Soccer Picks & Tips: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid

Nila Amerova

Thursday, April 25, 2013 8:00 PM GMT

Real Madrid descends on Atletico Madrid in a highly anticipated La Liga derby this weekend that features prominently in soccer betting markets across all platforms.

Real is still reeling from its Champions League setback and with their minds turning to how they might overturn the 4-1 deficit to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday what can we expect from them against Atletico? Join us as we breakdown this illustrious city rivalry and deliver our soccer free picks for your consideration.

[gameodds]17/225772/43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]

Can Real Madrid bounce back with a win?

According to the soccer odds makers who have installed Real Madrid as the marginal favorites at 13/10 over Atletico Madrid, listed at 9/5, they should bounce back with a win. However, Jose Mourinho’s men have, to all intents and purposes, given up on the league title to focus on their Champions League campaign. Their priorities aligned thus in the press, that Barcelona could bag the league title on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao with a victory and a Real Madrid defeat to Atletico Madrid has led some experts to assume this fixture is of no concern whatsoever to Mourinho and company.

In fact, most experts expect Mourinho to field a second-tier team for this affair, which if he does, let’s face it, does changes the betting landscape somewhat. Now, it should be pointed out that it makes complete sense he would do so – unnecessary fatigue and risking injury to his star players when they have a mountain to scale on Tuesday wouldn’t be sound management.

Yet, this doesn’t mean the second-tier team he fields will not be vested in the outcome of this game. On the contrary, this city rivalry is all about pride in colours. It’s a city rivalry that Real has dominated ruthlessly over the years. Any second-tier team Mourinho fields will want to continue the club’s tradition of success, surely.

Atletico has a chance to change history

The last time Atletico beat their lofty neighbours was in 1999 when they handed them a 3-1 defeat away. More specifically, Atletico has been on the receiving end of nine defeats in the last ten league matches at the Calderon (overall they have a 1-3-13 record at home to Real).

Obviously, they must be chomping at the bits to reverse history and there could be no better time to do it than when Real Madrid is still reeling from the aftershocks of their 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

A win after so many losses might not seem like much in the broad spectrum of their rivalry but it’ll be a win nonetheless. And that’s not something to scoff at. That being said, a win over Real Madrid would see Atletico draw level on points in the La Liga table with their second-placed rivals, and with six games remaining on the season, that move could be built on further in order to potentially lock up that spot. Now that would be something. How likely is that though?

Soccer Betting Verdict: Indeed, Saturday’s derby presents a rare opportunity for Atletico Madrid to seize a victory at the expense of a morally-wounded Real Madrid. And one has to believe they will seize upon that chance, which, in turn, makes them a tempting play at 9/5 betting odds to win outright.

Beating Real is easier said than done. Even a weaker Real Madrid isn’t going to be a pushover – city pride and bragging rights are at stake after all. One can never underestimate Real Madrid and as such they remain the smart play at 13/10 to win outright. Think about it: the thought that Atletico might leapfrog Real in the table is enough to make Mourinho jumpy in his Gucci shoes. Mourinho can live with a second-place finish to Barcelona – just barely. A third-place finish, to Atletico (who?) no less? Non grazie! No, there is yet motivation for Mourinho’s men to play to win. Make no mistake.

Soccer Free Picks: Real Madrid at 13/10 to win outright