Barcelona vs. Villareal Betting Odds, Pick: Predictions for Sunday’s La Liga Match
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- Barcelona will meet Villareal in Sunday's (4 p.m. ET, beIN Sports) La Liga soccer matchup.
- Barcelona are -130 favorites over Villareal, according to the latest La Liga odds.
- Read our full Barcelona vs. Villareal betting preview, including our best bet pick and match prediction.
Barcelona at Villareal Odds, Pick
|Barcelona odds||-130 [BET NOW]|
|Villareal odds||+325 [BET NOW]|
|Draw odds||+300 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Sunday at 4 p.m. ET|
After their draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, Barcelona are on the ropes in the La Liga title race. With Real Madrid having a fairly easy schedule to finish the season, Villarreal could deliver the knockout punch to Barcelona on Sunday.
Villareal are not just here to play spoiler, either. El Submarino Amarillo are only three points behind Sevilla for fourth place, so a spot in next season’s Champions League is not out of reach.
Outside of Real Madrid, Villarreal has been the best team in La Liga since the restart. In their last six matches, El Submarino Amarillo has earned 16 of a possible 18 points, boasting a +5.38 expected goal differential.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
It’s no coincidence that Villareal’s success coincides with Javier Calleja’s decision to switch to a 4-4-2 formation, which allows his side to keep eight players behind the ball and create a defensive wall that works in unison to deny the opposition the ability to play through the center or between the lines. This forces opponents to play through the wide areas to access the penalty area.
Villreal are creating 2.06 expected goals and conceding just 0.92 expected goals per match since the switch.
Lionel Messi and company will be a different animal to defend, but I think El Submarino Amarillo will be up to the task.
Barca have dropped six points since the restart. Messi is doing his best to put the entire team on his back, but he isn’t getting enough support. The Argentine has scored or assisted on eight of Barcelona’s 10 goals since play resumed. He will need a lot more help from the players around him if Barcelona are going to get back into the title race.
Barcelona are “only” averaging 1.44 points per game on the road this season — their lowest mark in more than a decade — and their offense is only producing 1.47 xG per match away from Camp Nou, which is also well below Barca’s high standards.
The Blaugrana have only taken nine points eight road matches against the top-10 teams in La Liga. That is a disappointing number for a team expected to be one of the best in all of Europe.
Expected goal models show that these struggles are all too real for Barcelona as they’ve lost the xG battle, 12.21-9.0, in those eight matches.
According to my model Barcelona should not be -130 for this match. In fact, I don’t think they odds-on favorites over Villareal.
Most bettors will look at this line and automatically take Barcelona based on the name alone, and 92% of the early tickets are on Barca per The Action Network App, but I think there’s value fading the big boys on Sunday and I am going to back Villareal to deliver the final knockout punch to Barcelona’s hopes at the La Liga title.
- Villarreal projected odds: +199 (33.44% win probability)
- Barcelona projected odds: +132 (43.19%)
- Draw projected odds: +328 (23.36%)
- Villarreal projected xG: 1.47
- Barcelona projected xG: 1.70