Football Betting Tips 2011-12 Season: European Leagues
This will be the follow up to my piece earlier in the week about the next football season’s outright betting, this time for the European leagues. I would again urge anyone who is serious about trying to make some cash from betting that the English Premier League is often not the best place to be putting your hard earned. It is now so widely watched and punted upon that everyone is an expert, of sorts, and compilers have it as their priority. There is much more chance you’ll find some value and an edge further afield. Personally I think there are some cracking bets about, one in particular, but we shall come to that…
SPANISH LA LIGA
As mentioned before, the English Premier League is now without a doubt the most watched league on the planet. However, the La Liga in Spain is catching up fast. Only the ineptitude of the Spanish FA is really holding them back from making a concerted push to become the biggest in the world. Because of this though, the odds are also usually pretty spot on. And with it being more entertaining, but about as competitive as the SPL these days it is hard to get any big money when Real and Barca ares such short prices.
It is only a two-horse race, but realistically Madrid have done nothing to suggest they’ll get any closer to Barcelona come season’s end. The only problem I can see for Barcelona is the paucity of options they have beyond the first XI, although with players like Thiago, Jeffren and Jonathan coming through it does look less of a problem than last year. I think Barca are a decent bet at 1.7 with SportingBet. I know it’s not sensational or long odds, but there it is.
Winner w/o Real and Barca
A slightly more interesting market this, with the dominant forces removed. You could make a case for any one of three teams I think, so I’ll give a quick run down of each. Valencia are the market leaders, and have the best long term pedigree of the three I think will contest it. They do look likely to lose Juan Mata to Arsenal though, and this will rob them of their best player and key creative outlet. In joint second spot in the betting are Villarreal and Malaga. Villarreal have been a real success story of the last decade in Spain and consistently punch well above where they should due to excellent management and canny signings. As last year showed though, if European glory is in sight, that will be their priority. Malaga are an interesting proposition. They have now got oil rich investors on board and have signed Ruud Van Nistelrooy as well as a host of others, all of whom have had success in Spain. They also have no European commitments to worry about. From these three I would probably plump for Malaga. Back Malaga at 5.0 with 888Sport.
ITALIAN SERIE A
As the English and Spanish leagues prosper, the Italian Serie A has never fully recovered from the Calciopoli scandal that saw Juventus getting relegated. The country is no longer a draw for the very best players the world has to offer, and in the case of Alexis Sanchez, when they become stars they leave. It is becoming a more even playing field though, which in theory should be good for us!
Last season AC Milan beat city rivals Inter to the crown and the bookies make it a straight fight between the pair again this season. I’m not sure I agree with that and I think there might well be a challenge from two of the countries biggest clubs. Juventus also look too short to me, they’re a shadow of their former selves and in real money troubles from what I’ve read. I would look to Roma and Napoli for a bit of a longer odds shout in this. Roma have appointed former Barcelona B coach Luis Enrique as manager and he has brought some interesting players to the club already including former boy wonder Bojan Krkic, who is still under 22. They should play some good football and have players like Daniele De Rossi already there who are brilliant. Napoli are the south of Italy’s major side and are capable of some huge crowds when they’re going well. They made a good fist of the league last year and have held on to top scorer Edison Cavani as well as Marek Hamsik so far. I think in this league they have a decent outside chance. Back Roma at 14.5 with Betfair and Napoli at 26.0 with William Hill.
The league that Italy has most to worry about in terms of stealing popularity is the German Bundesliga. Often cited as a role model for all other leagues to follow in terms of finances, it is also often the highest scoring league in Europe. Since Bayern Munich are such a dominant force this skews the betting so we can again find some value if, like me, you don’t think they’re up to much now.
The aforementioned Tip of the Century is to be found here. Last season, Borussia Dortmund spent the majority of the season lording it over the rest of the division with Bayer Leverkusen following them in second position. Bayern Munich were way back. As we stand I have seen nothing to suggest Bayern will be coming back with a vengeance this time at all. I understand that Jurgen Klopp has taken over, and will probably get a bit more out of the side than the latter days of Louis Van Gaal, but Dortmund in particular should still top them. They have lost one of their best players in Nuri Sahin to Real Madrid, but they should be able to cope with his loss. They are a young side and will only get better for a year extra playing at the top level and with each other. Ladbrokes are holding 6.0 on Dortmund and you should lump on at that price.
FRENCH LIGUE UN
From the most exciting league in Europe to the most boring. If goals and flair are your thing, then you’re probably in the wrong place if you’re watching French football. To describe it as absolute shite would not be stretching the truth much. But, this summer we have seen the fantasy football figures being spent by newly minted Paris St Germain and it gives hope they may yet entertain.
As I was saying, PSG have been spending mega bucks this summer. The signing of Javier Pastore should be confirmed today for 45million Euro and they have beaten Chelsea to his signature. This is a real statement of intent from the capital club and should not be taken lightly. Since they themselves had Ronaldinho in the ranks, the French league has not seen someone so talented. The fact they are also signing players like Momo Sissoko suggests that they are serious about building a functioning team as well. Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux have all won the title in recent seasons, but none have the players to match those that PSG are throwing together now. I would b tempted to take a chance that they can all gel and fire PSG to the title in a less impressive than ever French top division. Back them at 4.0 with BetFred before that price goes.