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La Liga Updated Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our Best Bets, Featuring Valencia vs. Girona

La Liga Updated Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our Best Bets, Featuring Valencia vs. Girona article feature image
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Alex Caparros/Getty Images. Pictured: Barcelona stars Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.

The Spanish top flight returns to action this weekend when La Liga kicks off its 2022-23 season with a full slate of games.

For the games with the best betting value, I’m starting with a pair of matches Saturday involving host Celta Vigo taking on Espanyol and Rayo Vallecano making a trip to face mighty Barcelona.

I close out my best bets for the opening week with newly promoted Girona on the road at Valencia, which I’m expecting to stay in the theme of low-scoring affairs in these debut games.

Join me as we preview my three best bets in Spain this weekend.

La Liga Best Bets

Celta Vigo vs. Espanyol

Celta Vigo Odds -120
Espanyol Odds +333
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-105 / -130)
Day | Time Saturday | 11 a.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

La Liga is known as a league that doesn’t typically have a lot of goals, so I think this game fits the mold of a match that will fall under the total of 2.5 goals at -130 odds in this clash.

When looking at Celta Vigo’s home fixtures last season against teams in the bottom half of the table, those games averaged 2.29 combined expected goals per 90 minutes, according to fbref.com. This same bet also cashed in six of the 10 matches.

Meanwhile, Espanyol’s road metrics against the same opposition showed similar results, averaging 2.04 combined xG per game. There are also rumors of star striker Raúl de Tomás potentially leaving the club during the transfer window, which could be a huge distraction.

By The Numbers

  • 15 — In the 20 Celta Vigo matches against teams that finished 10th or below in the league last year, only five finished with more than 2.5 goals.
  • 2.38 — Away from home last campaign, games involving Espanyol averaged this combined xG per match.

Pund’s Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-130)

Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano

Barcelona Odds -500
Rayo Vallecano Odds +1250
Draw +600
Over/Under 3.5 (+115 / -160)
Day | Time Saturday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Barcelona splashed the cash this summer with the additions of striker Robert Lewandowski, former Leeds United winger Raphinha and defender Jules Koundé from Sevilla. However, how many of these players will be registered to the league roster?

Unless there are more departures from the current squad or other sources of funding, the Catalan club might be forced to start the season without the summer signings and others currently on the roster.

This could make the opening game the perfect spot for Rayo to pick up a result or at least avoid a heavy defeat, which is why I like backing the club getting +2 goals on the spread line via the Asian Handicap at -125 odds.

By The Numbers

  • 6 — In the two matches last season between these sides, Rayo Vallecano took all the points with two wins, which includes a victory at the end of April.
  • 71  — Rayo covered this same spread in this percentage (10 of 14 fixtures) against teams that finished in the top seven last year, while only losing by more than two goals just twice.

Pund’s Pick: Rayo Vallecano +2 (-125)

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Valencia vs. Girona

Valencia Odds -115
Girona Odds +333
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (+100 / -135)
Day | Time Sunday | 1:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

My final best bet is another game where I’m not expecting a lot of goals due to of a key departure that left the home team this week.

Making his move to the Premier League, Portuguese striker Gonçalo Guedes joined Wolverhampton Wanderers after a season where he finished with 11 goals and six assists.

Valencia won’t have enough time to replace his contributions before this opener, which comes up against a Girona side that had 54% of its matches finish with less than 2.5 goals in the lower division.

By The Numbers

  • 38% — Guedes played a hand in more than a third of Valencia’s goals last season, which will be a big loss until he is replaced.
  • 2.3 — On the road in the Segunda Division, Girona’s matches averaged less than 2.5 goals per game.

Pund’s Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-135)

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