Soccer Picks Malaga vs. Atletico Madrid

Nila Amerova

Friday, January 3, 2014 3:54 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 3:54 PM GMT

La Liga returns to the forefront of soccer betting markets with week 18 action. Join us as we preview the clash between Malaga and Atletico Madrid complete with free soccer picks for your consideration. 

Atletico Madrid give Barcelona a run for their money

Spanish football betting is set to heat up this weekend as title hopefuls Atletico Madrid descend on Malaga all the while mindful of maintaining the pressure on Barcelona in the title hunt. Level on points with Barcelona at the top of the table but in second place on goal differential, Simeone’s men begin the New Year on the road – a tough away fixture at Estadio La Rosaleda, mind. But if the sports betting markets were any indication, the prognosis is encouraging.

Atleti enter their first game of the New Year as the hot favourites to win outright at -188 at Bet365. The home side, meanwhile, is tipped at the significant disadvantage (verging on the extreme, actually) with soccer odds hovering at +500 or higher depending on the sportsbook of choice.

Atleti boast a stellar 15-1-1 mark in the first half of the season, a run of form that sees them as joint La Liga leaders with Barcelona on 46 points. They will be looking to clinch their fifth successive win in La Liga, seventh straight across all competitions.

Malaga, on the other hand, are sat tenth in the table with a 5-5-7 mark on the season and 20 points. Although they went into the Christmas break riding a three-game undefeated streak in La Liga, beating middleweight opposition such as Getafe and Elche and settling on a draw with sixth placed Villarreal, sportsbooks aren’t putting much stock into their ability to extend that run of form at the expense of high-flying Atletico Madrid and for good reason.

Not only have Los Colchoneros (The Mattress Makers) been virtually unbeatable this season, they also have a strong overall head-to-head record against Malaga, which includes a four-game undefeated streak with two wins and two draws in their last four encounters home and away. As well, they’ve managed to maintain a clean sheet in their last three games at La Rosaleda. It’s also worth noting Malaga’s steady decline in Spanish football. Their form is a far cry from the elite form that saw them finish fourth two seasons ago (sixth last season).

Malaga vs. Atletico Madrid betting tips and picks:

As far as soccer picks go for this matchup, Atletico Madrid on paper appears to be smart money at -188 to win outright. Of course, there is always the possibility of a post-festive season wobble, a happenstance made all the more possible for being on the road, in which case the next best option would be the draw at +310 soccer odds in our opinion. It’s a result that has occurred in this fixture on several occasions before, including the scoreless draw in their last meeting.

Granted there are those that are entertaining the possibility of a big upset here. But the question is whether Malaga is up for the task, really. If you think so, definitely take a chance on the upset. And at +500 soccer odds at Bet365, it’s an alluring soccer pick promising a nice chunk of change that wouldn’t go amiss after the holidays surely. Indeed, there is no better time than right after extended breaks, when both teams are rusty, levelling the playing field somewhat, to take a chance on a big upset. 

For our money however we’re sticking to Atletico Madrid to win outright at -188 at Bet365. Although Malaga are a solid side, much better than their soccer odds would indicate, beating Atleti might be just a bit of a stretch. However Malaga should be able to keep this match close, so we would recommend a narrow one-goal margin win for Atletico Madrid at +250 at Bet365 as an additional soccer pick.

Soccer Free Picks: Atletico Madrid to win outright at -188; by 1 goal at +250 

http://www.sportsbookreview.com/soccer/
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