Incredibly, it is April tomorrow, which means that a) time is passing very quickly these days, and thus our sense of hurtling towards impending oblivion increases, and b) on a lighter note, the 2016/17 football season is heading towards its final curtain.
This is a pretty good time of year for punters actually. Games become slightly more predictable, as those teams with motivatary factors – glory, failure or otherwise – generally outstrip those dreaming of Marbella and chips from the comfort of mid table.
This is also an excellent juncture at which to consult outright markets. Many league titles are sewn up already, but there’s still stacks to play for. Plus, ant statistical models we might use have a huge data set with which they can be classified as relevant.
So, how are the continent’s top leagues shaping up?
La Liga Betting Tips: Barca the Value
The La Liga title battle enters what is its annual, perpetual two-horse race, with Real Madrid two points clear with a game in hand.
But there’s evidence to get behind the Catalan giants, who appear to be hitting their peak at the right time, and with 30 points in total to play for there is still time for them to usurp their rivals.
Since the start of February, Barca’s formline in La Liga reads W7 D0 L1; that sole defeat coming against Deportivo just 72 hours after their miraculous, exhausting comeback win over PSG in the Champions League. They could be forgiven for their flaccidity.
There have been suggestions that the Barcelona of old has returned, with 3-0, 5-0, 6-1 and 6-0 victories as part of that run of eight games. They are at their best when attacking with impunity, and if Luis Enrique can hold his nerve his side could yet derail the Real title train.
The Galacticos are W6 D1 L1 since the start of February, but three of those wins have come by a single goal margin. They have kept just one clean sheet in eight too, with Barca dominating them in the shots on target data. You suspect that the La Liga title race will twist and turn yet, and at 9/4 Barcelona offer exceptional value.
Also of value are Atletico Madrid in the ‘Without Barcelona or Real’ market at 11/13. They are two points behind third-placed Sevilla, but such is their advantage in the shots on target ratio metric – +1.86 compared to +0.14 – that in a larger data set (i.e. 900 minutes = 10 matches) that will prove crucial.
Bundesliga Betting Tips: Big Two to Resume Order
Young upstarts RB Leipzig have shaken up the Bundesliga this term, and regardless of your opinion on their Red Bull ‘franchiseship’ the fact is any skewing of the status quo in football’s elite can only be a good thing to avoid a tiresome monopoly ensuing.
Unfortunately, the stats would suggest that German football’s big two will enjoy the last laugh on this plucky newcomer. Bayern are 13 points clear at the summit and their price of 1/100 to retain the title is justified.
But it’s the ‘Without Bayern’ market where our interest is piqued, with Borussia Dortmund (19/20) hoping to crush Leipzig’s (6/5) hopes of an unprecedented second place finish.
The Yellow-and-Blacks’ shots on target ratio (+2.36) is better than Leipzig’s (+1.84) and across a nine-game swing that should prove key. Then there’s the form swing since the start of February to consider – Dortmund’s W5 D0 L2 rather outshines Leipzig’s W2 D1 L4.
With just a three point deficit to overcome, this could be the easiest 19/20 shot you will land before the summer betting chasm.
Serie A Betting Tips: Napoli Nearly But Not Quite
There’s not for punters to shout about in Italy: Juventus’ relentless consistency has surely earned them yet another Serie A title, while Palermo, Crotone and Pescara are doomed at the bottom barring an almighty intervention.
We do like Napoli’s chances of usurping Roma in second, however. The Naples side has a two-point swing to overcome in the nine remaining fixtures, but their shots on target ratio is so compelling compared to their rivals’: +3.58 to +1.79.
If we believe in these statistical models, then Napoli’s odds of 2/1 in the ‘Without Juventus’ market seem frankly unmissable.
Ligue 1 Betting Tips: Can Swashbuckling Monaco Get Over the Line?
The most intriguing run-in will surely come in France, where the irrepressible Monaco – they of 87 goals scored in 30 matches – will tussle with perennial giants PSG in the quest for the Ligue 1 title.
Three points separates the sides, and with their shots on target data being similar – Monaco higher on both counts, but only a slither better than PSG’s more pragmatic approach – this is a battle worth watching but not risking your money on.
Just six points separates Rennes in eighth and Montpellier in fifteenth, and so the Top 10 Finish market appears packed with possibility. It’s not an earth-shattering observation, but Angers at Evens look outstanding value.
Their shots on target ratio of +1.47 is the fourth best in the division, and their current formline – W6 D1 L2 – suggests they are peaking at the right time. Double your money never looked so appetising….
At the other end of the table, Nancy’s complete lack of forward motion – they have failed to score in six of their last eight – suggests they are in great peril. In the dropzone courtesy of a poorer goal difference than Dijon, their shots on target data of 2.77 for per 90 minutes would serve up the possibility of them being relegated with barely a whimper.
At 8/5, we’ll have some of that.