What Were The Odds Of That?
Odds-on favourites dominate in the Premier League. Barcelona and Real Madrid look foward to Champions League fixtures. Juventus roll on toward back-to-back Serie A titles. And Bayern Munich put a beating on Hamburg. Today on the blog Ed Malyon posts his wrap up of the Easter weekend's football betting.
This weekend’s Premier League action may have been all very good and exciting with its phenomenal goals, fascist managers and impossibly expedient politicians but it was fairly short on surprises.
Southampton beat Chelsea, which was kind of a surprise, but given that the Blues have 282 games in as many hours there was significant rotation and the Saints have actually been fairly impressive under the guy whose name sounds like Pinocchio – which is precisely why the Adkins indignation has somewhat slunk off into the wilderness while the man himself ended up at Reading, which is a wilderness of its own.
But yes, Southampton beat Chelsea with a couple of peachy goals and that was the only Premier League game all weekend that wasn’t won by the pre-match favourite. The more observant among you will realise that this means there were no draws, which is correct, while seven of the winners were odds-on shots.
At this stage of the season, if there are few shocks in a weekend then it is bad news for the teams down at the foot of the table, and seven of the bottom eight teams lost to keep the relegation picture pretty much as it was on Friday.
The big winner in leaping out of the drop zone was Wigan, who beat Norwich 1-0 and have won three in four to mount their traditional late-season escape from relegation.
But don’t you see? Even that is predictable.
Oh well, forget the bottom, I wonder who is going to win the league…?
The Odds: Forget this season, Manchester United are best priced at odds of 2.63 with Bet365 to win the Premier League next season, while Manchester City are 3.20 with Paddy Power. Chelsea are next best on offer, 6.00 with Betfred.
La Liga Lumpers
After 29 rounds of fixtures in Spain it’s got pretty tough to find a new way each week of saying that Real Madrid and Barcelona both won at the weekend but Deportivo La Ding-dong beat Atletico Spam so it’s alright, but this week was different.
In fact, neither did third-placed Atletico Madrid, nor fourth-placed Real Sociedad, or even fifth-placed Valencia.
In as much as the English Premier League threw up just the one shock over the Easter weekend, only one game in Spain went with the odds as the other nine all returned chunky prices.
The average winning price of this round’s results was 3.67, the highest of the season by quite some distance and unsurprisingly the draws involving the big two were the individual biggest with Celta a shade over 4/1 to hold Barca.
The Odds: Barcelona are best priced at odds of 1.77 with Pinnacle to win their opening leg against PSG in this week's Champions League fixtures, while Real Madrid are at the short odds of 1.20 at Ladbrokes to win at home over Galatasaray.
Little Left To Fight For
Results in Italy this weekend failed to provide too much fuel for the imagination as Juventus carried on doing what they do as they power-walk – rather than stroll – their way to back-to-back titles. The other two members of the top three also won their games to pull away from their chasers and virtually guarantee that both Napoli and Milan will be playing Champions League football next season.
Fiorentina’s loss to Cagliari – 3.39 average price and the biggest hit of the week – ended their chances and they will now have to settle for Europa League this season, with Lazio one point off them (but also in the Europa places) before a three-point gap to Inter and Roma.
While there may be a second-tier continental competition to fight for, it’s hardly going to produce a story to set the world alight, and thus the only real battle left in Serie A is the battle to stay in Serie A.
From that battle you can pretty much discount Pescara on the basis that to partake in a battle you actually need to put up a fight. Six losses on the bounce and no win in eleven is not the form that’s going to lift you from the mire.
Palermo’s win this weekend was a surprise despite Roma’s problems of late, but they’ll need to sustain that form if they’re to make up the points on 17th-placed Genoa. Along with Siena, that list makes up the four teams in the frame to drop, with Atalanta, Torino and Chievo now pulling away from the bottom and leaving in their wake a group of teams that know that just one will survive.
The Odds: While Pescara and Palermo are considered near on certainties with bookmakers to be relegated this season, while Siena are priced at 1.40 with BetVictor to be relegated in 2013 while Genoa are at odds of 1.80 also with BetVictor.
Borussia Dortmund are really bloody good but do you know who are better? Bayern Munich. And quite a lot better.
Dortmund’s win this weekend meant that the Bavarians have not yet secured their inevitable title, but they kept the gap at twenty points while they warmed up for their blockbuster Champions League tie with Juventus in stunning fashion.
A 9-2 win over Hamburg surprised a few people (nobody thought the visitors would score) and if you’d had the foresight to know that eleven goals were coming then you’d obviously have been on the over 8.5 goals at 40/1 – with nobody offering the 10.5+.
The Odds: Bayern Munich are best priced at 1.67 with Paddy Power to win their opening leg in this week's Champions League fixtures with Juventus, while Dortmund travel to Malaga as 2.25 favourites with Ladbrokes.
Follow Ed on Twitter : @eaamalyon
You can read more of Ed's thoughts at The Mirror