Round 8 La Liga Betting Previews
Our La Liga expert Jon Cordingley selects the finest matches of this La Liga weekend in his betting preview, stick with JC for La Liga profits!
Elche v Espanyol, 15:00
Rather surprisingly, Elche (6/4) defeated Celta 1-0 in Vigo last weekend, with Marquez scoring the goal that moved the 2012/13 Segunda champions up to 14th position in the Primera standings.
Espanyol (15/8), despite strong home form, failed to take any of the few chances they created at home to Getafe, losing 2-0. As is often the case in Spain, there was no form to it, but the away team won for the second year in a row at the same ground.
As for this weekend's fixture between the two, I think that if you're planning a punt in it, Espanyol draw no bet is worth a shot. Why? Well, at home, although they held a Champions League preoccupied Real Sociedad to a draw and were denied of a point against Real Madrid by horrendous officiating, Elche couldn't beat Valladolid - and Espanyol have this funny habit of losing when they're supposed to win and winning when they're not supposed to.
Maybe that's not the best logic, but Espanyol have won one, drawn one and lost one on the road, while Elche - as you can deduce from reading above - have drawn two and lost one on home soil. So, at evens and with Espanyol considered to a better team on paper, the Catalans on the draw no bet market is surely value of some sort.
Worth a punt: Espanyol draw no bet (EVS)
Rayo Vallecano v Real Sociedad, 17:00
Rayo (21/10) played well in their 1-0 defeat away to Valencia last weekend and can consider their selves unlucky not to have taken a point back to the outskirts of Madrid.
Real Sociedad (5/4), with Griezmann (6/1 to score first, 7/4 anytime) scoring their equaliser, drew 1-1 at home to Sevilla in round seven. The Basque's also played midweek in the UEFA Champions League, losing 2-1 away to Bayer Leverkusen.
Now, in terms of calculating a potential bet for Saturday's game, I've considered the following factors: Real Sociedad haven't won a league game since round one, they played an extra game midweek and have compiled a record of two draws and a loss in league games played directly after European action.
Given the above and despite the fact that Rayo have lost their last six games, I think that Rayo draw no bet is worth a punt at 6/5.
Second choice, a winner in all of the Madrid based sides league games besides the last one, is over 2.5 goals at 8/11. Based on stats, the downside is that only La Real's rest your best players and 'lie down' performance against Barca passed the over 2.5 goal mark in the three league road games that the Basques have played.
Worth a punt: Rayo draw no bet (6/5)
In an uninspiring game with few clear cut chances, Barcelona (1/8) defeated Almeria 2-0 last weekend. Messi opened the scoring after a great run and finish, with Adriano later adding a second from close range.
With Guerra and Osario their scorers, Valladolid (18/1) came from a goal down to eventually draw 2-2 at home to Malaga in their round seven fixture.
In conclusion, I don't know if Valladolid will pull some of their regular starters and lie down like Real Sociedad did recently - meaning that we should see loads of first half goals - but, regardless, in Barca home games it's over 1.5 first half or 3.5 match goals for the recommendation.
Since Barca played and defeated Celtic midweek, I opt for match in case of a slow start and determined opponents.
Recommendation: Over 3.5 goals (19/20)
Athletic Bilbao v Valencia, Saturday, 20:00 - live on Sky Sports 1
To the shock of most punters, Athletic (23/20) lost 2-0 away to Granada in round seven. The Basque's did, however, look like the more likely winners until conceding a dubious penalty that changed the momentum.
Valencia (2/1) didn't play that well but still beat Rayo 1-0 at the Mestalla last weekend. Jonas (7/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime), who's been in great form recently, scored Los Che's goal.
In conclusion, Valencia played and defeated Kuban Krasnador in Russia on Thursday night - and that will surely take something out of them - while Athletic have won every home game they've played this season and didn't play midweek, so it seems wise to go with a home win here.
Worth a punt: Athletic (23/20)