European Soccer Odds and Previews, March 8-11: Where’s the Sharp Money Going?
Barcelona FC. Pictured: Ivan Rakitic
- After an exciting week of Champions League matches, focus turns toward the domestic leagues in Europe this weekend including Spain's La Liga, Germany's Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A.
- We've broken down the betting market to determine where the public and sharp wagers are going in each league.
Last weekend was crucial for the title races in Spain, Germany and Italy and there are now just a handful of clubs with a chance of lifting a trophy.
In the enormous El Clasico battle at the Santiago Bernabeu, Barcelona again edged Real Madrid, 1-0, to move 12 points clear at the top of the table. All of the early action and line movement was steered toward Barcelona, but a late flow of money did come in on Real Madrid.
Barcelona’s win over their rival means they now lead the all-time series (96-51-95) against Real Madrid for the first time in 88 years (1931).
Sportsbooks also did very well on the total (3 or 3.5) since the game easily went under. La Liga is now ultimately down to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
In Germany, Dortmund suffered another upset loss while Bayern Munich rolled over Monchengladbach. The two clubs are now tied atop the Bundesliga table, but Bayern are clear -250 favorites to win the league.
Over in Italy’s Serie A, Juventus defeated Napoli, 2-1, to move 16 points ahead in the standings. Undefeated Juve are now well on their way to an eighth consecutive league title and odds are off the board around the market.
Although there are no true marquee matchups in Europe this weekend, there are plenty of vital games up and down the league tables.
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
Real Madrid have now lost three straight home matches in all competitions (Copa del Rey, La Liga, Champions League), and they’ve also been hit with injuries to Carvajal, Vinicius Jr and Vazquez. They’ve slipped twelve points adrift of the title race and could be looking at a trophy-less season.
Although Real Madrid are essentially out of the picture, Atletico Madrid picked up another win to keep pace at the top. Atletico remain just seven points behind Barcelona in La Liga standings and are +1500 to win the league.
This weekend’s action is highlighted by a number of heavy favorites including top teams Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Sevilla.
Most notably, a big adjustment has been made on Real Madrid (-190 to -150) despite Los Blancos attracting more than 80% of bets. Valladolid (+450) will be looking to deal Real their fourth straight loss, and they’re certainly a live home underdog to consider.
Bettors have also been keen on Getafe (-160), Atletico Bilbao (-115), Eibar (+170) and Real Betis, moving the line at least 25 cents in each match-up.
The relegation race has really heated up at the bottom of the table with Huesca (22 pts), Rayo Vallecano (23), Villarreal (23), Celta Vigo (25) and Valladolid (26) in a log-jam.
Italy Serie A
An early red card doomed Napoli in a 2-1 home loss to Juventus. If the Serie A title was wasn’t over yet, it is now, as Juve hold a 16-point lead at the top of the league.
Inter Milan and Roma were easily the biggest losers over the weekend as Inter have moved back to fourth with 47 points and Roma remaining in fifth on 44 points.
They’re both big home favorites this weekend, but Roma will be led by a different manager after sacking Eusebio Di Francesco on Thursday afternoon.
The Romans were unable to advance in the Champions League Round of 16 after taking a 2-1 lead to Porto in the second leg.
Since opening, odds have moved the most toward Chievo (+545), Sassuolo (+525) and Bologna (+100) due to some early sharp money.
Another side seeing a bit of line movement has been Lazio (+160) at Fiorentina. After throttling rivals Roma over the weekend, Lazio are in another prime betting spot to take all three points and I’d back them at any number above +150.
Bayern Munich have finally caught Dortmund at the top of the standings and are now -250 win the league.
It’s been a rough few weeks for Dortmund as they bowed out of the Champions League to Tottenham on Tuesday night, and they’ve also drifted out to +200 underdogs to win the Bundesliga.
Fortunately, they have a favorable match against Stuttgart this weekend and should be able to at least keep pace with Bayern Munich, who are also heavy favorites.
Line movement cashed on a number of different sides last week including Stuttgart (-130), Frankfurt (+130) and Dusseldorf (+350).
This weekend’s early sharp moves have been toward RB Leipzig (-255), Leverkusen (-250) and Hertha Berlin (+185), and I tend to agree with all of them.
Other leagues around Europe
Denmark Superliga: Copenhagen now hold a three-point lead over Midtjylland with twelve matches left in the season.
This weekend Copenhagen are slight +115 favorites at Nordsjaelland while Midtjylland are considerable -255 favorites at Hobro, so it’s very possible they could be tied heading into next week.
France Ligue 1: PSG have run away with Ligue 1 but did suffer a monumental defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League Round of 16. Julian Draxler was also hurt and could be out a while, joining Neymar on the injured list.
Greece Super League: PAOK remain undefeated with a seven-point lead over Olympiakos at the top of the Super League. PAOK are -265 home favorites against Atromitos and Olympiakos are -345 home faves vs. Aris.
Netherlands Eredivisie: PSV earned a victory last weekend while Ajax did not play (Champions League on Wednesday). Ajax are now five points behind the top spot with a match in hand.
Both clubs are massive home favorites this weekend so it’s unlikely either will drop points: PSV (-1665) vs. Breda, and Ajax (-2500) vs. Sittard.
Portugal Primeira Liga: Last Saturday Benfica came back on the road to beat Porto, 2-1, to take over first place by two points. Braga and Sporting Lisbon are still in the mix, trailing by seven points and ten points respectively.
Porto did earn a big win against Roma midweek in the Champions League Round of 16, so they bounced back brilliantly at home.
This weekend, Porto are -435 road favorites at Feirense while Benfica are -555 at home against Belenenses, so both are expected to win easily.
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.