The Mattress Makers are favored in and around -190 for Saturday, though some sportsbooks have the hosts at -220 or higher. Villarreal is trading at anywhere from +550 to as high as +725, while a draw is just above +300 on the soccer odds board.
Spirits have to be high in the Atletico camp after a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
As usual, the Catalans controlled possession and generated more chances overall, but the Mattress Makers looked dangerous on the counter and actually got the first goal through Diego about 10 minutes into the second half. Barcelona equalized thanks to Neymar, but it was still a fantastic result for Diego Simeone's men.
In the league, since that surprise loss to Osasuna, the Mattress Makers have gone unbeaten in six straight matches, with their only draw coming at home to Real Madrid (2-2).
The run has kept them atop the La Liga standings, though they remain just one point ahead of Barcelona and three up on Real Madrid. This race should only get more and more exciting as the season quickly winds down.
Atletico's been so exceptional at home that there's no reason to expect any kind of dropoff. In 16 matches on their pitch they've recorded 13 wins and three draws (with no losses to speak of), scoring 45 goals with only nine against.
At the moment the Yellow Submarine are in seventh in La Liga, though they're just a single point behind fifth-place Real Sociedad.
There's an outside chance Villarreal could catch Athletic Blibao (on 56 points) for the fourth and final Champions League spot, but a lot would have to go right. Dropping points here in Madrid this weekend clearly wouldn't help the cause.
The Yellow Submarine haven't really been playing the most inspired soccer of late. They're coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Elche.
There was no doubt who the better side was, but Villarreal lacked quality in front of net and couldn't make Elche pay for their mistakes. The Yellow Submarine's one goal came from Jonathan in the 43rd minute.
Away from home this season, Villarreal has been essentially hit or miss. They've picked up seven wins but have also lost seven times, with one draw sprinkled in. This fixture against Atletico figures to really test their resolve.
La Liga Pick
Atletico looked like they belonged when they matched up with Barcelona in the Champions League. It's never easy going into Camp Nou and getting even a point, so the Mattress Makers have to be very pleased with their performance.
For their sake, hopefully they won't suffer a letdown after such a great result. There's still a hugely important league fixture on the agenda here and Atletico simply can't drop points, with the two giants following close behind.
When push comes to shove, we're not going against the in-form Mattress Makers. They've still yet to lose at home in the league and we don't think that changes this weekend. Back Atletico to win by two or more goals with your soccer picks.
Soccer Pick: Atletico Madrid 3 Villarreal 1