European Betting Preview, January 25-28: Crucial Road Matches for Juventus and Real Madrid
Getty Images. Juventus players celebrating a goal
- It's another busy weekend around Europe with crucial matches being played in Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A and Germany's Bundesliga.
- We've broken down the betting market for the top three leagues, as well as checking in on others like France's Ligue 1 and Scotland's Premiership.
Will this be the weekend that Barcelona and Juventus slip up to make their title races more interesting?
Below I’ve examined the betting market for Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga, as well as taking a look at other leagues around Europe including France’s Ligue 1 and Eredivisie in the Netherlands.
Spain La Liga
In last weekend’s La Liga action, Barcelona scored two second half goals to beat Leganes, 3-1, while Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both kept pace for the title with clutch road wins.
Barcelona remain heavy -900 favorites to win the league, but those odds would decrease with a loss/draw. They’re currently five points ahead of Atletico Madrid and ten points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the table.
This weekend, Barcelona are considerable -290 favorites to win at Girona, so once again they have the “easiest” match based on the odds. Leo Messi was rested in midweek Copa del Rey action, and they’ve also brought in big names like Kevin-Prince Boateng for reinforcement. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will be hoping they slip up, but that doesn’t look likely.
The biggest line moves since opening have been toward Getafe (+800 to +670 at Atletico Madrid), Real Madrid (-110 to -120 at Espanyol) and Athletic Bilbao (+135 to +115 vs. Real Betis).
I would side with Atletico Madrid (-170), Real Madrid (-120) and Real Betis (+270) in those matches, and love the value on Betis now that odds have shifted so much.
Italy Serie A
There are two big matches in Italy’s Serie A this weekend: Lazio vs. Juventus and AC Milan vs. Napoli.
AC Milan play Napoli at home on Saturday, and they’ll meet again just three days later in the Coppa Italia. Napoli have the slight edge for Saturday’s matchup and those +105 odds are certainly enticing, especially considering that early public bettors are on AC Milan.
Everyone in Serie A is waiting for Juventus to slip up, but it just hasn’t happened yet. They remain undefeated in the league and have drawn just twice, giving them a 9-point gap at the top of the table.
This weekend presents a tough road match at Lazio, and sharp bettors are fading Juventus, shifting their odds from -130 to -110.
Other considerable line moves have been toward Napoli (+120 to +105) and Parma (+155 to +140 vs. SPAL).
Dortmund and Bayern Munich both won on the road last weekend, yet title odds have shifted recently. Dortmund had been the favorites for over a month, but they’re now listed at +100 with Bayern Munich -115/-120 around the market. Sportsbooks have obviously taken enough warranted action on Bayern Munich to swing the odds, and I’m glad I got on board at plus-money.
As you can see from the odds graph, Bayern Munich (-980) and Dortmund (-515) are heavy home favorites this weekend, and I wouldn’t bet against either of them right now.
Notable line movement around the Bundesliga has been toward a slew of underdogs: Hertha Berlin (+205 to +170), Fortuna (+350 to +320), and Werder Bremen (+175 to +160).
Other leagues around Europe
France Ligue 1: PSG are the runaway title leaders, 13 points ahead of second place Lille with two matches in hand. In their previous match, they beat Guingamp 9-0 with hat-tricks from Mbappe and Cavani, and this weekend they’re big -550 favorites vs. Rennes. PSG don’t look to be slowing down and this will likely be their sixth Ligue 1 title in seven years.
However, Neymar injured his foot in the Coupe de France, and could miss extended time. There’s already worry that he’ll miss the opening leg of the Champions League Round of 16 against Manchester United.
Monaco just “parted ways” with head coach Thierry Henry, and have already brought back Leonardo Jardim to take over. It’s been a miserable season for them as they sit in 19th place in Ligue 1, and will need to improve to avoid relegation. They won the title just two years ago in 2016-17, so this is a massive fall from grace.
Netherlands Eredivisie: It’s a two-horse title race between Ajax and PSV, and last weekend was packed with crazy action. Ajax held leads of 3-1 and 4-3, but had to settle for a 4-4 draw, while PSV blew a 2-0 lead with 10 minutes remaining and also settled for a 2-2 draw.
Ajax (-135) have a tough road match at 3rd place Feyenoord this weekend while PSV (-715) are heavy home favorites vs. 13th place Groningen, so it’s a chance for PSV to potentially extend the gap. Despite all that, current odds to win the title are Ajax (-120), PSV (+105), so oddsmakers still favor Ajax in the long run.
Scotland Premiership: Celtic are on top of the Scottish Premiership, though it’s still fairly open with Kilmarnock (1 pt behind), Rangers (3 pts behind) and Aberdeen (3 pts behind) all lurking. Celtic do have a game in hand on those three clubs, so they’re the clear favorites to win the title.
Czech Republic First League : Slavia Prague and Viktoria Plzen are the cream of the crop in the Czech Republic, 15 and 11 points clear of 3rd place, respectively. The next round of games aren’t until Feb 8th and 9th, but those matchups favor Slavia Prague to extend the lead at the top. Plzen have won titles in 5 out of the 8 seasons, while Prague have been champions in 3 of the last 11 years.
Want live updates of the action this weekend? Be sure to follow @actionnetsoccer for all the latest soccer betting news around the market.