What Were The Odds Of That?
A couple of wild contests in Spain. Away clubs getting it done in Serie A. And Sunderland making a mess of Newcastle. Today on the blog Ed Malyon returns with his round up of all the weekend's football betting across Europe.
All the threes
Your biggest price available for a result in La Liga this weekend was just 3.3, an average mark found in two games of this, the 31st round.
Both ended in 3-3 draws, but it’s virtually impossible to pick which was the most entertaining of two batshit mental games. The first came on Friday night as Betis recovered from 3-0 down to grab a last-minute equaliser that still wasn’t enough to salvage their fading hopes of Champions League qualification.
The second saw Valencia and Espanyol share the points, a result that would have gutted the Catalan side when Jonas made it 2-2 in the 87th minute. What seemed like a late decider turned out to be far from it, with Roberto Soldado netting in the 91st minute to send the Che players wild, but it was Espanyol who had the last laugh with a 93rd minute goal from Sergio Garcia levelling up the game for a final time.
Rollercoaster games indeed, but little has changed at the business end of the league with the top five all winning this weekend and Real Sociedad edging towards a return to the Champions League.
Story of the season
Five away wins this weekend in Serie A, and that is a major contributor to just one odds-on win four sub-evens kick-offs this weekend.
That odds-on winner? Juventus. Which kind of sums up the season in a nutshell.
Every team apart from the Old Lady has faltered this season when expected to win, arriving at the brink of a title challenge before looking around, feeling uncomfortable and backpedalling in a clumsy fashion.
Juve’s win over Lazio was clinical, efficient and just what they needed after being knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern.
It also showed that they are still streets ahead of the competition domestically and a nine-point gap to their rivals at the moment looks like it will only get bigger next season with the planned arrivals (and Napoli likely to lose two of their key players).
The Odds: Inter host Roma in the 2nd leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final this week, with Roma best priced at odds of 2.70 with Bet Victor, while Inter are also best priced at odds of 2.70 with William Hill to claim victory.
For the second week running it was Liverpool who provided the biggest turning-over of the odds – by not winning.
Reading, who were virtually already relegated before the game and almost certainly down now, weren’t given much of a chance at home to the Reds but even though the reality is that it took a fairly superhuman performance from Alex McCarthy to steal them a point, it’s another short-priced let-down from Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Leaving aside my broken record, Sunderland’s win at Newcastle was a marginally lower price on average, but still a big shock at 4.49.
Taking a goal off Sunderland on the Asian Handicap pushed the price out to 7.2 with Bet365, so if you’d had the ridiculous foresight to back them at -2 then my hat is doffed and my bank balance is envious.
Liverpool and Newcastle were two of the three odds-on favourites to fail this weekend along with Southampton (who could only draw with West Ham), while the other three odds-on shots obliged in the shape of Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton.
The Odds: Both Chelsea and Arsenal remain short priced at the odds of 1.29 with Bet365 to complete a top 4 finish this season, while Tottenham drift to odds of 2.50 with Bet Victor with Everton priced at 12.00 with Ladbrokes.
Brest’s defeat this weekend marked five in a row for Corentin Martin’s side, and Reims’ win in that game was one of only two away victories in the 32nd round, with PSG’s win at Troyes the other.
Otherwise it was a fairly uninteresting week in France as far as odds were concerned, with the three draws providing the biggest prices for winners (best price being 3.6 maximum on Lille-Marseille) and a glut of home wins.
This week has been pretty unspectacular betting-wise, but as always there is always something mad around the corner, so stay tuned.
The Odds: Marseille remain at the short odds of 1.30 with Paddy Power to finish in the top 3 this season, with Lyon just off the pace at odds of 1.57 with Bet Victor. St.Etienne remain in contention at odds of 3.75 with Bet Victor as does Lille priced at odds of 5.50.
Erm, I’m sorry to report that it was once again a fairly unsurprising weekend in terms of Bundesliga betting, but the biggest winners were Freiburg, whose win on Friday night means that they are just one point off the Champions League places.
Having sold Papiss Cisse last year many tipped them to struggle but a brilliant run of form has got them into the picture for Europe as they dented Hannover’s continental chances with the opening win of the weekend.
Follow Ed on Twitter : @eaamalyon
You can read more of Ed's thoughts at The Mirror