Soccer Picks & Predictions for Espanyol vs. Real Madrid

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 7:50 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 7:50 PM GMT

Real Madrid look to keep pace in La Liga as they take on Espanyol at the weekend. Soccer odds are already in full swing, so join us as we analyse this tilt and deliver our soccer betting verdict.

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Real Madrid must win

Real Madrid boast a 14-2-2 record  and 44 points through 18 laps of La Liga. They’ve lost just two matches this season, so they must be hugely disappointed to be only as high as third in La Liga and as much as five points adrift of joint leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. What’s more, it must be frustrating them no end that neither rival looks to relent. Both have lost just one match to date, with top of the table Barcelona doing so just recently when they lost 1-0 to Athletic Club – a match for which we made the right soccer pick, incidentally.

As it stands, sportsbooks favour Barcelona at -188 to win outright (surprise, surprise) in the overarching market for La Liga. Where the two clubs from the nation’s capital are concerned however, it’s Real Madrid that rings in at +275 ahead of Atletico Madrid, who are snubbed into third for the title at +550 or therein depending on your choice online sportsbook.  

Clearly, bookies aren’t giving Atleti enough credit. Nonetheless, the pressure is entirely on Real Madrid to underscore their soccer odds. To let up would be to risk falling too far behind in the title race and then the stubborn markets would have to reassess the soccer betting odds, surely.

Last weekend was case-and-point: Real Madrid was under pressure right at the start of their tilt with Celta de Vigo. Both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid had already come away victors and extended the lead in the table to eight points before Real Madrid took to the pitch. It was up to Real Madrid to hold up their end of the bargain. And so they did with a 3-0 victory.

The win improved their run of formidable form to an impressive 12 straight undefeated across all competitions, eight undefeated in La Liga since a 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in October. As well, the occasion saw Cristiano Ronaldo reach a career milestone: his second goal of the night marked a 400th career goal.

Given Real Madrid’s formidable form, it should come as no surprise that they are the heavy -300 favourites at Bet365 to beat Espanyol, listed at +650 in La Liga week 19 betting. Espanyol, though, a respectable tenth in La Liga, leap off the page as a mismatch. The difference between Real Madrid and Espanyol amounts to 20 points.

Espanyol boast a modest 6-4-8 record and 22 points – seven places and 20 points behind Real Madrid in the table. Home form is an encouraging 4-2-3 this season and includes a noteworthy 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid as well as a 3-1 win over Valencia to ring in the new season. But heading into the festive season, Espanyol stuttered on form, going 1-1-2 in their last four games.

Soccer Betting Verdict

This is Real Madrid’s game to win or lose, no question about it. At -300 soccer odds at Bet365 to win outright, you’d expect the outcome to fall in line as well. Hence, in some way, it behoves us to recommend Real Madrid the soccer pick here. Moreover, there is no conceivable alternative. Granted, Espanyol managed a few eyebrow raising results before but not enough to suggest they can deny the Real Madrid juggernaut. Besides, they are coming off a dispiriting 1-0 loss to lightweight Osasuna in the last round. Hardly the stuff to suggest they are on the verge of an upset in the making, is it now.

Free Soccer Picks: Real Madrid to win outright at -333; Over 2.5 at -250

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