It is first against fifteenth as Barcelona host Sevilla on Saturday. Is there anything that the visitors can do to take something from this game? Besides pray?
Check out our report on Spanish La Liga 2013-14 Betting Futures!
International week is always a concern for top flight clubs. On the one hand, there’s the risk of injury to key players. On the other, there’s the disruption to the usual playing and training schedule. If you are a club like Barcelona, just getting through these weeks without any damage to your playing squad is something of a victory in itself.
Unfortunately, those, those small victories count for nothing in terms of the main competition itself, La Liga. Instead, they have to go out on Saturday and try and defeat a Sevilla side who will be much more rested than they will, having had fewer players away this weekend.
Barca currently stand atop La Liga, with nine points from three games. However, they are just one of four teams with that record. What sets them apart from the others is their goal difference of +9, one more than Atlético Madrid and a full five goals clear of big spending rivals Real Madrid.
That difference masks something, though. Barca began the season with a 7-0 home win over Levante. Since then, they’ve scored just four goals and conceded two. That’s a record which is only on a par with others in La Liga and less than Atlético’s.
The worry for Sevilla, though, is that the Levante result came in Barca’s only other home fixture this year (their other two games have been on the road). Levante currently sit five places above Sevilla, with the two sides having shared a 0-0 draw on the final weekend of August.
Put all of these factors together and it is easy to see why Barcelona are currently a best price of 1/5 with SportingBet, whilst Sevilla are available at 16/1 through Stan James.
Those sort of soccer odds force us to look elsewhere for some value bets, but in the case of this game just about every outcome which favours Barcelona is short priced. If you look to the correct result market, even a 1-1 draw is priced at 18/1 by BetVictor, despite the fact that Sevilla have drawn both of their two previous games.
What that does do, though, is to allow for some careful soccer betting on the eventual score, because the favourite outcome, a 2-0 win for Barca, sits at 9/1 (again with BetVictor). That offers a chance to bet on a number of correct scores and still make a profit, even if you have to sacrifice some unsuccessful bets along the way.
If you fancy a less risky bet, then the half time/full time market offers some options. Barcelona to lead from the outset is a short price of 4/6 via BetVictor, but even that is a better price than simply betting on Barcelona to win.
Another option might be to go to a sports betting market I don’t often recommend, the ‘Anytime Goalscorer’ market. The odds on offer will never be great here, especially in a match which is expected to see a fair few goals, but which means that you don’t have to stake anything on your man scoring at any particular time of the game. So, for example, backing Lionel Messi to find the net at any point will only get you 1/6 with Bet365, but that is still a small win in a game where the margins are not that great. If that isn’t an option which attracts you, then there are still decent prices on those who might not play a full game. Javier Mascherano, for example, is a very generous 6/1.
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