La Liga Matchday 12 Odds: Preview, Breakdown, Best Bets
Important Matches in Top Four Picture this Weekend
Real Madrid and Barcelona a Class Ahead
It’s still early in the La Liga season but it certainly looks like we’ll have a competitive title race between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Both teams have been nearly flawless this season in La Liga and it’s starting to feel like the rivalry of old again. Of course, Real Madrid defeated Barcelona a couple of weekends ago but the other 36 non-Clasico matches count just the same. This weekend both teams will try to keep pace in the title race. Meanwhile, it looks like there could be a wide open top four race this season. Let’s take a look at some of the important matches from both races and preview the La Liga Matchday 12 odds.
Games of the Week:
Valencia vs. Barcelona:
Gennaro Gattuso’s spell as Valencia manager has gotten off to an up and down start. They’re currently ninth in the table, with just one win in their last five matches. However, they’re facing Barcelona at a good time on Saturday. Barcelona need to go balls to the wall and win vs. Bayern Munich on Wednesday to have any shot of making the Champions League knockout stage. So, Valencia will at least have a rest advantage and could catch a fatigued Barça.
What Valencia doesn’t have is an advantage in the recent head-to-head. Barcelona have won the last three meetings and Valencia have just two wins in the last ten. So, Barcelona enter Saturday as -160 favorites and bettors should pay attention to their match vs. Bayern. Manager Xavi will be hoping not to pick up any more injuries as they’ve hampered Barça this season.
Barcelona did defeat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 last weekend and have outscored their opponents 7-0 since losing in El Clasico. Valencia disappointingly lost at home to Mallorca last weekend and will be looking to bounce back. The La Liga Matchday 12 odds price the hosts at just +410 odds to win. However, Valencia are seen as likely to cover the spread, at -125 odds. Veteran striker Edinson Cavani has scored in his last three games for Valencia coming into this one.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Villarreal:
Athletic Club and Villarreal are sixth and seventh in the La Liga standings, respectively, and this is an important match for both teams. Bilbao come in as -120 favorites at the San Mames, while Villarreal are +235 underdogs. After starting off the season strongly, Bilbao have won just one of their last five matches and are currently on a four-game winless streak.
It’s been a difficult week for Villarreal off the pitch. Their vice president Jose Manuel Llaneza passed away and their coach is off to England. After sacking Steven Gerrard last week, Aston Villa paid Unai Emery’s Villarreal release clause to make him their new head coach. Emery led Villarreal to the Europa League title in 2021 and the Champions League semifinals last season. Replacing him certainly won’t be an easy task. Villarreal hit the road on Sunday to take on a motivated Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona outclassed Bilbao and defeated them 4-0 on Sunday. Athletic Club and Villarreal are sixth and seventh in the La Liga standings respectively, and this is an important match for both teams. Bilbao come in as -120 favorites at the San Mames, while Villarreal are +235 underdogs. After starting off the season strongly, Bilbao have won just one of their last five matches and are currently on a four-game winless streak. Villarreal’s form has also been up and down but they defeated Almeria 2-1 in Emery’s last game in charge.
Alex Baena picked up a second yellow card in the process, getting sent off for revealing a tribute shirt to the late Llaneza. The attacking midfielder will not be available on Sunday. Meanwhile, two Athletic Bilbao midfielders picked up injuries vs. Barcelona. Both Ander Herrera and Dani Garcia are considered doubtful for Sunday. Despite playing on the road and having a vacant head coaching position, Villarreal show -140 odds to cover the ½-goal spread.
Real Sociedad vs. Real Betis:
Newly promoted Valladolid ended Real Sociedad’s nine-game winning streak in all competitions on Sunday. Still, Sociedad ended the weekend in the top four as a nice consolation. Now, they’ll head back home and face a difficult opponent on Sunday, in Real Betis. Betis, who are in fifth place, also covet that fourth place spot and a win will temporarily hand it to them. They’ve also dominated this fixture over the last couple of seasons.
Both Real Sociedad and Real Betis have secured qualification to the Europa League knockout stage already. So, they can focus more on their La Liga matchup rather than their Thursday fixtures. Despite being winless in the last five meetings, Sociedad are -105 favorites heading into Sunday’s match. The La Liga betting odds price Betis as +300 underdogs but they’ve won three of the last four. However, defender Luiz Felipe is out until after the World Cup after suffering an injury on Sunday.
It’s worth noting that Sociedad have been in much better form lately, which is undoubtedly impacting the odds. Despite their good form in the Europa League, Real Betis have won just one of their last five La Liga matches. They’ve also been dreadful on the road this season, with just one La Liga win in five matches. Interestingly, nine of the last ten fixtures have finished with three or more goals. Still, over 2½ is listed at just +105 odds.
Other Matches of Interest
Atletico Madrid can close out the month unbeaten in La Liga with a win or draw at Cadiz on Saturday. Only Real Madrid have gained more points on the road than Atleti this season. So, Atletico Madrid enter the weekend as -150 favorites according to the La Liga Matchday 12 odds. Cadiz are in the relegation zone with just one win from 11 games. However, they have managed draws in four of their last five. This is a match Atleti will look to grab all three points in, as they’ve done in all four recent meetings.
Real Madrid hold a three point lead over Barcelona heading into Matchday 12. Los Blancos are heavy -420 favorites over newly promoted Girona on Sunday. Things aren’t as straightforward as they may seem, though. Both Karim Benzema and Luka Modric missed out on Real’s trip to Salzburg on Tuesday. They could both play on Sunday but punters need to monitor their statuses. Benzema and Modric are now both Ballon d’Or winners and game changers, even at 34 and 37-years old, respectively.Follow us on Twitter