Soccer Picks for Schalke vs. Real Madrid

Nila Amerova

Monday, February 24, 2014 7:23 PM GMT

Real Madrid go to Gelsenkirchen as the hot favourites to beat Schalke in the first leg of their R16 Champions League tie. Do the odds makers have it right? Can Schalke turn the soccer betting odds in their favour?


[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":252973, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Real Madrid begin their R16 Champions League tie against Schalke on the away, hoping to kick-start a successful campaign through the knockout rounds with a victory on Wednesday night in Gelsenkirchen. Odds makers certainly fancy their chances of accomplishing the feat as Real go to Schalke’s stomping grounds as the hot favourites at -225 soccer odds to win outright.

But before soccer bettors pile onto those fancied odds, it’s worthwhile noting that the Spanish giants don’t have an encouraging record in Germany. The club has only won one of 24 matches on German soil while losing 17 (source: UEFA.com). That said it’ll be Real’s first meeting against Schalke and, on paper, it would seem they do have the measure of the Bundesliga side.

Real Madrid finally assumed top spot in Primera Division. The door opened when Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both lost their respective fixtures at the weekend, a rare let up which Los Blancos, only too happy to oblige, weren’t about to let go unchallenged. And so they marched ahead on the back of a comfortable 3-0 victory over Elche.  Overall, Real Madrid boast a 20-3-2 mark in La Liga betting this season.

Schalke 04 are sat fourth in Bundesliga with a 12-5-5 record and 41 points through 22 laps. Most recently they are after a scoreless draw to Mainz 05, a result that extended their unbeaten streak to five straight in domestic action. They are two points adrift of second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, a side they beat 2-1 on the away during this positive run of form, and 21 points behind pace-setting Bayern Munich in first place.

To all intents and purposes, the title race is all but over in Germany as Bayern’s 20-point lead is virtually unchallengeable. It’s a sad reality for the rest of the field of course. But hardly a surprising one amongst soccer bettors, not to mention it’s also one that allows Schalke to realign their focus to European action in the hopes of fostering an enduring campaign within. Although given their soccer odds, the prognosis isn’t encouraging.

Schalke are listed at odds running as high as +650 to win outright at home in the first leg. And if that’s not enough to get a sense of the task before them, one need only look at their overall futures odds in the competition proper which currently can be matched at +30000 to win outright compared to Real Madrid at +450 to win outright at Bet365.

Soccer Picks & Predictions for Olympiakos vs. Manchester United

Schalke 04 vs. Real Madrid Betting Tips and Picks:

Clearly, both teams are going into the first leg of R16 Champions League betting on good form. In most cases, that would augur well towards a rather intriguing matchup with closer soccer odds. However, this matchup involves Real Madrid, only one of several short odds-on-favourites to win the title this season, and so the soccer betting market is skewed wholeheartedly in their favour.

This doesn’t mean that the bias isn’t warranted. On the contrary, underscoring their favourable soccer odds (over and above domestic action) is a bright group account where Real Madrid ran away comfortable winners in Group B over perceived threats Juventus and Galatasaray (FC Copenhagen were the group’s punching bag unfortunately). Los Blancos took a stranglehold of Group B with a 5-1-0 mark, highlighted by brutally efficient defending (conceded five goals against) and merciless attacking (scored 20 goals).

Although they advanced into the knockout stages after finishing second in Group E behind Chelsea with a 3-1-2 mark, it’s Schalke’s account against Chelsea (a side of comparable ilk to Real Madrid), which they lost 6-0 on aggregate, that is considered a measuring stick here and that diminishes their threat significantly in the minds of odds makers. Indeed, Schalke 04 will have all to do to undermine Real Madrid and turn the odds in their favour. Hard to see that happening really and so Real Madrid to win outright is the only reasonable soccer pick to consider.

Soccer Free Picks: Real Madrid to win outright at -225; Over 2.5 at -211