European Soccer Weekend Betting Preview: Must-Win Matches for Real Madrid and Napoli?

European Soccer Weekend Betting Preview: Must-Win Matches for Real Madrid and Napoli? article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Real Madrid and Sevilla competing in 2018

  • It's the second half of the season for most European soccer leagues, and things are heating up at the top and bottom of La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga.
  • The biggest matchups of the weekend with title implications are Real Madrid-Sevilla (Saturday, 10:15 a.m. ET), RB Leipzig-Dortmund (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET) and Napoli-Lazio (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET)
  • We've broken down the betting market across Spain, Italy and Germany to see where the tickets and money are going.

We’ve reached the midpoint of the major domestic seasons in Europe, and every single match will be crucial until the end of the year.

Below we’ve examined how the betting market is shaping up in Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga.


Spain La Liga

The marquee matchup of the weekend in La Liga is Real Madrid-Sevilla, as both clubs are tied for third place with 33 points. Real Madrid have already lost six league games this season and have been the victims of three upsets in Champions League and Copa del Rey.

Sevilla have received most of the early betting attention and their odds have moved from +410 to +370. After opening at -160, Real Madrid are now being offered at just -135, so clearly bettors believe that Real Madrid are still susceptible to an upset.

Barcelona have set the pace at the top of the table and are now five points clear of Atletico Madrid. Oddsmakers don’t see Barca having much trouble this weekend as they’re huge -720 favorites against Leganes, but they do have to play a Copa del Rey match on Thursday afternoon. Bettors will definitely want to keep an eye on any potential injuries stemming from that match.

In other action around the league, second-place Atletico Madrid travel to last-place Huesca in what appears to be a fishy line. Atletico have lost just one league game all year while Huesca have won only two, but odds are actually moving toward the home side (+560 to +505). Contrarian bettors will want to monitor this one, and Huesca/Draw are shaping up to be solid picks.


Italy Serie A

Is the Serie A title race already over? Juventus currently hold a nine-point advantage over second-place Napoli, and this weekend could just about seal the deal.

Juventus are expected to roll as -1050 favorites this weekend against Chievo, while Napoli (-111) have a very tricky home match against fourth-place Lazio. By the end of this weekend, Napoli could be four entire wins behind undefeated Juventus, so casual fans should be hoping for some chaos.

 

The biggest line moves of the weekend have been toward Inter Milan (-230), Atalanta (-222),  Lazio (+345) and Genoa (+245).


Germany Bundesliga

The biggest match in the Bundesliga this weekend is league-leaders Dortmund taking on RB Leipzig. Pubic bettors have hit Dortmund, but sharper bettors are taking RB Leipzig, shifting the odds from +165 to +155.

It’s not often that Bayern Munich find themselves six points out of first place in January, but that’s exactly what’s happening this season. Bayern play a difficult road match at Hoffenheim on Friday evening, and odds have actually moved away from Munich. However, a win could narrow the gap at the top of the standings to put a ton of pressure on Dortmund to get a result Saturday.

I’d love to go contrarian and take Hoffenheim to win/draw, but their defense is far too shaky to trust, so this could be a game where public bettors clean up on Bayern.

The largest line moves since opening have been toward Werder Bremen (+125), Mainz (+220) and Frankfurt (-150).

Want live updates of the action this weekend? Be sure to follow @actionnetsoccer for all the latest soccer betting news.