Champions League Soccer Picks for Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Top Betting Value Found in Toughest Spanish Rivalry

Kevin Stott

Friday, April 10, 2015 6:33 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 10, 2015 6:33 PM UTC

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have always had their city rivalry, but in the last decade, this derby’s developed into one of the most competitive, important and downright dirty meetings of teams on the continent. Are there any edges to be had in this UEFA CL Quarters match Tuesday at Vicente Calderon Stadium?

Odds Overview
Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid, Tuesday (April 14) 19:45 (Fox Sports 1 USA, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports GO, ESPN Deportes (US); ITV 1 UK, UTV, Sky Go, Sky Go Extra, STV Scotland (UK); 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT): This UEFA Champions League quarter finals Leg 1 between La Liga and city and the Copa and the Supercopa de España and this tournament rivals—Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid—will be must-watch TV, as this rematch of last season’s final—won by Real Madrid—promises to have chippiness to the nth degree with mud and blood and spit and Yellow Cards and possibly a Red Card or two. If you’re not careful, you may even get one watching this match from Vicente Calderon in Madrid. So, my friend, be on your best behavior, or behaviour, if you’re Canadian or English and need your extra ‘u’, you freaks. I have been Red Carded for abuse of the long dash and these Referees do not know where their boundaries lie and have taken liberties with them These Strange Days where they talk about delivering Pizzas with drones while over half of the world is starving. No wonder we bet.

Soccer odds makers have made visitors Real Madrid the slightest +165 favorites (bet365) in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace, with hosts Atlético Madrid +175 underdogs and the Draw priced at +229—and, like the Quarterfinals Barcelona-Paris Saint-Germain opening leg in Paris on Wednesday (April 15), this is exactly the type of game where a Draw could transpire. The Total Goals in this match has been set at 2½ with the Under at -142 and the Over priced at +110 (bet365). The Both Teams To Score Prop odds in this opening leg sees the Yes and the No at both set at -120 (BetVictor) for now.

Some various Props bets for this contest: Draw No Bet: Real Madrid -137, Atlético Madrid +100 (Sky Bet); To Qualify: Real Madrid -260, Atlético Madrid +160 (bet365); and, Draw No Bet: Real Madrid -137, Atlético Madrid +100 (Sky Bet).


Real Madrid CF 
Real Madrid (22-1-6, 87 GF-27 GA in La Liga) sits 4 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona (71-67 points), so Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. may now shift a little more of their focus on trying to become the first club ever to repeat as UEFA Champions League winners. But Real Madrid couldn’t have gotten a worse draw than city rivals Atlético, a team they seemingly play like 5 to 6 times every year these days. And these clubs are two of the planet’s best at this sport, with UEFA currently ranking Real Madrid at #1 and Atlético Madrid at #5 in its latest release. And, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has Los Blancos playing pretty well right now after a small hiccup (for Madrid), and as super-superstar and Champions League MVP Cristiano Ronaldo (36 goals) goes, so go the Whites, although this club possess one of the deepest and talented rosters in all of professional sports. Besides the prolific CR7, Madrid—which topped Germany Fußball-Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 in the Round of 16 to advance to these Quarterfinals—also features talents like Karim Benzema (15 goals, La Liga), Gareth Bale (13 goals), the electric Isco (3 goals) and James Rodríguez (8 goals)—who are coincidentally fighting for the same starting MF spot in the Madrid starting XI—Jesé, Javier Hernández (3 goals), Toni Kroos (1 goal), Sergio Ramos (3 goals) and Luka Modric (1 goals). The Madridistas also have two fine GKs from which to choose in Iker Casillas and Keylor Navas, although Casillas usually gets the nod from Ancelotti.

Real Madrid does have pretty three significant injuries listed on the website in James Rodríguez (toe), Pepe (thigh) and 18-year-old Brazilan Abner (Felipe Souza de Almeida), whose Mama and Papa somehow found a way to put 13 vowels and 12 consosnants in his full birth name, only to have cats eventually call him Abner. Wigtrippitah. Anyway, all three are listed as Injured and out for this leg, though best to check before matchday as I trust sources like I trust people these days in that I don’t. Never have we all be so all on our own, and at the mercy of Stupidity, Greed, Graft, The Weather and our Fellow Man. These are The Tough Times that try men’s Souls, and times where hiding in a wager on a UEFA Champions League match for a couple of hours on a Tuesday and/or a Wednesday afternoon or evening can really provide some real respite from the constant chaos now surrounding us.

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Atlético Madrid 
Like always it seems, Atlético Madrid (20-5-5, 57 GF-23 GA, 65 points) always has to endure maximum hardships, and, on top of the departures of GK Thibaut Courtois, striker Diego Costa and D Filipe Luis to English Premier League club Chelsea over the summer, Los Rojiblancos and manager extraordinaire Diego Simeone have had to fight through a rash of serious injuries this season, and yet are still in the thick of La Liga race (65 points, 6 back of leaders Barcelona) and this UEFA Champions League tournament, where they drew Europe’s toughest team. But luckily for Atlético, not one they have too much fear of and one in which they have achieved an amazing deal of success against so far in all competitions this season (4-2-0, 11 GF-4 GA). That’s right, Los Rojiblancos (UEFA CL Form: LWWWDLW) have not lost to Real Madrid in 6 matches so far this season, but it will be these two legs at this point in the glorious Champions League which really put manager Simeone’s hearty squad, and he himself, yet again, to the test.

And with the home-field advantage at Vicente Calderon Stadium and a relatively healthy looking squad about a week ago, poor Atlético Madrid and its fans learned that star striker Mario Mandžukic (12 goals La Liga) is Out Indefinitely with an ankle injury, an awfully big blow to the hosts’ attack. Teammate Antoine Griezmann (16 goals) will have to pick up some of the slack in Mandžukic’s absence, as will players like Atlético homeboy Fernando Torres, Raul Garcia, the invaluable Koke (2 stars), Arda Turan (2 goals) and several others. Also posing injury concerns for this Leg 1 for Atlético Madrid are Diego Godin (hamstring) and Raúl García (wrist; 4 goals), both listed as Doubtful on the website, while backup GK Miguel Ángel Moyà (hamstring) is listed as Out, along with the aforementioned scoring-machine Mandžukic. Expect Atlético Madrid, which defeated German Fußball-Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in the Round of 16 to get to this crucial point—still in the Knockout Stage until the tournament’s final (June 6 at Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany)—to have to be mega-scrappy and try to scrape by as it always seems to do. and they are the best at that. But, despite the recent dominance from their own noisy Madrid neighbors, it will be harder to what they need to do and want to do in this Leg 1 with striker Mandžukic out, as Real Madrid can more easily concentrate on Griezmann (and presumably Torres) than this other underrated dynamic striker Mandžukic-Griezmann duo in Madrid. And that’s a big difference, especially at this point in Time.

Check out this capper's soccer pick for Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid

Best Betting Approaches and Series Trends
Whereas Barcelona (+254 to win UEFA Champions League, Unibet) and Paris Saint-Germain (+2100, Betfair) have played a total of 7 times in their history, Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid have already met an aforementioned 6 times this season, so they will have met 8 when all is said and done. And instead of mindlessly providing a Lifetime series record here, I will repeat the 4-2-0 record and 11 Goals For and 4 Goals Against Los Rojiblancos have achieved so far against the current European holders, Real Madrid. Very impressive. But still, more to prove. As always in Life. In Spanish Super Cup action, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid tied 1-1 in Leg 1, with Atlético shutting out Los Blancos here at Home at Vicente Calderon, 1-0, to take the series on aggregate, 2-1. In the Spanish Cup—just not as ‘super’ as the Super Cup I guess—Atlético Madrid won Leg 1, 2-0 here at Home and then tied Real Madrid, 2-2 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, to win 4-2 on aggregate. And, in Regular Season La Liga play in Spain this season, Atlético Madrid won 2-1 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the first meeting and then sandblasted CR7 & Co., 4-0 at Home, making people take notice at the team that just couldn’t lose to Real Madrid all of a Spanish sudden after losing to them in last year’s UEFA Champions League final. Evolution or a quirk?

With so much pressure not to lose the match, and Mandžukic out, expect the hosts in Leg 1, Atlético Madrid (16/1 to win UEFA Champions League, bet365), to play this one extremely defensive and close to the vest as far and as long as it can, making for a potentially good Under (2½) wagering environment. The usually high-scoring Real Madrid (+400 to win UEFA Champions League, bet365) will likely have trouble scoring at Vicente Calderon, and has just 1 tally in three trips to this Pit of Hell for them, it will definitely be on their collective  minds heading in. But with so many players clicking offensively on Real Madrid—Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Isco, Modric—offensively deeper Real Madrid may have an easier time getting that goal in this one, which will, like all other Legs 1s, play out with both teams having that Leg 2 (Wednesday, April 22) across town planted firmly in the back of their minds. At least neither will have to stress much about the travel in this series. For this soccer pick, my Crystal Ball says that either Benzema or Modric is the hero for the visitors and defending champions.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Atlético Madrid 0 Real Madrid 1
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PICKS: Under 2½ -137 (Ladbrokes), Real Madrid Draw No Bet -137 (Sky Bet)

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