The cream of European football rises
to the top once again as Spain’s La Liga 2012 – 13 season kicks off this
weekend. It's another two horse race at the top of the Spanish top-flight, but
that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to bet on.
Real Madrid broke Barcelona’s three
year hold on the Spanish title last season and they start the new La Liga
season as the bookies favourite at 22/25 to retain the title. It's hardly a
surprise as José Mourinho’s side had a nine point buffer at the top of the
table last season. Barcelona are second place 6/5 Charlie’s to reclaim the
One horse, two horse…and then
After the top two teams in Spain
there is a huge spike in the odds for the league winner as no bookmaker with
any sense is expecting anything other than a Real Madrid/Barcelona fight for
the title. Last season Valencia finished third and were a massive 39 points off
Real Madrid. Valencia are offered up at 100/1 by the bookmakers to win La Liga
this season, equal with Atlético Madrid, which makes them joint third
If you do fancy a adding a big upset to your picks then stick a
couple of pounds on Valencia (NOW!), as they start their 2012–13 season away to
Real Madrid on Sunday. Valencia are 11/1 to get all three points from this game
while a home win is at 5/18, even a draw is at 11/2. I don't see anything other
than a highly predictable Real Madrid win in this encounter but I'm going to
have to bet pretty heavily to see any sort of decent return on my (the wife’s)
Little brothers also deserve
I’m expecting great (well decent)
things from Atletico Madrid (11/4 to finish third) and they should challenge
Valencia for the second league (the one without the big two). This season they
kick off their campaign away to Levante
and the bookies have them at a cool 7/5 to start with victory. I’m sticking
some of her indoors’ shoe fund on that one, with a sliver on a 1-0 score at
7/1, just because the teabags tell me to so get that in your soccer picks.
Athletic Bilbao are another
challengers for the bronze medal spot (although internal problems with Marcelo
Bielsa may prove a costly distraction). AB’s season gets underway at home
against Betis and the oddsmakers like them for a win at 10/11 (so do I).
The surprise of La Liga 2012-13 may
Last season Granada finished a
single solitary point above relegation after flirting with disaster for most of
the season. They are 7/4 to go down this season, but last year there were some
very positive signs as they took points from Bilbao, Atletico, and Malaga. I
expect them to start by beating Rayo Vallecano on Saturday at 13/5, even though
they are playing away.
It's a welcome return to the top
flight for Deportivo La Coruna (who made an immediate return to the top level
as Segunda División champion). They will be expecting a decent run beginning
with victory against Osasuna, a safe bet at 11/10 with the sportsbooks.
This La Liga season also sees Real
Valladolid return to the top flight after two seasons in Segunda División and
the bookies have them at 13/5 to start their La Liga campaign with three point
success against Zaraagoza. I don’t see them having an easy run of it, so I’m
backing defeat for Valladolid (also known as victory for Zaragoza) at an
Freshly promoted Celta de Vigo, who
return to La Liga after a five-year absence, face Malaga on Saturday. The
bookies are offering them up at 7/5 to get a win while victory for Malaga is at
17/7. After some long hard soul searching and studying the form I decided to
follow the Correct Score odds on this match and back a draw at 9/4 specifically
a 1-1 (at 5/1) .
seat at top of the table
Barcelona may spend the entire
season looking up at Real Madrid as they kick off two hours after them on
Sunday. The Spanish silver medallists host
Real Sociedad in a 20:00 KO and once again the bookies expect them to take the
game. An away win is at 30/1, a home win is at 1/9 and the shortest odds for the
correct score are 3-0 (to Barca ‘natch) at 5/1, while the shortest odds on an
away win correct score are 1-0 at 80/1.
Worth a quid
(as long as you don’t need that specific pound).
Look beyond Barca and real Madrid to get decent returns on your money.