Champions League Picks: City Rivals Dispute European Club Trophy

Nikki Adams

Thursday, May 12, 2016 5:20 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 12, 2016 5:20 PM UTC

It’s a reprisal of the 2013/2014 UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the San Siro in Milan on May 28th. Where are the best value soccer picks?

Real Bid For Second Triumph At Atleti’s Expense
For the second time in three years, cross city rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid battle for the most prestigious European club trophy. Who will triumph? Will Real win a second title at Atletico’s expense? Or will Atleti avenge their near miss in 2013/2014?

Real Madrid triumphed 4-1 over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final to win the coveted La Decima and move into the history books as the most successful club in Europe’s top-flight club competition. Those in-the-know, know just how close that match really was in the first 90 minutes. Indeed, Atleti led 1-0 for the better part of the final before Real equalised in injury time to send the match into extra time. The seams then came undone for the tightly wound Atleti and their cross city rivals eventually ran away big winners.


Champions League Progress To Final
Real Madrid’s progress to the final has been impressive with nine wins, two draws and just one loss. The lone blemish on their run – a 2-0 loss at Wolfsburg in the first leg of the quarterfinals – was followed by a scintillating, individual master class by Cristiano Ronaldo in the second leg, single-handedly resurrecting Real’s bid behind a hat trick at the Santiago Bernabeu that saw Los Blancos edge the Wolves 3-2 on aggregate.

By contrast, Atletico’s progress into the final was a bit more laboured with a loss to Benfica and a draw to Astana in the group stage, as well as two additional losses to Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the knockout stages. Indeed, Atleti drew Bayern Munich 2-2 on aggregate but the away goal rule served to their advantage as they eliminated the Bundesliga giants in the semis despite losing the second leg 2-1. That said there’s an argument to be had about the quality of their opponents particularly in the last two rounds of the knockouts – Barcelona and Bayern Munich, arguably, the two best clubs in the world. Advancing at such an elite pair’s expense is no mean feat. It’s nothing to sniff at really.


La Liga Dimension
In the last lap of Spain’s top-flight action, Atletico Madrid dropped out of the title race behind a 2-1 loss to league-propping Levante, destined for second-tier ignominy next season. Diego Simeone’s side now has no hope of catching league-leading Barcelona on the final day of the season. They slip to third-place with a 27-4-6 mark and 85 points.

Real Madrid, however, kept the pressure on the Catalan giants with a 3-2 win over Valencia to improve to 27-6-4 and 87 points. They are a point behind Barcelona and take the La Liga race into the final day. Real Madrid travel to Deportivo La Coruna while Barcelona trek to Granada this coming weekend to decide the domestic title.

The lay of the land in Spain so, the more useful dimension is the rivalry between these two Madrid clubs and as it pertains to the upcoming final at the San Siro. Far from disappointed by his side’s surprise loss to Levante last weekend, merely days after eliminating Bayern Munich, Diego Simeone is very upbeat. He claims he’s proud of his lads and the impressive season they’ve put together, lauding the close nature of the title race. Since the 4-1 loss to Real in the 2013/2014 UEFA Champions League final, Los Rojiblancos have the head-to-head edge across several competitions. Six wins, four draws and just one loss in ten meetings over the last two years and some change. That little nugget sends Diego Simeone and his Rojiblancos into the highly-anticipated final with much optimism.


Champions League Outrights and Match Betting Odds
Despite the head-to-head edge Atletico Madrid enter the Champions League final as distinct underdogs on the soccer betting floor. They are priced as anywhere from +110 to +120 in outrights to lift the trophy when all is said and done in the fashion Mecca, and they are priced as +200 underdogs to win the match in 90 minutes or thereabouts depending on your choice sportsbook.

By and large, Real Madrid have the edge in sports betting markets, both in outrights and match betting markets. Los Blancos are found priced from -120 to -150 to triumph for an eleventh time in club history and, arguably, a more tempting +150 at Bet365 and, an even more tempting +154 at Pinnacle, Bookmaker and BetCRIS, amongst several others. The draw, meanwhile, is priced best at Pinnacle with +217 soccer odds.


Champions League Betting Trends
Consensus betting polls differ from sports betting platform to sports betting platform with some outlets recording a distinct edge for Real Madrid (57.1%) in match betting markets over Atletico Madrid (42.9%). 

Others tell a slightly different story with Atletico Madrid edging Real Madrid with 51.2% of the bets to win in 90 minutes. Real Madrid’s share of the market stands at 40 % while the draw has 8.78% of the market share. These soccer betting trends are echoed in outrights where Atletico Madrid have 54.44 % of the market and Real have 45.56% of the market. 


Match Betting Tips
As it is, both the outrights and match betting odds lean towards Real Madrid, but, clearly, public betting trends are divided between the city rivals and for the most part almost evenly. Depending on the source, both Real and Atletico have the slight edge in market share. That’s telling.

The implication: a close contest is expected, prompting soccer bettors to find value on both sides of the coin for their soccer picks. Those looking to back the plucky underdogs especially can find not only value but also good reason to do go against the market which is important when looking to back an underdog on your soccer picks. For our money, though, we’re leaning towards Real Madrid on our soccer picks to come through as the nominal favourites.

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Free Soccer Pick: Real Madrid to win at +154
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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