Round 27 La Liga Betting Previews

5 Mar

messi

Valladolid (18th) v Barcelona (2nd)

Last weekend, I deduced that both teams to score, under 2.5 goals and Valladolid + 0.5 were the bets to choose from in Valladolid’s (15.0) relegation dogfight with Malaga. I chose BTTS at evens and won as the game ended in a 1-1 draw, but it sure was pleasing to see all three bets win.

I couldn’t find any value in Barcelona’s (1.25) round 26 game with Almeria, but watched on as they laboured to a 4-1 win. I mean, the scoreline sounds fine, but Barca were very poor in the second half and had to rely on goals from Pique and Xavi in the last ten minutes to put the tie beyond doubt and ease the nerves of an agitated Camp Nou crowd.

In conclusion, most of the Barca regulars played international football midweek, with Romania and South Africa the destinations for Messi and Neymar respectively, but this is 18th v 2nd and a game that Barca always win.

However, Valladolid have scored in three out of their last four clashes with Barca, and considering the international break and the fatigue it brings to players involved, along with needs must for Valladolid, I opt for both to score and Barcelona to win.

Second choice, and so nearly first, is Barca total team goals over 2.5 at 1.83. As often is the case, the price has lessened (was 1.91) from the first time I looked last Sunday evening, and my worry is that Tata’s boys will take a 2-0 or 2-1 win after the international break.

Recommendation: Both teams to score and Barcelona to win (2.7)

rubencastroinjured

Real Betis (20th) v Getafe (14th)

Certainly, Villarreal put in a sub-standard performance, but Betis (2.0) played better than expected at El Madrigal last weekend, eventually drawing 1-1 after Ruben Castro’s late strike.

Getafe (4.1) drew 0-0 at home to Espanyol in round 26, with little to report about this sleep-inducing clash.

Looking at this weekend’s fixture, Getafe haven’t won a game in 2014, while Betis were very impressive in beating Russian side Rubin Kazan in the Europa league and, as mentioned earlier, played well at Villarreal.

Therefore, on paper, there is fair reason to back Betis. However, it’s hard trust them at even money as they’ve only won one league game in several months, and Getafe could see a trip to the bottom club as the perfect opportunity to get their first win of 2014.

Indeed, if I’m to make a betting choice on this game, it sits better with me to lose by backing what I perceive as the value. As such, and considering that the Azulones have drawn three and won one of their last four games with Betis in Seville, Getafe + 0.5 it is.

Worth a punt: Getafe + 0.5 Asian handicap (2.0)

Charles

Celta Vigo (11th) v Atletico Madrid (3rd)

They were the better team, but Celta (5.0) lost 1-0 away to Elche in their round 26 match. As is often the case, Enrique’s boys simply didn’t create enough chances and couldn’t score, eventually losing to a late goal.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico (1.91) put in a tremendous performance to draw 2-2 with Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon last weekend, with Koke and Gabi their scorers.

In conclusion, I was ready to back Atletico at 1.9 but, upon checking injuries and suspensions, found that Godin, Arda and Costa are all suspended – which suggests that Los Colchoneros have picked this game to ‘save legs’ with AC Milan coming up in the Champions League, and to ensure that all three are not on the edge of suspensions for the title run-in.

Instead, with Celta’s slow possession football generally leading to a low goal count and Atletico’s strong defence in mind, I opt for under 2.5 goals – and a smaller punt on Celta draw no bet in the hope that Atletico’s UCL distraction leads to an upset 1-0 home win, or 0-0 for stakes back.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (1.83)

Worth a punt: Celta draw no bet (3.4)

bruno

Granada (15th v Villarreal (5th)

Granada (3.35) were thrashed 4-0 at Athletic Bilbao’s new San Mames stadium in round 26. They had a man sent off, but were already losing and there’s nothing more worth saying other than that they were simply put to the sword.

Fifth placed Villarreal (2.38) put in a poor, lethargic performance at home to bottom club Betis last weekend, eventually drawing 1-1. Considering that Betis had played in the Europa League midweek and the Yellow Submarines hadn’t, I was surprised to see my Villarreal HT/FT bet lose.

In conclusion, Granada will likely miss Piti and Ighalo – two of their best players – and I’d like to back Villarreal to win, but Uche is suspended and Giovani may not play due to injury, so if the Yellow submarines are to miss their best strikers then I want draw no bet.

Sadly, Villarreal draw no bet is only priced at 1.65, and 1.73 is the lowest i’d be prepared to go, so no bet here.

sergiogarcia

Espanyol (10th) v Elche (13th)

In a game bereft of clear cut chances, Barcelona based Espanyol (1.8) drew 0-0 away to Getafe last weekend, while Elche (5.5) defeated Celta Vigo 1-0 at home.

In conclusion, Espanyol should win this game, but then they often fail to beat teams that they are expected to in Barcelona and the 1.8 about a home win is not a fair price in my eyes.

However, I’m not confident enough to back Elche + 0.5 at 2.22 either as they’ve lost five out of their last six road games – although the 2012/13 Segunda Champions have played some big teams in Real Madrid, Barcelona and Real Sociedad!

Indeed, no bet is the call, but since the reverse fixture ended 2-1, while seven out of the last eight Elche away games have contained three goals or more, over 2.5 goals might be worth a small punt at 2.45. Still, with Cordoba out for Espanyol, I’m sticking with no bet.

Rakitic2

Almeria (17th) v Sevilla (7th)

Surprisingly, Almeria (3.6) managed to score at Camp Nou last weekend, eventually losing 4-1, while Sevilla (2.16) defeated Real Sociedad 1-0 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

In conclusion, I think that Sevilla are overrated pricewise, but am not confident in backing Almeria + 0.25 either. Both to score is usually a good bet in Sevilla away games, but I want at least 1.91 in this fixture and the best on offer is 1.78.

No pre-match bet here, sorry, but I am off work this weekend and can watch and bet in-play. Anything I bet on – in this or any other game I haven’t picked a bet in – will be tweeted.

levante

Real Madrid (1st) v Levante (8th)

Through Benzema’s early strike, Real Madrid (1.07) took the lead in last weekend’s Madrid derby at the Vicente Calderon, but had to rely on Ronaldo to secure a draw after going 2-1 down. All in all, the draw was a fair result.

Levante (41.0), meanwhile, defeated Osasuna 2-0 in Valencia in their round 26 clash. After Osasuna had destroyed Atletico 3-0 in the previous round, it was exactly as expected, seriously!

Now, It seems quite ridiculous that the eighth placed team are priced at 40/1 to win at the first, but then Real Madrid have won five in a row against Levante at the Bernabeu and they usually triumph by a few goals.

With a 6-1 lead from the first leg, we can assume that Los Blancos will not be distracted by their upcoming second leg UEFA Champions League match with Schalke, but the fact that most of their players featured in international games across the globe midweek is a concern.

In conclusion, given the potential jet lag and general tiredness of the Real Madrid players, I’m not betting on Ancelotti’s boys minus three goals on the Asian lines, nor am I chancing my money on any of the usual favourites like to win both halves, over 1.5 first half goals or over 3.5 match as they are all too short priced.

Indeed, the best I could find was Real Madrid to win to nil at 1.8. Given how many clean sheets Los Blancos have kept at home this sounds like a good plan, but then head-to-head both teams have scored four times in a row so I’ve been put off!

Instead, if the price allows, I’ll bet on time of first Real Madrid goal before 30:00 just before the game goes in-play and double up until I win. Not a scheme for everybody, sure, but I don’t see this ending 0-0 and can’t envisage Levante winning.

adurizymunian

Valencia (9th) v Athletic Bilbao (4th)

Most displeasingly considering that I had bet on over 2.5 goals, Valencia (2.25) lost 1-0 away to Rayo last weekend. Los Che’s Alcacer hit the bar, while the on-loan Vargas missed an open goal.

Athletic (3.0), with Aduriz getting a rare hat-trick, easily defeated Granada 4-0 at the new San Mames in round 26. With this result and Villarreal’s draw with Betis, the fourth placed Basques now enjoy a six point gap between themselves and the fifth placed Yellow Submarines.

In conclusion, Athletic are not too adventurous away from home and are very happy to take draws, while Valencia always do well in this fixture. I don’t, however, trust this Valencia to win and there’s no room for manoeuvre on the draw no bet market, so with the last three Valencia home games containing plenty of goals and BTTS too short priced, I’ll take a chance on over 2.5 goals.

At its current price of 1.8 this bet is just about doable in my eyes, but with the price likely to lesson by the time many of you are ready to punt, I’d suggest that you take no less than 1.73.

Worth a punt: Over 2.5 goals (1.8)

Riera

Osasuna (12th) v Malaga (16th)

Pamplona based Osasuna (2.3) lost 2-0 away to Levante last weekend. They had a handful of chances, but it was a typically Spanish home team wins game, with little between the two sides.

Malaga (3.5), on the other hand, drew 1-1 at home to Valladolid in their round 26 match. The Anchovies took the lead through Roque Santa Cruz, but in the end a draw was a fair result.

In conclusion, Osasuna v Malaga sounds like ending anything from 0-0 to 2-0 but Malaga have played better than their results suggest recently and, with under 2.5 goals too short priced at 1.6, I opt not to place a bet in this game.

Prieto

Real Sociedad (6th) v Rayo Vallecano (18th)

I suppose there was always the worry of a flat performance from Real Sociedad (1.53) after such a good one when beating Barcelona the week before, but Sevilla have not been in great form recently and I was extremely disappointed to lose on Real Sociedad + 0.5 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last weekend.

Indeed, despite La Real’s poor performance, in-play I was confident that the game would end 0-0 and I would win. However, a defensive blunder allowed Sevilla to win 1-0.

In their round 26 game, relegation fodder Rayo (7.0) managed to get a much needed win by defeating Valencia 1-0 at Vallecas.

In conclusion, with Real Sociedad possibly missing their goalkeeper and the Basque’s free-scoring at home, I’d like to back over 2.5 goals here, but the 1.53 price does not appeal.

Star attacker Griezmann played for France midweek so maybe he’s on the bench this weekend, but we should still expect Real Sociedad to beat Granada at San Sebastian.

Head-to-head, La Real usually win this game 1-0, so we could get a push, but I can’t see any other call at an acceptable price.

Recommendation: Real Sociedad – 1 Asian handicap (1.8)

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