Spanish La Liga Preview 2/28
All times EST
Hi everyone! This article will hopefully help to provide you with an insight into tomorrow’s soccer games. With the help of Statsational’s model, we will analyze where there is value and which spots would be best to avoid. Soccer can be a fickle sport, so I typically stick to smaller (0.25) units. Also, please note that I am not a coach and thus these picks should always be considered unofficial and for fun. Good luck!
As always, if you have questions about a team or matchup, feel free to ask in the free public #soccer channel on the SBA Discord!
8:00am: Real Valladolid @ Celta Vigo
The early morning game in the top-flight Spanish league sees Real Valladolid (18th) travel to Celta Vigo (11th). Despite the gap in the standings, the bottom half of La Liga is quite jumbled this season, so neither team will be feeling comfortable about their current chances of avoiding relegation. This is the second game between these two this season, with the first game ending in a 1-1 draw, though Valladolid looked to be the more impressive side in that one. Over the last five games, Valladolid has struggled to a 0-4-1 record, while Celta Vigo has gone 1-1-3.
The line for this one currently has Valladolid as a +360 underdog with Celta Vigo a -134 favorite. To me, it doesn’t seem as if that much really separates these two, but in consulting the model we can see that there really isn’t value to be found on either side. The only line that is a fair value, according to the model, is the tie at +280. As tempting as this is, there still isn’t a positive EV to be found here, so I will not be betting on this one.
10:15am: Real Betis @ Cadiz
Our next match in La Liga has Cadiz (15th) hosting Real Betis (7th) in an apparent mismatch, though Real Betis isn’t as good as their current standing would suggest. With a goal differential of -6, they have earned so many points by hardly ever drawing, with a league-low three on the season. When these teams last met on December 23, Real Betis took the 1-0 win despite the game being nearly even in many categories. Over the last five La Liga games, Real Betis is 2-2-1 while Cadiz is 0-4-1.
Currently, the lines for this game see Cadiz as a +310 underdog while Real Betis is a -104 favorite. If we look at the model, the value is actually on Cadiz here, with a fair line of +237. I think Real Betis is due for some regression here, and I am more than willing to risk 0.25 units on Cadiz to win at +310. I also don’t mind taking Cadiz on the Asian line at +0.25, but since Real Betis doesn’t seem to ever end up in a draw, I’d rather just risk the bigger payout taking Cadiz to win straight up.
12:30pm: Elche @ Granada
The third game of the day in Spain sees Elche (19th) travel to Granada (10th). As I mentioned before, the entire bottom half of La Liga is a jumbled mess this year, so there is not as big a difference between these two as the gap in standings might otherwise suggest. Granada currently has a goal differential of -12, compared to -14 for Elche, as one example. When these two teams last met on December 13, Granada took the 1-0 victory in a closely fought match. Over the last five league games, Granada is 0-3-2 while Elche has only been slightly better at 1-3-1.
Despite these teams seemingly being close on paper, Granada is still the more talented team and is, therefore, the favorite here at +114, with a fair value at +102 according to the expert model by Statsational. Elche, meanwhile, sits at +295, though the fair line for them should be +348. I will trust the model here and go with Granada to end their little slump, putting 0.25 units on them to win at +114 odds.
3:00pm: Atletico Madrid @ Villarreal
The final match of the day in La Liga is also the most anticipated, as table leaders Atletico Madrid travel to Villarreal (6th) in a battle of two of the leagues’ top teams. These two meet for the first time this season, as Atletico looks to build upon their two-point lead over Barcelona and Villarreal looks to sneak into Champions League contention for next year. Over their last five La Liga games, Atletico is an unimpressive 2-1-2, while Villarreal is even worse at 0-2-3. Look for Atletico Madrid to take advantage of the opportunity against a struggling team to get themselves back in the win column and increase their small lead in the league standings.
Statsational’s model shows a small value on the favorite in this one, with the current line at +140 despite a fair line of +133. Villarreal, meanwhile, has a line of +230 but a fair line should be +252 according to the expert model. I am more than comfortable backing the top team in the league when they are getting such an enticing line. I will therefore put 0.25 units on Atletico Madrid to win at +140.