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Barcelona-Atletico Madrid Betting Odds, Preview: Can Barca Wrap Up La Liga?

Credit:

Atletico Madrid. Pictured: Antoine Griezmann

  • Atletico Madrid have a chance to cut Barcelona's lead to just five points at the top of Spain's La Liga with a win on Saturday at the Nou Camp (2:45 p.m. ET on beIN Sports).
  • Early bettors were all over Atletico Madrid (+380) to pull the upset but there's been plenty of buyback on Barcelona (-120) to earn the home victory.

La Liga was thrown into a mini-frenzy on Tuesday night with Barcelona falling behind Villarreal, 4-2, with ten minutes to go in the game. A loss would have left Barca just seven points ahead of Atletico Madrid at the top of the table but they weren’t about to let all points slip away.

Barcelona went ahead, 2-0, early in the first half before Villarreal reeled off four straight goals to take a 4-2 lead in the 80th minute. Then came magic from Leo Messi and Luis Suarez to tie it, 4-4, in the 90th minute and stoppage time respectively.

Barcelona’s lead in La Liga is still eight points with eight games remaining but Atletico Madrid could cut that deficit to five points with a victory at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Top of La Liga Table

Prior to Tuesday’s matches, Barcelona were 1-100 favorites to win the league ($100 to make $1) and Atletico Madrid were 50-1 underdogs ($100 to make $5,000).

Following the draw and dropping two points, Barcelona still remain the 1-100 favorites but Atletico Madrid have been trimmed down to 45-1.

Before the season, Barcelona were listed as -125 favorites and Atletico Madrid 10-1 underdogs.

Saturday’s Betting Odds and Over/Under

Open: Barcelona -140, Atletico Madrid +425, Draw +300, Over/Under 2.5
Current: Barcelona -120, Atletico Madrid +380, Draw +280, Over/Under 2.5

Barcelona were able to rest Messi for the first 60 minutes of Tuesday’s match before bringing him on to save the day, and they’ll surely need him for the full 90 on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid have conceded just 19 goals through 30 league games and have recorded a clean sheet in six of their last seven. However, they’ll have their work cut out for them against a Barcelona squad that has scored multiple goals in ten of their last eleven La Liga home matches.

Recent head-to-head meetings between the two clubs have been highly contested and low-scoring, but Barcelona have held the upper edge:

Nov 14, 2018: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona
Mar 4, 2018: Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid
Oct 14, 2017: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona
Feb 26, 2017: Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona

Key Injuries + Suspensions

Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal has been suspended due to yellow card accumulation and will miss Saturday’s clash against Atletico Madrid. Winger Ousmane Dembélé (muscle) and central midfielder Rafinha (knee) are out due to injury.

Atletico Madrid are dealing with issues up front with both Diego Costa (muscle) and Alvaro Morata (ankle) nursing injuries. Midfielder Thomas Lemar (muscle) is also out.

Betting Market Breakdown

As mentioned earlier, goals have been hard to come by in recent meetings and Saturday’s total action has predominantly come in on the under (2.5). After opening -120 on the over, the juice is now listed at -110 on both sides. The previous three head-to-head matches in La Liga have fallen below that total.

As for the moneyline, all the early movement was on Atletico Madrid (+420 to +350) but a bit of sharp buyback has been grabbing Barcelona at -110, -115 and -120. There was even some love for the draw in this match, dropping from +300 down to +240, before eventually trickling back up to +280.

Sportsbooks should be able to attract some great three-way action until kickoff and there’s no doubt that lines will be on the move again.

Barca are still available in the -115/-120 range around the market as of Wednesday night and at that price I’m willing to back the home side. Unless there’s surprise news like Messi not starting, odds will likely increase to the opening numbers and potentially higher.

Value Play

  • Barcelona (-120) vs. Atletico Madrid
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