European Soccer Odds and Previews, March 1-3: Bettors are Taking a Side for El Clasico
- All eyes will be on El Clasico on Saturday as Barcelona take on Real Madrid (3 p.m. ET on beIN) at the Bernabeu Stadium, their second meeting there in four days.
- I've broken down the odds and betting market for Barcelona-Real Madrid and all the crucial matches to title races across Europe this weekend.
We’ve entered March and there’s just a few months left in the season for all the top leagues around Europe.
The marquee and rivalry matches keep on coming though, and this weekend presents us with Barcelona-Real Madrid, Juventus-Napoli, Lazio-Roma and Bayern Munich-Monchengladbach.
Here’s a look at look at the public and sharp action around the betting market in Spain, Italy, Germany and more.
Spain La Liga
Saturday will mark the second El Clasico in four days as Barcelona and Real Madrid meet at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid.
Barcelona just throttled Real Madrid, 3-0, in the Copa del Rey semifinal second leg on Wednesday night at the very same venue.
Messi and crew are now through to the Copa del Rey final and are also well on their way to a La Liga title as -2000 favorites, and now’s the time for Real Madrid to make a stance. They’re currently +1400 longshots to win the title, same odds as Atletico Madrid, but a win on Saturday could change everything.
For their La Liga encounter, the moneyline shifted toward Barcelona even before they kicked off in the Copa del Rey semifinal. After opening in the +160/+165 range, Barcelona were bet down to +140/+145, and that’s where much of the market has settled.
With so much popularity and betting interest around the world, it’s difficult to predict where the lines will end up by kickoff.
Real Madrid are +175 home underdogs while the draw can be found at the longest odds of +275. Goals should be expected as the over/under is listed at 3 (o-130) or 3.5 (o+120).
In other games around the league, Eibar have been hit the most action as they’re now -130 home favorites after opening at +105. A win would potentially put them top-ten in La Liga while a loss by Celta Vigo could put the visitors in the relegation zone.
Villarreal (-125 to -140), Atletico Madrid (+145 to +120) and Leganes (+110 to -105) have all seen considerable wagering come their way due to sharp money.
Sevilla (+100) are the most public bet on the board but odds have barely budged against cellar dwellers Huesca, so there could be an upset brewing in that one.
In one of this season’s oddities, Valencia have drawn 15 of 25 league matches (60%), so naturally there’s been heavy movement on the draw again for Saturday from +250 to +230.
La Liga has seen far more draws overall (32%) than the Premier League (19%), aided by the fact Tottenham have yet to end in a stalemate through 28 games.
Italy Serie A
In last weekend’s contests at the top of the league, Juventus, Napoli, Roma and AC Milan all won, but Inter Milan drew to fall off the pace.
Their third-place position is certainly now in jeopardy and they could slip back into fifth by the end of the weekend. Inter are -125 favorites at Cagliari in the opening match on Friday and a very popular public wager to boot.
Serie A fans are in for a treat this weekend as there are a pair of marquee matches on the docket: Juventus at Napoli and Roma at Lazio.
Both home sides, Napoli and Lazio, have been getting early sharp action to win, but public bettors are remaining loyal to the road underdogs. It’s not often to find Juventus available at odds north of +200, but that’s where they stand for Sunday.
Other notable line moves have gone toward the Genoa-Frosinone draw (+275) and Bologna (+205) to beat Udinese.
Bayern Munich earned a narrow 1-0 victory last weekend to stay within three points of league-leaders Dortmund, who were 3-2 winners over Leverkusen.
Bayern have increased from -150 to -165 favorites to win the Bundesliga while Dortmund are now available at +135, and the two clubs meet in Munich on April 6th.
This weekend Dortmund (-140) could have their way with Augsburg, a club that has conceded 12 goals in their last three matches. They also haven’t managed much success against Dortmund, winning just once in the last 16 meetings.
Bayern Munich (-165) haven’t managed a ton of success against their opponents, Monchengladbach, but are still bigger road favorites than Dortmund. Totals for both of those matches are listed at 3 goals, so we could be looking at 2-1 or 3-1 type finals.
At the bottom of the league, Nurnberg (-1500) and Hannover (-400) are expected to be relegated and the final spot is basically up for grabs between Stuttgart (-125) and Augsburg (+225).
There has been a ton of line shifting in the Bundesliga this weekend with the biggest movers being Wolfsburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.
Other leagues around Europe
Netherlands Eredivisie: Another draw from PSV and a win by Ajax has narrowed the gap to just two points at the top of the table. PSV are back down to -145 favorites to win the league (were once -250), and Ajax are +120 (+200 two weeks ago).
Portugal Primeira Liga: Porto (57 pts) and Benfica (56 pts) are at the top with Braga (49 pts) and Sporting (46 pts) still lurking, and this is a pivotal weekend in the race.
Porto host Benfica on Saturday with both clubs listed at plus-money odds so a draw could open things up since Braga and Sporting are odds-on favorites to win their matches.
France: PSG will win the league once again so the only real drama is Champions League/Europa League berths and relegation battles. Just seven points separate fourth-place and 11th in the Ligue 1 standings so there could be plenty of shakeup from week-to-week.
Switzerland: Youngs Boys have a 19-point lead at the top of the table with a +42 goal differential, and there’s no question the trophy will be theirs.
Belgium: Genk hold an eight-point lead over Club Brugge with just three matches remaining so the title is essentially wrapped up there, too.
Both clubs were just eliminated in the Europa League Round of 32 after losing their second leg matches.
Greece: PAOK are going for an undefeated domestic season and currently possess a seven-point lead on second-place Olympiakos.
This weekend will be one of the toughest matches all season long though, listed as slim -115 favorites at Panathinaikos. If PAOK are handed their first loss of the year, the gap could be trimmed to four points with seven games left.
Scotland: The Scottish Premiership had been somewhat close for a while, but Celtic now possess an eight-point lead over Rangers. Their final matchup of the season will still be worth watching though, and that’ll take place at Celtic Park on March 31st.
Want live updates of the action all weekend? Be sure to follow @actionnetsoccer on Twitter for all the latest soccer betting news around the market.