Soccer Odds - Spain La Liga Week 18 Fixtures Featuring Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

  • Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

    By  Ej Garr


    Soccer Betting: With Barcelona and Real Madrid both having losses fresh off the holiday break, the table has a much different look to it as we head to match day 18. As we approach the halfway mark of the campaign, what appeared to be a two club race has now turned to a wide open hunt for the La Liga title.

    Round 18 will take place over a four-day stretch that starts on Friday, January 9, and runs intoMonday, January 12. La Coruna and Levante get us startedon Friday, with a match between two clubs sitting just above the relegation zone, both desperately needing points to get out of the hole they have found themselves in. We pick up the actionon Saturdaywith four matches, the first of which will be shown on beIN Sports at10 a.m. Eastern time with Real Madrid hosting Espanyol. Real comes off their third loss of the campaign against Levante last weekend, and looks to get back on track.

    Our featured match is one of the fourSundaymatches with Barcelona hosting Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou. Barcelona is also coming off their third loss of the campaign, which now sees this match as a battle of two clubs with 38 points, only a point back of the top spot in the table.

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    There is plenty to discuss through the transfer window, with moves being made all over Europe, so let's see how it will effect La Liga, and also see what action we can find through the weekend.

    Friday, January 9- 1 Match

    La Coruna vs Levante

    3-Way: 1: La Coruna +265 Away ; X: +220 Draw ; 2: Levante +120 Home

    Spread: La Coruna Pk +160 ; Levante Pk -190

    Total 2: Over -115 ; Under -105

    Analysis and Prediction:

    Two clubs in dire need of results get together and neither club has had much offensive success. Through 17 matches, La Coruna has 16 points and has only scored 14 goals, while Levante has 15 points with only 13 goals scored. Elche is the only club to have given up more goals than Levante on the season, surrendering 33 goals to Elche's 34.

    This is one of those matches where we need to decide if the offenses can muster up enough quality to take advantage of each other’s inept defenses, or if we need to expect a low-scoring match because of their lack of scoring through the campaign. Two bad offenses, and two horrible defenses make it tough to decide which way to go as far as a play on this total, which is only 2, and reasonable lines whichever way we decide to go.

    The instinct here is to take this Over 2 at -115, as we do indeed have two clubs who have not stopped a thing this year, with both also needing results to get out their situations near the bottom of the table. Let's do two things here, because that +160 on the La Coruna Pk, and the Draw no Bet offer, sure looks tempting as well. La Coruna Pk at +160 and the Over 2 at -115 both have good prices, so at least if it is only 1 - 1, there is nothing gained, but nothing lost as well.

    Saturday, January 10- 4 Matches

    Espanyol vs Real Madrid

    3-Way: 1: Espanyol +2200 Away ; X: +1000 Draw ; 2: Madrid -965 Home

    Spread: Espanyol +2.5 +115 ; Madrid -2.5 -135

    Total 4: Over -110 ; Under -110

    Analysis and Prediction:

    How does Madrid rebound from the 2 - 1 loss to Valencia, especially after being completely shut down for the most part? Madrid took an early 1 - 0 lead on a Ronaldo penalty, but never looked in sync offensively, and ended up giving up two second half goals to let Valencia in the picture at the top of the table. Madrid also lost to AC Milan in a friendly right before the New Year, which snapped an extensive win streak that reached 22 matches in all competitions.

    Espanyol sits in the pack of clubs with 20 points, which is actually much closer to the relegation zone than it is towards European spots for next year. Madrid has gotten a result in 15 straight matches over Espanyol, including cups and Primera, dating back to 2007.

    We are going to suggest this Over 4, for two reasons. It is only -110 on the action, and there is no value on Madrid on either the 3-Way line or the handicap of -2.5.

    Villarreal vs Malaga

    3-Way: 1: Villarreal +165 Away ; X: +220 Draw ; 2: Malaga +185 Home

    Spread: Villarreal Pk -115 ; Malaga Pk -105

    Total 2.5: Over +130 ; Under -150

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    Analysis and Prediction:

    Villarreal has gone 11 matches without a loss, including the Spanish Copa del Ray, Primera and Europa, so they certainly came into 2015 playing extremely well. It was certainly surprising to see the 2 - 2 result with bottom feeder Elche over the weekend, and it might be what leads us to try and catch that +130 on this Over 2.5, especially with Malaga scoring in 9 straight matches that spans 6 La Liga matches and 3 Copa Del Ray matches. They have also scored in 11 straight La Liga matches, and amazingly enough, the European prop bet with Both Teams to Score is only -110 also.

    We will make a play on that over 2.5 here, with plenty of value behind it.

    Valencia vs Celta Vigo

    3-Way: 1: Valencia +165 Away ; X: +245 Draw ; 2: Vigo +165 Home

    Spread: Valencia Pk -110 ; Vigo Pk -110

    Total 2.5: Over +115 ; Under -135

    Analysis and Prediction:

    Arguably, Valencia comes off their biggest win of the campaign, upsetting Real Madrid 2 - 1 to get 2015 started last weekend. Now they get to face a Vigo club who has nothing but find ways to lose lately.

    Vigo will be without Planas who saw red against Sevilla and Cabral picked up another yellow that will see him suspended for this match as well.

    Reading these lines, when we saw Valencia Pk at a mere -110 to at least get some type of result here really stood out to us. The +165 to win outright has to be listed as such, due to the line setters expecting a letdown after such a big win last weekend.

    We do not see it the same way, and can surely expect Valencia to, at worst, draw here to not get hurt by the action of Pk and the Draw no Bet line.

    Valencia Pk -110 goes on the board.

    Getafe vs Eibar

    3-Way: 1: Getafe +245 Away ; X: +210 Draw ; 2: Eibar +135 Home

    Spread: Getafe Pk +135 ; Eibar Pk -160

    Total 2: Over -105 ; Under -115

    Analysis and Prediction:

    These two clubs are only separated by 6 points, and have some recent history in the Copa, as Getafe took both matches in December. They hadn't met since 2004 before this year.

    Eibar seems to be the club a lot of media outlets are calling the best of the clubs in the middle of the pack in Primera, but they still have a lot of work to do to get back in the discussion for European spots for next year.

    The question is whether or not Eibar can follow up a nice road win and come home with some momentum to continue their 2015 side of the campaign playing well. Getafe has done a good job of finding draws of late, but have still only scored 13 goals on the season. However, they do have some confidence knowing they have beaten Eibar twice, but to be honest, we expect a 1 - 1 type of draw here, so we will take a rare chance on this Draw at +210

    Sunday,January 11- 4 Matches

    Featured Match Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

    3-Way 1x2 Lines:

    Atl Madrid +585

    Barcelona -200

    Draw +340


    Atl Madrid +1 -105

    Barcelona -1 -115

    Total 2.5:

    Over -135

    Under +115

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    Analysis and Prediction:

    We know Barcelona is not going to be allowed to make any moves in the transfer window, and it may be distracting them a bit. It is tough to know what their plan was when they put the lineup out for the Sociedad match, missing plenty of the big names we expect to see. There will be none of that here, and we can expect to see a full squad for sure.

    Both clubs sit only a point behind Real Madrid at the top of the table and Atletico could present even more of a battle to find the net. Atletico has a rather large match comingon Wednesdayin the Copa, with Real Madrid, and we will not have the knowledge of how that match went before submitting this preview. We do not know why the biggest news of that match is the return of Fernando Torres to Spain, but it seems that he is the talk of the media. He had no effect in Milan, and has not had an effect on anything for years, so we do not expect him to be a source for success for Atletico any time soon.

    Barcelona will be facing Elche in their Copa matchon Thursday, and there is no concern for anything to go wrong for them there. Barcelona is going to get right back on track with this match, and we expect a generous amount of scoring to happen. 3 - 1 Barcelona is our expected result, so the -1 handicap on Barcelona at -115 and a small play on the Over 2.5 with marginal juice will also be worth playing.

    Tune in to BeIN Sports at3PMEastern time if you are interested in watching this match.

    Sevilla vs Almeria

    3-Way: 1: Sevilla -110 Away ; X: +250 Draw ; 2: Almeria +330 Home

    Spread: Sevilla -0.5 -110 ; Almeria +0.5 -110

    Total 2.5: Over +110 ; Under -130

    Analysis and Prediction:

    Almeria is not going to score a goal here, so we can expect Sevilla to get 3 points. Sevilla has been defensively sound most of the year, and has certainly taken advantage of the clubs behind them in the table.

    Simply said, Sevilla is the play here no matter where they are, or who they put on the pitch.

    Sevilla 3-Way line of -110 is our play here.

    Elche vs Athletic Bilbao

    3-Way: 1: Elche +685 Away ; X: +305 Draw ; 2: Bilbao -200 Home

    Spread: Elche +1 -105 ; Bilbao -1 -115

    Total 2.5: Over +125 ; Under -145

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    Analysis and Prediction:

    We do not see how anyone could lay -200 on Bilbao, home or not. Granted we are talking about Elche here, who have stunk up the campaign and will most likely be headed to Segunda Division at year’s end.

    Elche somehow managed a result against Villarreal over the weekend, and that was shocking enough to our system, so let's see if they use that to get out of the hole they have put themselves in, and make a play on the +1 handicap with Elche at -105.

    Real Sociedad vs Granada

    3-Way: 1: Sociedad +175 Away ; X: +210 Draw ; 2: Granada +180 Home

    Spread: Sociedad Pk -115 ; Granada Pk -105

    Total 2: Over -115 ; Under -105

    Analysis and Prediction:

    This is another one of those situations where the line setters were not impressed with last weekend's outing with Sociedad upsetting Barcelona.

    Granada has not won a Primera match sinceSeptember 20, and we are not going to expect that to change any time soon, even if they are at home. They only have one home win on the campaign, and Sociedad may have gotten a bit lucky not having to face a fully loaded Barcelona club last weekend, but a win is a win, and if Sociedad does not follow it up with some kind of result, then that's on them.

    But we might as well use the safety net the line setters are giving us, and take the Sociedad Pk handicap at -115 with the Draw no Bet action.

    This match will be on BeIN Sports at1PMEastern time.

    Monday, January 12- 1 Match

    Cordoba vs Rayo Vallecano

    3-Way: 1: Cordoba +460 Away ; X: +270 Draw ; 2: Vallecano -145 Home

    Spread: Cordoba +0.5 +125 ; Vallecano -0.5 -145

    Total 2.5: Over +105 ; Under -125

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    Analysis and Prediction:

    When we started to format this weekend's fixtures and saw this Over 2.5 at +105, we had to put out the fire in the studio. I dropped my Montecristo Platinum series 1999 vintage cigar on my paperwork, and now I have to pay for the damages by taking this Over 2.5 to make up for it. Maybe I should stop smoking in the studio, but that will not happen!!

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