- La Liga’s 18th matchday kicks off with a mouth-watering Celta Vigo vs Villarreal showdown (Friday, 3:00 pm ET), while things heat up in both the title race and relegation battle
- Fresh off a key win at Bilbao mid-week, Barcelona travel to Granada on Saturday (12:30 pm); Ronald Koeman’s side is looking to tighten the five-point gap between it and second-place Real Madrid
- Get all the odds and best bets for Matchday 18 in Spain’s La Liga below
There will be some serious quality — and betting intrigue — on display in Spain this weekend, with superb matchups on both Friday and Saturday in La Liga Matchday 18.
League leader Atletico Madrid hosts Athletic Bilbao on Saturday morning; hot in pursuit, Real Madrid travels to Osasuna later in the day (3:00 pm), and; Valladolid entertains Valencia on Sunday (3:00 pm).
Valencia is in a nearly-unfathomable position, tied on points with regional underling Elche for the last relegation position.
La Liga Matchday 18 Odds
|Celta Vigo vs Villarreal||+215||+230||+132|
|Sevilla vs Real Sociedad||+120||+205||+270|
|Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao||-195||+290||+650|
|Granada vs Barcelona||+525||+390||-225|
|Osasuna vs Real Madrid||+575||+340||-215|
|Levante vs Eibar||+125||+245||+215|
|Cadiz vs Alaves||+175||+188||+195|
|Elche vs Getafe||+360||+180||+110|
|Valladolid vs Valencia||+155||+205||+200|
|Huesca vs Real Betis||+188||+220||+150|
All odds taken Jan 7 at DraftKings
Pick 1: Celta Vigo vs Villarreal
It’s been a humbling week for Celta Vigo (6-5-6) manager Eduardo Coudet; after roaring out to a 5-1-1 start following his appointment on November 12, Celta has dropped two matches — 2-0 vs Real Madrid, and an eye-popping 5-2 loss to third-division Ibiza in cup play — in the last five days.
Villarreal (7-8-2) continue to plod along under Unai Emery; through to the knockout phase in the UEFA Europa League and admittedly tough to beat in La Liga play, El Submarino are very much in the Top-5 mix.
Recent meetings have seen both teams find the mark, with both teams to score (BTTS) and the Over 2.5 hitting in four of the past five league matches dating back to 2018.
Both plays could be strong on Friday; Celta’s home matches have averaged 3.25 total goals this season — second in La Liga only behind Barcelona (3.44) — and four of Villarreal’s last five in La Liga have hit the BTTS.
Pick: Both Teams to Score (-129)
Pick 2: Granada vs Barcelona
While last weekend’s 2-nil defeat at Eibar was no doubt disappointing, Granada (7-3-6) have still had an overall impressive first half of the season; Diego Martinez’s side is into the Round of 32 in the UEL, and hanging around the fringe of La Liga’s Top-6.
Barça (9-4-4) has begun to turn on the jets in domestic play, with wins in three of four propelling Koeman’s team into a season-high third place.
While undefeated in seven (5-2-0), Barcelona is not blowing teams out of the water — all five of its wins during that stretch have been decided by a single goal.
Though traditionally dominated by Saturday’s visitors — the blaugrana won six straight meetings prior to Granada’s return to the top flight last season — the two sides split their matches in 2019-20.
We like the value play of Granada at home, given El Grana‘s track record of results at home (5-2-1) this season and Barça’s recent history of tight scorelines.
Pick: Granada +1 (+118)
Pick 3: Valladolid vs Valencia
It’s no surprise to see Valladolid (4-6-7) down near the relegation zone: the team majority-owned by Brazilian great Ronaldo has done well to avoid relegation by four (2018-19) and six (2019-20) points in its first two seasons back in La Liga, but was always going to be a bottom-third team.
Valencia (3-7-7) is feeling the effects of its frantic sell-off, with years of growing discontent between fans and ownership exacerbated by the latter’s weakening of the squad this season due to financial constraints. The murcielagos are winless in eight entering Sunday’s visit to the Jose Zorrilla.
3 – Valencia have lost three points the last five minutes in league games this season, more than any other side in the competition: two vs Getafe at Mestalla & today vs Granada. Ghosts#GranadaValencia pic.twitter.com/Jo3RxI5MGh
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 30, 2020
Since Valladolid’s return to the top division in 2018, Valencia leads the matchup 2W-2D-0L — but has a much different team this season.
When the Under 2.5 hits in Valencia’s matches, it is 1-3-3 this season; Valladolid’s matches average 2.35 total goals.
It’s simple: If Valladolid keeps things low-scoring, it’ll very likely earn a result on La Liga Matchday 18.
Pick: Valladolid DNB (-130)