Bilbao and Espanyol will kick off the 12th round of the Spanish Primera Division and backing under two and a half goals in their San Mames showdown at odds of -154 with Ladbrokes is the best bet on the weekend coupon.
After 11 Spanish Primera Division rounds in the relatively high scoring competition there is only one team whose games have averaged fewer than two goals and Bilbao is that team. Bilbao’s 11 Spanish Primera Division matches have had an average of 1.73 goals, with eight of them going under two and a half goals and only one going over three goals.
Seven of Espanyol’s 11 Spanish Primera Division games have gone under two and a half goals, with its matches having an average of 2.18 goals. Espanyol’s Spanish Primera Division away record of zero wins, two draws and three losses is the worst in the tournament and it has been bad on the road for a number of seasons. Last term, for example, Espanyol won four, drew four and lost 11 of its 19 Spanish Primera Division away games, ranking it 16th out of 20.
Recent head-to-head results do not support one’s pick – each of the last eight Spanish Primera Division matches between Bilbao and Espanyol have gone over two and a half goals – but one thinks that this season’s numbers are the ones on which to concentrate. One expects a low-scoring game in which Bilbao and Espanyol exhibit plenty of nerves.
Malaga has strung together five Spanish Primera Division wins in a row but one thinks that it will experience its first loss since late September when it plays defending champion Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon.
There is an saying in sport that one can only beat what is put in front of one and Malaga has had no control over its recent Spanish Primera Division fixture list. However, it does not mean that one should go overboard about Malaga’s recent run of victories because, without wishing to be unkind, Javi Gracia’s team has beaten no side of note.
Malaga’s five Spanish Primera Division wins in a row have been against Cordoba, Eibar, Granada, Rayo Vallecano and Sociedad, all of which are positioned 10th or lower on the league ladder. And Atletico Madrid will have plenty of motivation because its 1-1 Spanish Primera Division home draw with Malaga last term almost cost it the title.
Sky Bet is offering odds of -200 about Atletico Madrid accruing three Spanish Primera Division points from its Vicente Calderon date with Malaga. One cannot help thinking that Atletico would be trading at odds of around -333 if Malaga had not had such a soft program in recent weeks.
Finally, keep checking websites for cards-related odds on the Spanish Primera Division derby between Levante and Valencia because there is potential for a big make-up.
Levante is the Spanish Primera Division’s worst behaved team having collected 35 yellow cards and one red card in the first 11 rounds. Valencia is one of the Spanish Primera Division’s best behaved sides – 21 yellow cards and two red cards over the same period – but it faces an away derby for which it is the odds-on favourite and its opponent loves nothing more than to bend the rules as far as possible.
Spanish Primera Division officials have appointed Inaki Bikandi Garrido to referee the local clash between Levante and Valencia. Bikandi Garrido is new to the Spanish Primera Division panel so one thinks that refereeing his first big top-flight derby may get the better of him, particularly in light of recent derbies at Levante’s home ground.
Since Levante rejoined the Spanish Primera Division in 2010 it has hosted Valencia for four league matches and one cup game. Awarding 10 points per yellow card and 25 points per red card, those four Levante-Valencia derbies have had cards points totals of 50, 90, 95, 100 and 115, which works out at an average of 90. One would be interested in betting over a line of about 70 when bookmakers frame them later this week.
Bilbao v Espanyol Under 2.5 goals
21st November 19.45 GMT
Where to Bet: Ladbrokes
Atletico Madrid to beat Malaga
22th November 15:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Sky Bet
Levante v Valencia – Overs Card Index
23rd November 16:00 GMT
Where to Bet: TBC
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