Barcelona vs Valencia, Granada vs Real Betis & More


Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann

Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, left, tries a shot next to Real Sociedad’s goalkeeper Alex Remiro during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

  • La Liga’s Matchday 14 kicks off Friday, when Athletic Bilbao hosts Huesca — fresh off its first win of the season — at San Mamés (3:00 pm ET)
  • Barcelona entertains Valencia in the weekend’s marquee matchup on Saturday (10:15 am), while Granada hosts Real Betis in an Andalusian showdown on Sunday (10:15 am)
  • Get all the odds and best bets for Matchday 14 in Spain’s La Liga below

It’s a three-horse race atop La Liga entering the penultimate matchday before Christmas, with Atletico Madrid (11 GP), Real Madrid (13 GP) and Real Sociedad (14 GP) all level on 26 points heading into La Liga Matchday 14.

Plenty of eyes will be on Barcelona come Saturday, as the Blaugrana — now just six points back of first place after a terrible start to the season — host Valencia.

Sunday offers a number of enticing matchups, from the aforementioned Granada-Betis showdown to Cadiz entertaining Getafe (12:30 pm) and Real Madrid visiting draw-happy Eibar (3:00 pm).

La Liga Matchday 14 Odds

Matchup Home Draw Away
Athletic Bilbao vs Huesca +115 +200 +295
Atletico Madrid vs Elche -530 +525 +1800
Barcelona vs Valencia -335 +475 +800
Osasuna vs Villarreal +275 +235 +105
Levante vs Real Sociedad +255 +235 +110
Sevilla vs Valladolid -195 +300 +600
Celta Vigo vs Alaves -143 +285 +390
Granada vs Real Betis +175 +220 +165
Cadiz vs Getafe +225 +310 +155
Eibar vs Real Madrid +575 +310 -200

All odds taken Dec 16 at DraftKings

Pick 1: Barcelona vs Valencia

If there were ever a string of games in which to make up points, Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona (6-2-4) is entering it: Valencia (H), Eibar (A), Huesca (H) and Valladolid (H) could very well see the Dutchman’s squad claim all 12 points over the next two-plus weeks.

Valencia (3-5-5) is an odd nut to crack; Javi Gracia’s team has won just once since the end of September — a shock 4-1 romp over Real Madrid on November 8 — and shown an inability to win games against bottom-half opponents like Eibar, Athletic Bilbao and Alaves.

With Barça in good form and having won three of the last four meetings at the Camp Nou, the result seems like a foregone conclusion for the hosts.

Value plays include the Over 3.5 (+100) — which two of the last three meetings have hit — and Antoine Griezmann to score at +125; the Frenchman has only scored once in his last five starts and missed a sitter against Sociedad midweek.

Facing a bottom-five defense in Valencia, maybe Griezmann gets back in the goal column.

Pick: Griezmann to Score (+125)

Pick 2: Granada vs Real Betis

As electric as Granada (5-3-4) was to begin both its league and European campaigns, results have cooled off of late for Diego Martinez’s squad; a 1-0 win over Elche last Sunday snapped a five-game winless skid in league play, while two goalless outings in Europe saw El Grana fall from first place in its Europa League group.

Real Betis (5-1-7) remain one of La Liga’s most entertaining, and inconsistent, teams; Manuel Pellegrini’s squad has somewhat shored things up defensively in recent weeks, but top-half opponents (like Granada) have given the Beticos trouble (0-1-4) this season.

Granada has won three of the last four meetings between the two at the Los Carmenes, and backing them with DNB protection against a slight favorite in Betis is reasonable value considering the latter’s struggles against good teams this season.

Pick: Granada DNB (-115)

2021 La Liga Odds Tracker

Pick 3: Cadiz vs Getafe

Cadiz (5-3-5) have fallen back to earth somewhat in the past few weeks, though bumping along as a .500 mid-table team is still certainly a success for Alvaro Cervera’s group; a historic 2-1 win over Barcelona was tempered by a heavy 0-4 loss at Celta Vigo last week.

It’s been a grind for Getafe (3-4-5) this season, as Jose Bordalas’ squad has struggled for goals (tied-last) and wins (tied-11th); one goal in four games has left last year’s eighth-place outfit closer to the relegation zone than Europe.

 

Both are offensively challenged: Cadiz average just 0.67 goals/game at home, while Getafe are La Liga’s worst road team (0.4 goals/game, 0.6 points/game).

For those reasons, consider the Under 1.5 (+133) and Getafe Under 0.5 (+185) as aggressive goals plays.

Pick: Getafe Under 0.5 (+185)

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Carlos Verde

Soccer Sports Writer

Soccer