Real Madrid vs. Malaga Soccer Picks: Impossible to Bet Against Los Blancos as La Liga Title Race Heats Up

Nikki Adams

Thursday, April 16, 2015 3:38 PM GMT

Real Madrid appear intent on giving Barcelona a real chase down the stretch as the race for the La Liga title heats up with a must-win game over Malaga. Here's our soccer pick for this fixture.

Real Madrid Close The Gap
Real Madrid kicked off round 31 of La Liga betting with a 3-0 win over league minnow Eibar at the Bernabeu in Saturday's early start. The pivotal three points saw Real close the gap on league-leading Barcelona to just a point, but with the Catalan side still to play their round of 31 fixture against Sevilla later in the day. It was too early to tell just how close the title race was going to be at the end of Saturday's card. Carlo Ancelotti's boys did all they could to continue applying the pressure on Barca. Now, it was out of their hands and up to the Catalan giants to respond.

Barcelona got off to a brilliant start and sublime finishes from twinkle-toed Messi and Neymar inside the first half seemed to put the Catalan side well on course to re-establishing their four-point lead in the table. When, all of a sudden, the hosts  audaciously flipped the script. Ever Banega scored late in the first half to draw Sevilla to within a goal in the first half and then Kevin Gameiro tucked in the equaliser with barely six minutes left to time to force the draw on Barcelona and a share in the spoils.

Tale told, Los Rojiblancos put a dent in Barcelona's title bid, reducing their lead to just two-points over Real Madrid in the table as La Liga enters round 32. Although Barcelona remain the odds makers' favourites to win La Liga by season end at -250 soccer odds, Real Madrid are making it into a tight, two-horse race to the finish line and probably shouldn't be drifting as high as +188 soccer odds to pull off the feat. Consider Barcelona are set to face on form Valencia in week 32 La Liga betting while Real Madrid will be facing struggling Malaga, there could be another spanner thrown into the works.

 

Real Madrid Must Win Over Malaga
Carlo Ancelotti's Los Blancos will be keen to keep the momentum going when they host Malaga at the Bernabeu on Saturday. With the later start as well, they'll already know the lay of the table before they take to the field as Barcelona kick off the day's proceedings against Valencia at the Camp Nou in the day's early start.

Last weekend's win over Eibar improved Real's form to three straight wins, four in their last five fixtures. They are third in La Liga's form table with a 4-0-2 record in their last six, but they boast a perfect 3-0-0 record at home during that run of form. Overall home form stands at 13-1-1 in 15 games, with only Atletico Madrid taking all three points and Valencia forcing a share in the spoils.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was cleared to play in Saturday's clash after his game suspension was reversed, led Los Blancos to the victory with his opening goal that set the tone for the rest of the game. The superstar forward has now scored seven goals in three matches and he'll be keen to do his part for Los Blancos as the title race with arch-rivals Barcelona heats up.

To be fair, it's impossible to bet against Real Madrid in this game. On the strength of their home form and overall form this term, they are the correct favourites to win outright, albeit absurdly so at -800 soccer odds, which, let's face it, offers no value at all to soccer bettors. So, there will need to be some sifting through the soccer odds board done for better value picks.

 

Can Malaga Punch Above Their Weight Class?
No. Malaga are wholly inconsistent. They are seventh in Spanish top flight with a 13-7-11 record, which includes an 8-5-3 record at home and a poorly 3-3-9 record on the road. Although Malaga are coming off a 2-2 draw at home to Atletico Madrid that effectively ended the defending champions' bid for a second straight La Liga title, they are without a positive result on the road in their last three trips around the league. What's more, these losses came to domestic lightweights, making any hope of a turnaround on road form at the Bernabeu this weekend a pipe dream, aptly priced at +1600 soccer odds.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict
Sevilla did Real Madrid a massive favour last weekend by forcing a draw on the visiting Catalan giants. Best case scenario for Real: Valencia do the same this weekend; thereby, opening the door for Real Madrid to gallop to the top of the table.  

What happens this weekend in the Barcelona vs. Valencia clash aside, Real Madrid were helped by Sevilla in a huge way and they really shouldn't stare a gift horse in the mouth if they are to put paid on their +188 soccer odds to win the La Liga title. Barcelona don't give rivals too many chances, so when they do there's a duty to capitalise. And with a relatively straightforward game against Malaga, the three points are there for the taking.

Backing Real Madrid on your soccer picks at -800 is hardly worth the tickle, even if it is an almost sure bet to place. Soccer bettors looking to weigh in on this clash will be better served by taking Real to win both halves at -225 and the Over 2.5 at -350 in total betting markets.

Soccer Picks: Real to win both halves at -225 and Over 2.5 at -350

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