JC’s Top Bets in Round 35 La Liga

24 Apr


Getafe v Malaga

Schuster’s Anchovies played extremely well against Villarreal and were clearly highly motivated to win. The problem we have now, however, is that Malaga are probably safe from the drop after their defeat of ‘The Yellow Submarines, so will they switch to ‘holiday’ mode and show little motivation on the pitch against Getafe?

Of course, we can’t be sure, but if Malaga are to take their foot off the pedal, then away to a Getafe side that is in the bottom three and badly needs the points seems like the ideal time to do so.

Recommendation: Getafe (2.25)


Espanyol v Almeria

Almeria are second bottom and need the points badly, while Espanyol have nothing to play for. Put simply, at a 1.7 price, I think we’ve got to oppose the home side in such a scenario. After all, at this stage of the season Espanyol – safe from relegation – have usually given up, and recent results suggest this to be the case once again.

Recommendation: Almeria + 0.5 (2.37)


Valencia v Atletico Madrid

Both teams have played in Europe midweek, Valencia struggle to score goals and Atletico are always happy with one or two-nil wins on the road, particularly when they’ve played midweek.

Also, these two squared off in the Copa del Rey earlier this season and both games contained two goals or less, so it shouldn’t be any different this weekend.

Finally, the double result of Draw/Atletico is always worth considering in these scenarios, as is under 2.5 goals and an Atletico win.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (1.75)


Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla

Both teams to score – a winner in the last three head-to-head matches – is what crossed my mind upon looking at this fixture, but then we have to consider that Sevilla played in Europe midweek and Athletic didn’t.

However, despite the extra game factor – and with BTTS and over 2.5 goals only priced at 1.67 and 1.73 respectively – I think that Athletic will happily take a draw in order to preserve their five point gap over fifth placed Sevilla and wonder if the Andalusians + 0.5 is the best play at 1.97.

For the time being, I’ll think further on this and update my blog once I have more of an idea how tired the key Sevilla players are after Thursday night.


Villarreal v Barcelona

Well, it sounds like a good game on paper, but Villarreal were absolutely pathetic in their 2-0 defeat away to Malaga last Monday evening and have struggled to score goals recently – having to rely on an injury time winner to defeat Levante 1-0 at El Madrigal in their last home game – and Barca have been far from their best for some time.

Have Villarreal fallen into the ‘we give up once we’re safe from drop’ category that teams like Espanyol and Levante are regular members of come this stage of the season? It looks likely, but with seventh place enough to qualify for the next seasons’ Europa League, they might just see the seven point cushion between themselves and eighth placed Valencia as reason enough to relax in away games.

Barcelona struggled past Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at Camp Nou last weekend and were far from impressive, with Messi missing a one-on-one with the keeper and other players failing to convert easy chances from close range. Away from home, Barca have lost to teams – like Valladolid – that they would usually beat with ease and it’s been hard to trust them in general.

Betting wise, traditional favourites like BTTS and the over goals are far too short priced considering how goal badly both teams have been in front of goal recently, and Villarreal + 1.5 Asian handicap is not available to at a fair price, so I’ll take a nervous stance on the under goals.

Indeed, no matter how bad goal-shy Villarreal have been lately, like most clubs, they should be motivated enough to try to stop the mighty Barca from running amuck, and they did it in the last meeting at El Madrigal, which ended 0-0.

Also, the last five Villarreal home games have contained two goals or less, while Barca’s last five away results – if we take Real Madrid out of the equation – have seen four 1-0 results (three losses for Barca) and a 3-1 (defeat) at Real Sociedad.

All in all, this weekend’s Villarreal v Barcelona is a hard game to pick a bet in, but the under goals should have more than a 50% chance on paper.

Finally, I think that Villarreal draw no bet is worth consideration for a small punt at its 5.5 price – purely because of how susceptible Barca have been to away losses this season.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (2.43)

Worth a small punt: Villarreal draw no bet (5.5)


Celta v Valladolid

Enrique’s Celta should be just about safe from relegation after last Sunday’s 4-2 win at Almeria, but it seems sensible to try and win this weekend’s home game against 17th placed Valladolid to rubber stamp their survival. Of course, the fact that Valladolid are fourth bottom and level on points with the 18th placed team, Getafe, suggests that playing for a 0-0 in Vigo would be foolish.

So, all in all, it seems likely to be an open game and, with four of the last five head-to-head matches between these two going over 2.5 goals, betting on three or more seems like a fair punt at the price.

Worth a punt: Over 2.5 goals (2.05)


Elche v Levante

Levante having nothing to play for, while Elche are only three points above the drop zone. A simple decision, then, but is 1.91 fair price for a team that’s last six home games have ended 1-0, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0, 0-0 and 1-0?! Not at all, of course, but an Elche win is the logical play at this stage of the season. However, if it wasn’t priced at 1.6, under 2.5 goals – a winner in the last eleven Elche home games – would be my pick.

If you want a bigger price, the double result of Draw/Elche and a 1-0 correct score could be for you as, in the pattern of scores listed above, the solitary goal in each of Elche’s 1-0 wins has come after half time.

Finally, I wrote these previews last Monday morning, and Elche are now only 1.67! At such a price, forget it!


Real Madrid v Osasuna

This game comes only a few days after Los Blancos game against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, so I’d expect major changes in the starting eleven. Put simply, Real Madrid should win easily but, as we saw earlier in the season, probably only by two or three goals.

All in all, I’m not brave enough to bet on the unders in Real Madrid home games, nor do I fancy chancing the double result of Draw/RealMadrid, so I’ll bet in-play instead.


Granada v Rayo Vallecano

After their 3-0 demolition of Betis last weekend, Rayo have now reached the 40 point mark deemed good enough to stay in the top flight for another season, while Granada only have 37 points and, therefore, need to beat the Madrid based side if they are to reach the same haven.

Normally, at this stage of the season, I’d oppose the team that doesn’t need to win, but then Rayo have been playing superb, swashbuckling football recently and their coach, Paco Jemez, has stated that his team will not lie down this weekend.

So, all in all, it’s hard to make a clear choice in this game and it seems smarter to bet in-play if you want to wager.


Betis v Real Sociedad

If Getafe beat Malaga, Betis will have been relegated before playing La Real, and if this doesn’t happen, the Seville based side will be relegated if Real Sociedad beat them.

All in all, like most teams, Real Sociedad should be able to bet beat Betis and probably will do, but I’m loathe to bet against my beloved Betis and opt not to wager.


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