- La Liga’s congested holiday schedule continues this Saturday, as Villarreal and Levante (8:15 am ET) kick off a mouth-watering 17th round of matches in Spain’s top flight
- Real Betis hosts Sevilla on Saturday (10:15 am) in El Gran Derbi, the Andalusian city’s supercharged local rivalry, while last-place Huesca host a vulnerable Barcelona on Sunday (3:00 pm) with the latter fresh off a disappointing 1-1 draw with Eibar last week
- Get all the odds and best bets for Matchday 17 in Spain’s La Liga below
Villarreal’s matchday-opening contest with Levante offers some intrigue and bettor value this week, as the former limps in with just one win in its last seven league outings; while Levante continues to be a bang-average, .500 outfit, there could be value on both the Villarreal and goal totals plays.
The Sevilla derby always draws plenty of action based on the outsized personalities of both clubs; Julen Lopetegui’s Nervionenses have won three of their last four league matches, while Real Betis remains closer to the relegation zone than European qualification.
With 10 points separating Atletico Madrid from sixth-place Barcelona, it’s clear that the latter’s title hopes are thinning — manager Ronald Koeman admitted as much earlier this week to MARCA.
At the top of the table, Atleti faces a very winnable trip to 13th-place Alaves on Sunday (10:15 am); Real Madrid host surging Celta Vigo on Saturday (3:00 pm) in a definite trap game.
La Liga Matchday 17 Odds
|Villarreal vs Levante||-155||+270||+460|
|Real Betis vs Sevilla||+290||+250||-105|
|Getafe vs Valladolid||+102||+215||+325|
|Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo||-220||+390||+510|
|Athletic Bilbao vs Elche||-195||+290||+650|
|Alaves vs Atletico Madrid||+600||+280||-186|
|Real Sociedad vs Osasuna||-182||+310||+510|
|Eibar vs Granada||+148||+205||+205|
|Huesca vs Barcelona||+550||+390||-230|
|Valencia vs Cadiz||+102||+250||+265|
All odds taken Dec 31 at DraftKings
Pick 1: Villarreal vs Levante
It’s been a bumpy few weeks for Villarreal (6-8-2), as Unai Emery’s side has slumped to draws against bottom-half teams like Elche (0-0) and Athletic Bilbao (1-1).
Levante (4-6-5) continues to be one of the most unpredictable teams in La Liga, grinding a 1-1 away draw at Huesca one week and filling the net in a 4-3 win over Betis the next.
The Under 2.5 has hit in the Granotas‘ last six road games, just as it has in Villarreal’s last four home contests.
Recent history in this matchup is mixed on the goals total, with a 50-50 split on the 2.5 total goals line dating back to 2017.
Pick: Under 2.5 (+114)
Pick 2: Real Betis vs Sevilla
El Gran Derbi is always a spectacle, with both teams typically gunning for all three points and a whole lot of pride on the line.
Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis (6-1-9) has been very middle of the road this season, conceding more goals (30) than any other La Liga side and struggling to stack much-needed results.
Sevilla (8-2-4) is in the midst of a steady four-game unbeaten run (3-1-0) during which Lopetegui’s squad has only conceded one goal.
Saturday’s visitors have scored at least two goals in five of the last six league meetings between the two, and could very well find the mark multiple times against Real Betis.
Pick: Sevilla Over 1.5 (+114)
Pick 3: Huesca vs Barcelona
Wins have been hard to come by for Huesca (1-9-6) in 2020-21, though not for lack of effort: Michel’s squad has earned at least a point — usually just a point — in 63% of its matches this season.
Barcelona (7-4-4) is certainly vulnerable, coming off a draw at home against middling Eibar; Koeman’s team is sub-.500 away from the Camp Nou this season (2-1-3).
Notably, the Blaugrana have dropped points against the likes of Alaves (1-1) and Cadiz (1-2) — clubs of similar stature to Huesca — on the road this season.
It’s worth noting that Huesca earned a draw (0-0) in this fixture back in April 2019, and has taken at least a point from five of seven (1-4-2) home matches thus far this season.
Picking against Barcelona in such a lopsided matchup often goes south, however, Koeman has all but conceded his side’s La Liga campaign and Huesca has been competitive in recent weeks.
PICK: Huesca or Tie (+185)