Mark O'Haire - Back Betis & Serie B Side Make Appeal

6 min

Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend with a plays proposed from La Liga and Serie B.


Real Betis begin the weekend outside La Liga’s top-six, four points adrift of the European qualification places

Los Verdiblancos have been the league’s draw specialists, playing out 10 stalemates in their 19 encounters thus far (W6-D10-L3), and Manuel Pellegrini’s posse will be looking to push-on in 2024, replicating last season’s achievements.

The Andalusians welcome struggling Granada to the Estadio Benito Villamarin for their first home fixture of the New Year on Saturday.

There’s a lot to like about Betis and the prices on offer. The hosts get influential Isco back from a ban, and whilst Chadi Riad is away on international duty, Los Verdiblancos should still prove too strong for their regional rivals.

Betis boast a fine W5-D1-L0 record when welcoming teams outside of the top-eight this term, with the Seville-based club going W9-D3-L3 in 2022/23 when hosting sides outside the top-four.

Los Verdiblancos also rank fifth on home Expected Points (xP) and fifth for Expected Goals (xG) process, highlighting their potential threat at the Benito Villamarin.

In contrast, Granada (W2-D5-L12) arrive entrenched in the bottom-three, largely due to a horrifying road record.

Los Nazaries have picked up a solitary point from nine away days (W0-D1-L8) despite six of those showdowns coming against clubs in ninth and below.

The visitors also sit second-bottom for away xP, as well as second-bottom for away xG process.

The home success here is just a little too short to support but we can bolster the odds on offer by backing Betis to win and Under 4.5 Goals at a very attractive 1.98. Only two of Betis’ overall encounters have escalated into a high-scoring shootout – both of which were away – as seven of their nine home fixtures produced a maximum of two strikes.

  • Real Betis to win and Under 4.5 Goals in Real Betis vs Granada – 1 unit @ 1.98


Fallen Italian giants Parma appear very well set for a first return to Serie A in three seasons.

The Crociati (W12-D5-L2) lead the Serie B standings by six points at the halfway stage with former Newcastle assistant manager Fabio Pecchia pulling the strings as Parma’s boss; I’m happy to invest faith in the Gialloblu at the available lines and prices this weekend.

Parma can be backed at 1.98 with a -0.75 Asian Handicap hurdle as they host basement battlers Ascoli (W4-D5-L10) on Sunday.

The away side have suffered six defeats in 10 road trips, posting W1-D5-L9 across all venues when facing-off against non-bottom-four opposition.

Il Picchio have already been beaten 3-1 by both of the league’s top-two.

Dip a little deeper and Ascoli are rated as the second-worst side in the Italian second-tier on Expected Points (xP), suffering the same fate when inspecting the away xP rankings.

The strugglers are returning rock-bottom Expected Goals (xG) figures on their travels, allowing an average of 15 shots per-game when playing away this season.

Parma, meanwhile, are top of the tree for home xP, home xG process, as well as home shots on-target ratio, suggesting their unbeaten Stadio Ennio Tardini record (W6-D4-L0) is far from a fluke.

Having already triumphed in five of six clashes against bottom-six sides, scoring at least twice on five occasions, the Crociati deserve to be stronger pre-match favourites.

  • Parma -0.5/1.0 Asian Handicap in Parma vs Ascoli – 1 unit @ 1.98

Recommended Bets

  • Real Betis to win and Under 4.5 Goals in Real Betis vs Granada – 1 unit @ 1.98
  • Parma -0.5/1.0 Asian Handicap in Parma vs Ascoli – 1 unit @ 1.98

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