Atlético Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao Betting Odds, Pick & Preview: A Plus-Money Prop to Bet

Atlético Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao Betting Odds, Pick & Preview: A Plus-Money Prop to Bet article feature image
Credit:

David Ramos/Getty Images. Pictured: Antoine Griezmann (left) and Luis Suarez.

  • Atlético Madrid is a heavy favorite on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga action.
  • The reigning Spanish champion is off to a strong start this season, as is its Basque visitor.
  • Brett Pund breaks down the matchup and delivers his best bet for the game below.

Atlético Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao Odds

Atlético Madrid Odds -150
Athletic Bilbao Odds +475
Draw +275
Over/Under 2.5 (+130 / -160)
Day | Time Saturday | 10:15 a.m. ET
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We have a full slate of La Liga action this weekend, but we’ll focus our attention on the match at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Saturday between Atlético Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

Both clubs have enjoyed great starts to the new campaign, with the two teams entering the match unbeaten through four matches and in the top five of the league.

Atlético is unbeaten at home in league action under manager Diego Simeone against Bilbao, who will enter the match with confidence after claiming a victory in their home fixture between the two sides last season.

New-Look Atlético Madrid Off to Strong Start

The reigning La Liga champion has picked up right where they left off, securing wins over Celta Vigo, Elche and Espanyol to go along with a draw with Villarreal.

Simeone’s already strong squad got even better over the summer with the return of French star Antoine Griezmann and central midfielder Rodrigo de Paul from Udinese, which should make up for the loss of Saúl Ñíguez to Chelsea.

Atlético has shown well in the advanced metrics through four matches, ranking in the top five in expected goals (xG) allowed per 90 minutes (.825) and expected goals difference (+2.2), according to fbref.com.

With star striker Luis Suarez battling injuries early in the season, Ángel Correa has picked up the slack with three goals and an assist to lead Atletico’s strong start.

Nobody typically enjoys a trip to the Metropolitano, where Atletico picked up the most points of any La Liga club at home last season (48) and has always been strong under Simeone.

Athletic Bilbao in Stellar Form Entering Matchup

After two draws to open the 2021-22 season against Elche and Barcelona, Bilbao has shut out Celta Vigo and Mallorca for two victories heading into this match.

Marcelino Toral’s squad has been very compact defensively this season, ranking third in La Liga in xG allowed per 90 minutes at 0.8 and joining Sevilla as the only two clubs to give up one goal this campaign.

Going forward, striker Inaki Williams leads the way with a pair of goals and playmaker Iker Muniain boasts three assists and the second-most shot-creating actions in the league (19).

The Basque club has not enjoyed traveling to the Spanish capital in recent years, having failed to win its last seven league matches at Madrid-based clubs.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

As I mentioned at the top, Simeone’s side has dominated this fixture at home, but I think Atlético is a bit overpriced in this one at -154 on the moneyline via PointsBet. I’m also not rushing to the window to bet against them at home or to take Athletic Bilbao based on the history either.

I think we see two teams that are very organized play a low-scoring first half, which is why I see value in the props market. I’ll be betting the second half to be the highest-scoring half at +115.

In the second half of matches, Atlético’s eight combined goals are good for second in the league, which includes two dramatic stoppage-time goals in the 95th and 99th minutes.

Bilbao hasn’t conceded in the opening half of a match so far in league play, and it only has one goal scored in the first half this season. The two clubs also averaged more combined goals in the second half of games compared to the first half last season.

The heavy juice of -165 on the under 2.5 goals for the full game and the strong defensive numbers for both clubs suggest there shouldn’t be many chances in this match.

If there are goals to be had, I’m taking my chance that they happen in the second half instead of the first.

Pick: Highest Scoring Half — Second Half (+115)

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