Sep 29, 2017
Sep 29, 2017

La Liga preview: Barcelona vs. Las Palmas

Live Barcelona vs. Las Palmas odds

How important is Lionel Messi's individual brilliance?

Looking at the handicap and totals markets

Barcelona vs. Las Palmas betting: Where is the value?

La Liga preview: Barcelona vs. Las Palmas

Barcelona host Las Palmas this Sunday looking to maintain their 100 per cent La Liga record. The Barcelona vs. Las Palmas odds are stacked against the visitors, with the in-form Lionel Messi capable of deciding the clash all on his own. So where is the value in the Barcelona vs. Las Palmas betting? Read on for some expert betting insight.

Live Barcelona vs. Las Palmas odds

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Barcelona vs. Las Palmas betting: Recent games

Barcelona sit top of La Liga after six league games, four points clear of their nearest rivals, Atletico Madrid, and 12 points ahead of this weekend’s opponents Las Palmas. The Gran Canaria-based side travel to the Nou Camp sitting 15th in the standings – and in possession of a head-to-head record that offers them no encouragement whatsoever.

Indeed, Las Palmas have never beaten Barcelona in La Liga. In eight attempts, two draws is the best they have mustered. Since their most recent promotion to the top division, meanwhile, Barcelona have won all four of the sides’ meetings. Last season, a Neymar hat-trick inspired a 4-1 away win for Barca, with Pedro Bigas netting for Las Palmas.

Messi has scored more goals than 13 La Liga teams so far this season.

However, Neymar (who has since moved to Paris Saint-Germain over the summer) wasn’t even used when Barcelona beat Las Palmas 5-0 in their last meeting at the Nou Camp - the goalscorers that day were Luis Suarez (twice), Arda Turan, Aleix Vidal and Lionel Messi.

The only solace for Las Palmas heading into this Sunday’s fixture is that they have been marginally more impressive away from home so far this term. A 3-1 win at Malaga adds to slim 1-0 defeats at in-form Valencia and Sevilla. At home, their 5-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid was considerably more demoralising.

Barcelona vs. Las Palmas odds: Messi’s brilliance

The problem Las Palmas faced against Atletico, though, was a significant increase in the quality of their opposition. And that is exactly what they’ll encounter against a Barcelona side who have made their best start to a league campaign since the 2013/14 season. For Las Palmas, it has been a much weaker opening (W2, D0, L4) than last term (W3, L2, D1).

Barcelona’s somewhat surprising start – given the criticism they suffered after losing the Spanish Supercopa 5-1 to Real Madrid on aggregate – is in no small part down to the individual brilliance of Lionel Messi. The Argentine has 11 goals and one assist to his name in all competitions, with his nearest Barcelona rivals on just two goals.

Such is the domestic dominance of Messi, in fact, that the Barca maestro – top scorer in La Liga with nine goals – has scored more times on his own than Las Palmas have managed collectively. They aren’t the only side to fall victim to this particular statistic: indeed, Messi has scored more goals than 13 La Liga teams so far this season.

Looking to the handicap market

With such low odds in the 1X2 market, bettors may want to look towards the handicap market and, unsurprisingly, the handicap figure has been set at a relatively high -/+3. This means Barcelona will have to win by four goals or more for the bet to be successful. Alternatively, a narrower margin is priced at 2.050* if bettors are tempted by Las Palmas +3.

Those looking at handicap betting face a difficult choice. Predicting a team to win by more than three goals is usually the riskier option. With Barcelona’s current form and Las Palmas’s lack thereof, however, the possibility of a huge winning margin is plausible.

Totals and 1st half markets

Bettors dissuaded by such a disparity in the pre-match odds may also look into the totals and 1st half markets. With regards to the totals market, the number is once again pitched very high at over 4.5. In exactly the same situation as with the handicap market, Barcelona games have not seen over 4.5 goals in four of their six league matches.

However, in their last two league games at the Nou Camp, Barcelona have netted more than 4.5 goals by themselves – with Eibar’s consolation adding a seventh during their recent 6-1 win. In terms of team totals, Las Palmas are over 2.310* simply to score over 0.5 and 1 goals, demonstrating the nature of the challenge they face.

Bettors will have to decide whether Barcelona’s rampant home form will continue or whether Las Palmas will try their utmost to limit Messi and co. – and succeed.

Generally, Las Palmas have not conceded many goals this season. But the five they conceded at home to Atletico Madrid have skewed things and, with 11 goals in their last two home league games, Barcelona will be looking to achieve similar heights. Ernesto Valverde’s men are 1.751* to win the 1st half at a handicap of -1 and -1.5, while they are 1.961* to score over 2 before half-time.

So far this season, Barcelona have not scored more than two goals in the first half of a league match. However, odds of 1.925* for under 2 are also not necessarily promising because Barca have scored two first-half goals in every one of their home league matches so far this term.

Barcelona vs. Las Palmas betting: Where is the value?

Overall, bettors will have to look away from the 1X2 market for value with the Barcelona vs. Las Palmas odds. Looking at the total amount of goals, team totals and 1st half totals will be the most lucrative options this weekend. That is, of course, apart from the handicap market for Barcelona vs. Las Palmas betting.

Barcelona would have hypothetically failed to win on a -3 handicap in four of their six La Liga wins to date. However, they have managed the feat in their last two home games – both of which came against bottom-half opposition. The fact Barca almost won by more than three goals against Italian champions Juventus in the Champions League was also extremely impressive.

Bettors will therefore have to decide whether Barcelona’s rampant home form will continue or whether Las Palmas will try their utmost to limit Messi and co. – and succeed.

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