Soccer Betting: Futures Plays to Make Right Now Part 4

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Here’s the fourth part of our look at the BetOnline.ag soccer futures odds and the plays you should make right now.  Much of futures betting is timing and these plays all look to be at the height of their betting value.  Don’t forget that betting value works both ways.  Most of the time we’re looking for teams that are better than their betting line ‘valuations’ in hopes they’ll finish at or near the top of the table.  It also works the other way—finding teams that are ‘undervalued’ in terms of how bad they are.  In this article, we’ll focus on the teams in relegation danger in the Spanish La Liga:

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We’ll start with the ‘favorites’ to be relegated.  CD Leganes has been playing football since 1929 but are only in their fourth year playing at the top level of Spanish soccer.  For most of the past 30 years, they’ve bounced back and forth between the second level (Segunda Division) and third level (Segunda Division B).  In 2015, they returned to Segunda Division after spending the previous decade at the lower division.  After two years at the second level and by virtue of a second place finish in 2015-2016 they advanced to La Liga for the first time in club history.  You’ll frequently see European teams struggle in their first taste of top level soccer and that has definitely been the case with Leganes.  Objectively speaking, they’re fortunate to not have been relegated already.  In La Liga, the teams that finish 18,19 and 20 get sent down.  In their three years at the top tier they’ve finished 17, 17 and 13.  This year, they’ve been downright awful both at home and on the road.  They’ve got a record of 1-3-9 with 7 goals scored and 22 conceded.  At home, they’re 1-1-5 and on the road they’re 0-2-4.  They’re 7 points out of the final ‘safe’ spot on the La Liga table and there’s little to suggest that they’ll be able to make up this deficit.

The current incarnation of RCD Espanyol is very similar to Leganes though their history is drastically different.  Espanyol has been playing football since 1900 and was one of the founding members of La Liga in 1929.  They’ve won the Copa del Rey 4 times, most recently in 2006.  They’ve spent 80 years in the top flight Primera Division though they have the dubious distinction of completing the most seasons at the highest level of Spanish football without winning the title.  For the past 15 years or so, Espanyol has bounced around between the mid and lower part of the La Liga table finishing as low as 15th in 2005-2006 and as high as 7th last season.  That impressive finish along with 14 victories actually built some excitement surrounding the team heading into the 2019-2020 campaign.  To say that Espanyol has fallen flat on their face is an understatement.  Espanyol has won one more (and drawn one less) than Leganes but otherwise these teams are close to identical.  Espanyol has 8 points which leaves them 1 back of 18th place Celta Vigo and 5 back of 17th place Real Betis and safety from relegation.  They’ve scored 7 and conceded 23 on the season giving them a slightly worse differential than Leganes (-16).  They’ve sacked their previous head coach David Gallego in early October and replaced him with former Sevilla manager Pablo Machin who himself was fired earlier in the year.  Unfortunately, Machin is having no more success than the old boss and he’s gone 1-0-4 in his brief tenure.  Making matters even worse is the fact that Espanyol has scored just 3 goals in his 5 games at the helm.


Like many sports, form is everything in soccer.  Unfortunately, Celta Vigo has none.  I was originally going to say that Celta Vigo started the year in decent form and then flatlined but that’s not really correct.  They opened the season going 2-3-3 in their first 8 La Liga fixtures so they started the season in mediocre to slightly poor form and have been on a downward spiral ever since.  Since opening the year 2-3-3 they’ve lost five straight being outscored 10-2 in the process.  They haven’t had a favorable schedule but when you’ve scored only 7 goals all season and conceded 19 no schedule is really ‘favorable’.  Their -12 differential is the third worst in La Liga after the previously mentioned Espanyol and Leganes.  For some reason, the soccer betting market thinks that 16th place Mallorca (+100) and 14th place Deportivo Alaves (+200) are more likely to suffer relegation.  That’s a tough sell in my view since in the past five fixtures they’ve both had 2 wins and a draw while Celta Vigo has done absolutely nothing.  Maybe there’s some optimism since they face 11th place Villarreal and 13th place Real Valladolid in their next two games.  Unfortunately, they’re so bad right now they might as well be playing Liverpool and Juventus. 

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