Real Madrid lagging behind Barcelona everywhere and three things we learned about betting from the weekend

Some further lessons on how the odds are reflected by the action on the pitch...
1) 150 And Out For Jose

Next to Sir Alex Ferguson's successor the market running the longest came to an end last week. Jose Mourinho's remarkable unbeaten record at home crashed to a halt against Sporting Gijon who inflicted the first defeat on the 'Special One' on his own turf since 2002.

Perhaps the most relieved people of all after the shock Bernabeu result were the traders at bookmaker TitanBet. The bookie had priced Los Blancos to go the season unbeaten at a wild 20/1 (21.0) before a ball was kicked and readers snapped up the price before it was slashed to 7/1 (8.0).

Trader Nikos Tsagkatakis told there were some happy faces in the office when the result came through.

"We said the 20/1 odds were wrong as they were miles out! Personally I felt confident that Mourinho wouldn't continue his league record at the Bernabeu as it's a different football culture there.

"We decided to keep all bets when we could have easily cancelled them due to palpable error. It was a good decision after all to keep the bets even at wrong odds so we are happy as a big liability is now out of the way."

One man who isn't happy is Mourinho who has seen Real Madrid's title odds move to a hefty 13.0. Los Blancos are second favourites behind Barcelona in all three competitions that they remain in.

La Liga Title Odds (William Hill)
Barcelona @ 1.02
Real Madrid 13.0

Copa Del Rey Odds (William Hill)
Barcelona @ 1.61
Real Madrid @ 2.20

Champions League Outright Odds 
Barcelona @ 2.20
Real Madrid @ 5.50

2) Few Surprises In Serie A

So Brescia beat Bologna and Chievo drew with Sampdoria in Italy over the weekend. At odds shorter than 1.50 in both cases nobody was surprised both results came in after rumours surrounding the games were rife all week.

Most bookmakers suspended betting in advance of the Chievo - Sampdoria game which was described as a "lifeless goalless draw" in one report. A stalemate was expected but plenty of punters had lobbed on the 1-1 scoreline and were left out of pocket.

Brescia were a short price to beat Bologna and romped home 3-1 winners in their first victory since early February. Any punter who got in on time to back a Chievo - Sampdoria draw and a Brescia win would have got better than evens and cleaned up.

Forecasting to next week bookies have already slashed the odds on a draw between Cagliari and Brescia occurring to as short as 1.75. Your regular draw will be around the 3.0. Based on last weekend's antics get in there while you can.

Match Odds: Cagliari 3.30, Draw 1.75, Brescia 4.20

3) Fergie's 19th Title A Certainty

Another win for Manchester United has seen their title odds cut to 1.20. Precious little value there unless you are placing huge stakes so Hill's have opened a book on how many points the Red Devils will win the title by.

Premier League Title Odds (William Hill)
Man Utd @ 1.20
Arsenal @ 5.50
Chelsea @ 15.0
Man City @ 67.0

"United's title odds are now restrictive - they went to 1.20 after winning at West Ham - but punters can still speculate on the number of points United will win by," said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.

How many points will Man Utd win the league by:
Not win @ 4.33
1 or 2 points @ 4.50
3 or 4 points @ 3.75
5 or 6 points @ 5.50
7 or 8 points @ 8.50
9 or 10 points @ 11.0
11 or more @ 11.0
Goal difference @ 17.0

And finally...

Meanwhile, the wait for Fernando Torres' first Chelsea goal continues. He's now 7.0 to fail to find the net in his next five games. Hill's have him @ 2.10 to break his duck against Manchester United on Wednesday.

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