What Were The Odds Of That?
Liverpool fail again as odds-on favourites. Atalanta win a wild one over Inter. Odds-on favourites have their way in Spain. And Bayern Munich finally make it official in Germany. Today on the blog Ed Malyon returns with his wrap up of the weekend's football betting across Europe.
You are spared the reprisal of the ‘look how short Liverpool were this week’ because the game will be largely irrelevant to the bigger picture of the Premier League, but West Ham’s dogged, ginger potato-led draw at Anfield was technically this weekend’s biggest shock at an average price of 5.37.
Arguably it was the most meaningless fixture of the round as both sides edge towards inevitable mid-table finishes, and Aston Villa’s win at Stoke will be of far more consequence, even though Paul Lambert’s side were a best-priced 4.0.
If we’re talking in-play winners this weekend, then the 90th minute goal at St James’ Park may have bagged you some cash, or the even later equaliser from Shaun Maloney at Loftus Road – which not only seems destined to relegate Harry Redknapp’s QPR but meant that in-play draw backers could have cashed-in at 16/1.
The Odds: Ladbrokes have Sunderland best priced at odds of 2.70 to suffer relegation in season 2013, with Wigan best priced with Bet365 at odds of 3.00 while Aston Villa remain in contention for the drop at odds of 4.75.
It only takes twelve minutes
Five draws and a couple of surprise away wins in Serie this week means there were plenty of larger-priced winnings to be had.
Top-of-the-table(ish) clashes between Milan and Fiorentina and Roma and Lazio both ended level, which means Napoli are this weekend’s major beneficiaries and have all but secured Champions League football next season. Whether it will be enough to keep hold of star striker Edinson Cavani is another matter entirely.
Even with a points deduction, Atalanta are easily clear of the relegation threat this season, but their win against Inter Milan was a controversial one. Under-fire Nerazzuri boss Andrea Stramaccioni raged against the officials after the topsy-turvy game that ended up 4-3 to the visitors – a best price 6.5 with some bookmakers pre-match.
The game flipped on a bizarre penalty decision at 3-1, with a Ricky Alvarez brace looking to have Inter in a comfortable lead. Even the Atalanta players looked surprised at the spot-kick being given but German Denis gratefully accepted the gift, and he bagged his first of the game to bring the Bergamo side back into the game.
Twelve minutes later the Argentine striker had a hat-trick and his side were 4-3 up, so despite the result having little consequence to Atalanta who will continue to float in the magnolia shades of mid-table, a third league defeat in four games for Stramaccioni could well have grave consequences for the young coach.
Six odds-on favourites started their games in La Liga this weekend and all of them came in, making it a successful round of fixtures for short-odds backers.
They were all home wins, with the inevitably minute prices on show for Barcelona and Real Madrid but also an average mark of 1.38 for Valencia (who snuck past Valladolid 2-1 with a late Jonas winner) and 1.62 for Sevilla who beat Athletic.
Probably the most important of all these odds-on shots was Real Sociedad’s defeat of Malaga at the Anoeta which means the Txuri-Urdin continue in the Champions League places. Their magnificent run of form under Philippe Montanier has them two points ahead of fifth-place Valencia and now four ahead of the Andalucians whose second string they beat on Saturday evening. With a European competition ban for next season, Malaga are concentrating on this year’s continental progression instead and that continues against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.
The Odds: Barcelona remain favourites to win the Champions League this season, best priced with Bwin at odds of 2.90, while Real Madrid are right behind them, best priced with Pinnacle at odds of 3.40. If you fancy Malaga's chances, they can be bought at odds of 101.00 with BetVictor.
Finally it is confirmed
Weekly bringers of doom Bayern Munich took their victory roadshow to Frankfurt this week and confirmed their 482nd Bundesliga title.
Twenty points ahead of Dortmund with just eight to play, even a spirited comeback from the BVB to beat Augsburg 4-2 was largely meaningless as Bayern claimed yet another league title on their way to a record-breaking Bundesliga season.
Bastian Schweinsteiger claimed his sixth league win at the age of 28, and he now boasts more titles than any other club in the country, with Borussias Moenchengladbach and Dortmund both on five.
The relegation picture is looking pretty cut and dried with hapless Greuther Furth languishing nine points from semi-salvation in the shape of a playoff place and destined for the dunk. Overgrown village club Hoffenheim also look on their way out, and it remains to be seen whether they slump back to the minor leagues from whence they came or if Dietmar Hopp decides that it wasn’t all worth it and begins to wind in his investment.
The 2008 ‘Autumn Championship’ seems a world away now.
Follow Ed on Twitter : @eaamalyon
You can read more of Ed's thoughts at The Mirror