they don’t need to score as often as they used to.

One-nil away wins are now not uncommon, but even in recent matches at the Bernabeu, Real have only won 2-0, 3-0 and 2-0.

However, two of those games were in the Copa against team’s who ‘parked the bus,’ and if we go back even further Real recorded 4-0, 4-1 and 7-3 wins.

Now, as Ronaldo will be parading his new World Player of the Year trophy to the fans prior to kick off, he’ll surely be extra motivated to bag two or maybe three goals himself and we should get to see at least a 3-0 win from Real Madrid, hopefully bigger.

Recommendation: Real Madrid – 2.5 Asian handicap (1.75)

Worth a punt: Ronaldo to score 2 or more (2.38)

Worth a small punt: Ronaldo hat-trick (6.0)


Valladolid v Villarreal

Valladolid will miss Valiente – their best defender –while Villarreal’s Cani, a long-term injury absentee, is rated as doubtful and therefore unlikely to make his comeback in this game.

Still, Villarreal have coped fairly well without Cani and, with three wins in their last four away games, the Yellow Submarines should be able to beat a Valladolid side that lost to them earlier in the season and has only won one of its last seven home games in La Liga.

However, as Valladolid have all of their attackers back and have draw with teams like Real Sociedad and Sevilla in that eight game streak I mentioned, I’ll take the -0.25 at a just about doable price.

Recommendation: Villarreal – 0.25 Asian handicap (1.73)


Valencia v Espanyol

In both Barcelona and Valencia, this fixture has consistently contained three goals or more for many years.

Now, however, Valencia are goal shy and Espanyol will likely be more interested in their impending trip to the Bernabeu to play Real Madrid in the Copa – a tie in which they only trail by only one goal.

In conclusion, I think we have to go for home advantage and fresher legs by backing Valencia to win in some capacity. HT/FT and – 0.75 Asian handicap look best.

Recommendation: Valencia – 0.75 Asian handicap (1.8)

Worth a small punt: Valencia HT/FT (2.5)


Sevilla v Levante

With a 0-0 and 1-1 results in the last two seasons, this is a low scoring fixture and one in which Levante will try to ‘park the bus.’

However, Levante are coming off two draining back to back games against Barcelona and one has to conclude that they’ll struggle to stop a strong Sevilla side that hasn’t had to play cup football midweek.

The prices about a Sevilla win and minus one Asian line are very short, so I’ve opted for a bet which requires a fast start from the hosts. Emery’s boys have scored in the first half of most of their home games, so we should be ok with their fresher legs likely to aid our quest.

Recommendation: Sevilla HT/FT (2.0)


Almeria v Getafe

After a 2-2 draw when they last met, maybe both teams to score in this one, but I’d give the edge to Getafe. However, I just don’t have enough confidence in anything to place or recommend a bet, sorry.

I’ll be watching the game on Spanish TV and can certainly give you my thoughts in-play.


Osasuna v Athletic Bilbao

We all know that Osasuna struggle to score goals at home, while Athletic Bilbao don’t get many away either. Factor in that the Basques played in the cup midweek – narrowly losing 1-0 to Atletico Madrid – and will likely have one eye on the return leg, and watching this game could well be like watching paint dry!

Osasuna + 0.5 for the brave at 1.75 but, with eight out of the last nine Athletic away games going under 2.5 goals and six out of the last Osasuna home games the same, under the goals appeals most to me at 1.8.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (1.8)


Rayo v Atletico Madrid

Put simply, Rayo lose virtually every home game, usually by a couple of goals. Atletico are a winning machine, but one that looks to be running out of steam with a brutal fixture pileup that has affected key players.

Star Colchoneros striker Diego Costa is one of those key players, but if there’s a defence he can regain his form against, it could well be Rayo’s.

Whilst it looks highly unlikely this time, Rayo defeated Atletico here last season and with Atletico’s defence tired, they might even be able to bag a goal in this Madrid derby.

All in all, with Atletico HT/FT, minus one and over 1.5 team goals too short priced for my liking, I opt for a straight over goals punt. It goes against the grain with regards to most Atleti away matches, but Rayo just cannot defend.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (1.78)


Barcelona v Malaga

This is usually a high scoring fixture and one in which Malaga score but Barca win. Last time they met, at La Rosaleda, the Anchovies couldn’t find the back of the net and they’ve only scored once in their last four games, home and away combined.

Malaga have, however, drawn with teams such as Real Sociedad and Sevilla on the road, and with a fair few of Barca’s regulars having played a part in their midweek Copa del Rey defeat of Levante, Malaga’s ability to defend fairly well as a unit could see their job get a little bit easier and we might not see a three to four goal Barca win.

Instead, since I’m not brave enough to bet on Malaga with a plus handicap. I’ve gone for Barca to win both halves at an attractive price. The second best price available is 1.73, with some firms gig a low as 1.53.

Recommendation: Barcelona to win both halves (1.85)

Real Sociedad v Elche

These two bets were offered on Twitter, and it seems only fair to include them (one won, one lost).

Recommendation: Real Sociedad – 1 Asian Handicap (1.95)

Worth a small punt: Real Sociedad win & BTTS (3.3)

Levante v Barcelona Betting Preview – 22/01/14

22 Jan

Levante v Barcelona

Head to head and from 2011 onwards only, this game has produced 1-1, 1-2, 0-4 and (only a few days ago) 1-1 results.
So, Barca don’t lose at this ground, but it’s been a BTTS game in 3/4 and, bar the 0-4, hasn’t been a fixture they win with ease.

However, there are a few other factors worth considering that seem more relevant this time:

This is a cup game but, surely, Barca will have a point to prove after dropping points in their 1-1 draw with Levante last Sunday.

Levante have held Barca to draws in the past because they play like they’re in cup final, with an organised ‘park the bus’ defensive mentality.

Key this time, though, is that Levante have a small squad of players, with ten of them probably quite tired after last weekend’s game.

Indeed, if Levante field a near full strength team, then they seem unlikely to prevent Barca’s offence from banging two goals plus in.

If Levante field a very weak and inexperienced team, or a mix with tired players, Barca can still, on paper, win by a couple of goals, with a clean sheer surely more likely this time.

Perhaps it’s time for another 0-4 or similar in the head to head records, but I believe the correct tactical play is Barcelona – 1.75 Asian handicap, which is currently best priced at 1.83.

However – and it’s the biggest however – I would not recommend placing this bet until the starting X1’s have been released (generally an hour before KO).

If Messi, Fabregas, Alexis and Pedro start, or Messi and any two of the others, then I recommend this bet to those looking for one.

Second choice and perhaps worth a punt if what I’ve just stated directly above rings true, is Barca team goals over 2.5 at 1.83.

Anyway, I hope this brief preview is of use to you, and good luck.


Athletic Bilbao v Valladolid betting thoughts – 20/01/14

20 Jan


AAthletic Bilbao v Valladolid

Athletic played in the cup last week and will play in it again this week (away to Atletico).

Valladolid, on the other hand, were eliminated from the cup in the last round.

Valladolid are conceding a lot of goals in away games, but have scored in two of their last four league.

Valladolid have lost their last three away games and have only won one La Liga road game in 2013/14.

Key attacker Ebert may return for Valladolid.

At their old San Mames stadium, Athletic often defeated Valladolid 2-0 in the last few seasons.

Athletic simply don’t have a really good striker, or someone who can score 20 + goals a season, and are dependent on goals throughout the team.

At their new home, where they are undefeated, the Basque’s generally get two or three goals.

However, their top scorer, midfielder Mikel Riko (5), is suspended, while the second top scorer, defender San Jose (4) is also suspended.

Iker Muniain is Athletic’s best attacker and, guess what, he won’t play against Valladolid either.

Athletic have struggled for goals recently and given their absentees against Valladolid, someone like Aduriz will have to’ step up.

We have to beware of tiredness and Athletic possibly having one eye on their cup game with Atletico in Madrid midweek, but whilst I don’t expect the Basque’s to lose, I don’t see this being easy for them and am not fully convinced which bet to take.

I’ll either bet once I have team news, In-Play or not bet at all, but if you are going to punt on this game, here are a few suggestions to consider:

Athletic HT/FT (1.95)

I should think that they’ll want to put this game to bed quickly with the Copa in mind, so a business like 1 or 2-0 win, with a goal in the first half, would fit the bill.

Both teams to score (2.0)

Well, iffy you might say, and agreed, but Ebert is a very good player and Guerra has scored in Camp Nou, so why not at the new San Mames against a depleted Athletic side that has played more football recently?

Valladolid + 1.5 (1.85)

Call it a hunch and nothing more, but I can envisage Valladolid scoring and Athletic being forced to try and win 2-1. Given their scoring woes, tiredness and impending cup game, a 1-0 win would suffice for Athletic.

Whatever you choose, good luck.

Sunday’s La Liga betting thoughts – 19/01/14

19 Jan


Getafe v Real Sociedad

Both teams played in the cup midweek, and this usually an unhappy hunting ground for La Real. However, Getafe haven’t scored in their last four games, but they do concede and I fancy Real Sociedad to At least score.

The problem with that pick, though, is that it’s only 1.29. Real Sociedad draw no bet is the best I can come up with at 1.73, but we must be a little concerned that the Basque’s have played two road games in a row, while Getafe were at least at home in the cup midweek.

Perhaps we should we wait for team news, out the goal pick in an acca or just give this one a wide berth.

Villarreal v Almeria

Although they fielded a weakened team and paid the price, Villarreal should be smarting after their cup defeat to Real Sociedad and you’d expect the Yellow Sumbarines to quickly try and put Almeria to the sword.

Let’s not forget that these two were Segunda teams last season but, lineups permitting, I’ll bet on Villarreal HT/FT or -1 goal. Over 2.5 goals looks good too, but is short priced.

Levante v Barcelona

I should think that Barca can get three goals here, and that’s available at 1.7, but Levante will park the bus and it might be best to wait for team news or bet in-play.

Atletico Madrid v Sevilla – Betting Preview & Recommendation

18 Jan


Atletico Madrid v Sevilla

Against a Sevilla side that, bar last weekend’s draw in Elche, has been winning on the road recently, this shouldn’t be as easy as normal for Atletico.

Emery’s Rojiblancos, already knocked out the Copa in the last round, will also benefit from extra rest compared to Atletico –who played and beat Valencia midweek.

Atletico, playing their third game in a week, have won every home fixture bar one – a draw with Barca – at the Vicente Calderon, and Los Colchoneros easily defeated Sevilla in Seville at the start of this season.

So, in conclusion, the last eight Sevilla league away games have seen both teams score, and with the extra game factor combined with my reluctance to oppose Atletico, I’ve bet on both teams to score and Atletico to win.

Recommendation: BTTS & Atletico to win (3.1)