La Liga Soccer Picks for Real Madrid vs. Villarreal: Odds, Preview, Prediction and Picks

Kevin Stott

Thursday, February 26, 2015 1:59 PM GMT

Real Madrid and CR7 have a 4-point lead over Barcelona atop Liga BBVA and catch Villarreal in a tough spot Sunday, coming off a UEFA Europa League game in Salzburg, Austria on Thursday. So, what’s the play here in Madrid?

Odds Overview
Real Madrid vs. Villarreal, Sunday 20:00 (beIN Sports USA, beIN Sports en Español, beIN SPORTS CONNECT (US); Sky Sports 5/HD, NOW TV, Sky Go, Sky Go Extra (UK), 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT): Spanish Primera División leaders Real Madrid (20-0-4, 74 GF- 22 GA) host 6th-place Villarreal (13-5-6, 38 GF-22 GA) at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid on Sunday in this Week 25 fixture which finds the visiting Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine) in a rough scheduling spot, off a Thursday UEFA Europa League game in Austria.


Real Madrid are the obvious, large -500 favorites on the La Liga odds in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace with the guests Villarreal priced as +1200 underdogs and the Draw at +600. Seldom will you see such a quality team with such high soccer odds (12/1) in the underdog role as Villarreal are here, but The Yellow Submarine are chugging into dangerous waters, playing the defending European champions on their sacred home soil in a series in which they’ve gone winless over the L9 and coming off of that aforementioned FC Red Salzburg game on Thursday and the effects of it and the long trip back to Spain.


The Total Goals in this match is 3½ (Under -137, Over +100; bet365) with the Both Teams To Score Prop odds having the Yes priced at -137 and the No at +100 (Sky Bet). Some other props: Correct Score: Real Madrid 1-0 +750; Real Madrid 2-0 +650; Real Madrid 3-0 +700; Real Madrid 4-0 +1000 ; Real Madrid 2-1 +750; Real Madrid 3-1 +500 (bet365); and, Asian Handicap: Real Madrid - 1 -384; Real Madrid -2 +100; Real Madrid -3 +254 (bet365).


Villarreal CF
Villarreal (4-5-3 Away, 16 GF-13 GA) and Manager Marcelino García Toral might not qualify for UEFA Champions League play next season—El Submarino Amarillo (44 points) esta seis (6) points behind 4th-place Valencia (50 points) heading into Week 27 Spanish Primera División action—but despite the decent standings in the La Liga table and current play in Europa League, Marcelino and Villarreal are simply catching Real Madrid at the wrong place at the wrong time on Sunday. In Week 24 action, Villarreal defeated Eibar, 1-0 on a goal by substitute Luciano Vietto (11 goals, Anytime Goalscorer +333, bet365) and The Yellow Submarine will look to the talented 21-year-old Argentinian striker to help them try to pull off the upset here in this one in the Spanish capital this weekend. Besides Vietto, Villarreal will look to Ikechukwu Uche (5 goals, +333), Denis Cheryshev (4 goals, +500), Moisés Gómez (4 goals, +1000), Bruno Soriano (+900, BetVictor), Giovani dos Santos (+400), Gerard Moreno (+400), Joel Campbell (+500) and Jonathan Dos Santos (2 goals, +1600), among others, for scoring. But with the Madridistas allowing just 7 goals at Home so far this season and El Submarino Amarillo and GK Sergio Asenjo possibly a bit gassed from the Villarreal to Salzburg to Madrid voyage and from playing 3 games in just 8 days time (Feb. 22, Feb. 26, March 1), these look absolutely like the wrong waters for any submarine to be in, no matter what its color or who may have sung a song about them.


Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid (10-0-1 Home, 35 GF-7 GA) and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (29 goals, -275 Anytime Goalscorer, bet365) seldom have the phrase Relegation Zone in a sentence with their name, so I thought I’d do them A Solid this one time. You owe me, Carletto. Deep dish, Chicago style. With Real Madrid having the week off from its UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Knockout series with Fußball-Bundesliga’s FC Schalke 04—Los Blancos will play the Die Königsblauen in Leg 2 at Home here in Santiago Bernabéu on March 10 and lead 2-0 on aggregate heading in—it will be much more rested than its opponents and intent on keeping its precious 4-point lead over Barcelona intact when All The Dust Clears this weekend. Along with CR7, Los Blancos will look for Karim Benzema (13 goals, -162), Gareth Bale (10 goals, -150), Isco (3 goals, +187), Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (3 goals, +100), Jesé Rodriguez (+110) and Toni Kroos (+375) to get goals against a Villarreal side that the Madridistas have handled with relative ease over the last several seasons. One thing to be aware of for potential Real Madrid backers in this contest is that Sergio Ramos (3 goals), Pepe, James Rodríguez and Luka Modric are all still currently nursing injuries. But whereas for other clubs, injuries to players of their caliber would certainly spell impending Doom, Real Madrid has a squad deep enough to probably field three decent squads so they just plug someone else great into the starting XI and if I don’t hurry up and finish this sentence soon they may have signed Paul Pogba by the time the period hits the computer screen. Nope, we cool. He’s still at Juventus. Close call there brother, eh? They may try to sign you someday. Be wary.


Best Betting Approaches and Trends
As is often the case with three of European soccer’s perennial powerhouse clubs—Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid—finding a way to bet these über-chalks at such steep prices means doing some thinking. And who has the freaking Time to Think these wild days? Have you lost your gourd? So, enter the trusty Asian Handicap, like Batman coming to save some Poor Soul in Gotham City from being dipped in A Vat of Boiling Oil. Pow! Boom! Bang! Well, you’re very welcome, ma’am. Now I have some soccer handicapping to do if you’ll excuse me. Always a pleasure to keep one of Gotham’s Finest from becoming a piece of Human Fried Chicken. Host Real Madrid should find a way to win this meeting by 2 goals (or maybe more), so taking Real Madrid -1.5 -160 (bet365) seems to maybe be one logical approach, hoping Los Blancos captain and GK Iker Casillas can hold down the fort on Sunday. Real Madrid has dominated this series, going 11-3-0 (40 GF-15 GA) against Villarreal in La Liga play here at Home and 19-9-2 (65 GF-26 GA) overall against the The Yellow Submarine. When these two met in Week 6 earlier this season, Real Madrid and Casillas shut out Villarreal, 2-0 at Estadio El Madrigal in Villarreal while in this fixture here in Madrid last season, Los Merengues rolled to an easy 4-2 victory. Real Madrid is an impressive and unbeaten 7-2-0 L9 (27 GF-10 GA) in this series in league play and with Villarreal having played  on Thursday in Austria in its UEFA Europa League Knockout Stage Leg 2 match at FC Red Bull Salzburg and likely a bit tired heading in having played 2 games in 5 days combined with all of the travel combined with the reality this baby is at Bernabéu Stadium and that Real Madrid is playing better, seldom, if ever lose at Home and have owned this club of late is just way too much to think of doing anything but playing the favorite Real Madrid as your soccer pick in this Sunday game in Spain.


Predicted Final: Real Madrid 2 Villarreal 0
Free La Liga Pick: Real Madrid -1.5 -160 (bet365)

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