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La Liga Odds - Barca will hold off free-spending Real in Spanish premier league

Posted by Todd Shale on 4/25/2012 11:30:36 AM
soccer oddsLa Liga betting odds for this year’s championship are highlighted by the defending titleholders, and their rivals who proved that money was no object when it comes to the crown. However, they say that money can’t buy you love, and it won’t buy a championship this upcoming season, either.



La Liga odds: Barca’s defense makes them a complete team

  • Will anyone bother playing defense for Real?
  • Sevilla, Atletico aim for Champions League spots
  • Villarreal, Valencia best bets to break into the top four


The defending champions (La Liga and Champions League) from Barcelona are the favorites to repeat at -110, and they lured Zlatan Ibrohimovic from Inter, but it cost them Samuel Eto’o, who scored 108 goals in 145 games with the club. He joins Lionel Messi, Theirry Henry, Andres Iniesta and Xavi in one of the most potent offenses in Europe. The defense should be fine, led by captain Carlos Puyol, but Rafa Marquez is still trying to come back from a knee injury. Victor Valdes has been the No.1 keeper since 2003, and that won’t change. Barca swept Real Madrid in last year’s pair of “El Classico” meetings, outscoring them 8-2, including a 6-2 swarming at Real’s stadium, The Bernabeu.

Real stated their intentions to regain the title by going on another “Galacticos” spree, spending over $360 million on a slew of players including Cristiano Ronaldo (signed for a world-record $135 million), Kaka, Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema. Now, new coach Manuel Pellegrini has to integrate the new players into a squad with Gonzalo Higuaín, captain Raul, Guti, and a Dutch contingent led by Wesley Sneijder. Iker Casillas is still a world-class keeper, but who will play defense in front of him? Real comes in with betting odds of +110 to win their third title in four years.

Sevilla is rated at +1200 after finishing third last year, and they added Didier Zokora from Tottenham to shore up their midfield. The attacking trio of Fredi Kanoute, Luis Fabiano and Renato is solid, but they don’t have the offensive players that Real and Barca do. But they’re solid enough defensively as they were second to only Barca in goals allowed. Andres Pelop doesn’t get as much attention as Valdes and Casillas, but he’s just as good.

Atletico Madrid is listed at +1600 to hold onto the fourth spot, and they’re led by the strike duo of Diego Forlan, who led La Liga with 32 goals last year, and Sergio Aguero, a deft mix of experience and youth. However, after that, there isn’t much and Atletico needs midfielders Simao and Maxi Rodriguez to support the strikers more. The keeper situation could hurt their offshore sportsbook chances, as Leo Franco and Gregory Coupet left, leaving Atletico to bring in Sergio Asenjo from Real Valladolid as well as Roberto Jimenez, who played with the youth side.

Villarreal (+2500) and Valencia (+4000) are the only teams with half a shot at cracking the top four after both finished just three points behind Atletico last season. Villarreal’s forward duo of Joseba Llorente and Guiseppe Rossi is improving, but the key player of the year could 24-year-old midfielder Santi Cazorla, who needs to be more accurate in his shooting. Valencia managed to fend off Real Madrid for the services of leading scorer David Villa (for now, anyway), while Mata was pursued by Barca for their left-wing position. 38-year-old Cesar will try to prove his solid performance last year was no fluke.

TODD’S PICK: No disrespect to the rest of La Liga, but once again, it’ll be a two-horse race between the clubs that have combined to win the last five league titles. Madrid is trying to go the “we’ll just score more goals than you” route, because the defenders aren’t anything to write home about. Barca has just as much firepower as Real, and they have a better defense, with Dani Alves and Eric Abidal coming into their own, and they’ll be even better when Marquez comes back. Defense will be the difference in this year’s competition. Go with Barca’s betting odds.

For more in-depth analysis of soccer lines and odds for the beautiful game, bookmark Todd in the Betting Edge at betonline.com.

Are you a fan of “The Beautiful Game”? Then you should try Todd Shale's “Beautiful Picks”. Though he enjoys a good rugby match, Todd is happiest when he can handicap a great soccer match - or football match, as he prefers to call it. Thoughts or questions?

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