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La Liga Matchday 5 Odds & Picks: Messi Eyes Return vs Granada

Leo Messi
Barcelona will once again be missing star Lionel Messi when they travel to Getafe this weekend. Photo by Carlos Sanchez Martinez/Icon Sportswire.
  • Matchday 5 begins in the north, where Osasuna (+142) hosts Real Betis (+182) in a battle of two very different teams
  • Barcelona (-323) pays a visit to newly-promoted Granada (+900) in a match which ought to produce some serious goals
  • Atletico Madrid (-238) favored at home against struggling Celta (+640), while Real Madrid (+155) faces a stiff away test against Sevilla (+158) in a pick’em

Spain’s top division enters its second month of the season with Matchday 5 kicking off this Friday, and the storylines have been plentiful.

Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla have looked sharp and lead the big three by one (Atleti), two (Real) and three (Barcelona) points respectively; the rojiblancos face their first serious test of the season this Sunday with Real Madrid coming to town.

Europa League competitors Getafe sit in the drop zone with no wins from their opening four matches, though a hangover from last season’s lofty finish was always on the cards there.

Elsewhere, traditional top-half clubs Real Betis (1-1-2, 15th) and Valencia (1-1-2, 13th) are off to slow starts — the latter going so far as to sack manager Marcelino in a deeply unpopular move.

Osasuna vs Betis Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Osasuna -0.5 (+103) +142 O 2.5 (–126)
Real Betis +0.5 (-123) +182 U 2.5 (+106)
Draw N/A +230 N/A

It’s been a tale of very different starts for Osasuna, which romped to the second division title last season, and Real Betis to begin 2019-20.

Osasuna has been responsible defensively, with a number of steady-eddy draws. Those types of grind-it-out results are exactly what los rojillos will need to stack in order to stay up.

Conversely, Betis has conceded more goals (9) than any other team in La Liga, and a summer of big-ticket transfers in and out of the Benito Villamarin stadium appear to have left the squad in disarray.

With Friday’s hosts likely to maintain decent defensive structure at home in the hopes of another point (or more), we like the under here.

Pick U 2.5 (+106)

Granada vs Barcelona Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Granada +1.5 (-109) +900 O 3 (–114)
Barcelona -1.5 (-111) -323 U 3 (-106)
Draw N/A +390 N/A

Granada has impressed in recent weeks with away wins over Espanyol (3-0) and Celta (2-0) propelling Diego Martinez’s men into an unexpected 6th place in the table.

With that said, we do not anticipate an upset here: Barcelona has won all but one meeting with Saturday’s hosts in La Liga dating back to 2011, including 4-0, 3-0 and 3-1 wins since that lone defeat (1-0) at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes back in April 2014.

Expect a high-scoring contest, as both Barça (4.75) and Granada (3.5) are averaging high total goals-per-game rates early in the campaign.

Factor in a Barcelona team eager to continue filling the net (they’ve scored five goals in two of their first four league matches) and narrowing the gap with Sevilla at the top of the table, and this one could get out of hand.

Pick: Barcelona -1.5 (-111) or Over 3 (-114)

Parlay Plays

In addition to the above picks, consider one of the following for a three-way value parlay:

Sevilla (+158) vs. Real Madrid | Los Blancos were embarrassed by PSG midweek in Champions League action, and this could go one of two ways: The Sanchez Pizjuan is never an easy stadium to play in, and Real will either bone up and respond or fold against a well-drilled Sevilla under Lopetegui.

Getafe (-123) vs. Mallorca | Coming off a confident Europa League win midweek, expect Getafe to take a step against a Mallorca side that is what we expected it to be: Defensive, goal-challenged and in tough away from home.

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