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La Liga Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our 3 Best Bets From Matches Featuring Barcelona & Real Madrid (Feb. 19-20)

La Liga Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our 3 Best Bets From Matches Featuring Barcelona & Real Madrid (Feb. 19-20) article feature image
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David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images. Pictured: Real Madrid standout Karim Benzema.

Races at both ends of the La Liga table are heating up, so I’m here to get you ready for another full slate of games all across Spain this weekend.

Starting at the top of the division, the gap between Real Madrid and Sevilla for the top spot in the league is four points entering the latest fixtures. Meanwhile, there are four sides within three points of the fourth and final Champions League place for next season.

Los Blancos, the league leaders, welcome Alavés to the Spanish capital for a nationally-televised match Saturday airing on ABC before Sevilla kicks off Sunday’s schedule with a trip to Espanyol. In other action, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid and Villarreal are on the road, which could give an opportunity for Real Betis to tighten its grip on a top-four finish with a home tilt against Mallorca.

Two teams are eying a place in Europe next campaign will meet Saturday in the Basque derby, with Athletic Club hosting Real Sociedad in the heated rivalry for the weekend headliner. While the home team has won the most official games in the derby (59), Sociedad has owned the recent history of the fixture, winning five of the last eight meetings across all competitions.

We’ve had back-to-back winning weeks with our best bets, so let’s try to keep it going with this week’s action.

La Liga Best Bets

Real Madrid vs. Alavés

Real Madrid Odds -450
Alavés Odds +1300
Draw +550
Over/Under 3.5 (-165 / +135)
Day | Time Saturday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch ABC
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

In a rare game that will be live on ABC, Real Madrid gets the perfect opponent following the disappointing midweek Champions League loss.

Alavés has been one of the worst road teams in La Liga this season, picking up just five points in 11 away games on one win, eight losses and two draws. And the advanced metrics paint an even worse picture.

If you look at the expected-goals numbers in away league fixtures, manager Javier Calleja’s team has posted a -10.7 xG difference and an average of just 0.87 xG per 90 minutes on the road, according to fbref.com. Meanwhile, Madrid continues to be the most consistent team in the Spanish top flight, entering the game with a +7.7 xGDiff in its last five league games.

That said, I can only see a victory for Los Blancos in this match. However, I’m looking into the Single Game Parlay market to back the hosts to win in a game that finishes under 3.5 total goals.

In Real Madrid’s 16 league wins this season, the same bet would have cashed in 11 of those fixtures (69%), including six out of the last seven contests. Needless to say, I like our chances of that happening in this game.

Pund’s Pick: Single Game Parlay — Real Madrid ML & Total Under 3.5 Goals (-115)

Valencia vs. Barcelona

Valencia Odds +265
Barcelona Odds +105
Draw +265
Over/Under 2.5 (+100 / -125)
Day | Time Sunday | 10:15 a.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

When you look at this game taking place at the Mestalla Stadium, my favorite picks is centered around fading a struggling Valencia team.

The Bats are on dreadful form heading into this match, going winless in their last six in La Liga play to go along with a -6.2 xGDiff in the process.

On the flip side, Xavi has Barcelona picking up results lately, holding an eight-game unbeaten run that spans back to Dec 12. The Catalan side has also won the xG battle in all but two of those games for a +4.5 xGDiff overall.

The reasons I’m deciding to take Barcelona on the Asian Handicap of spread line of -0.25 at -130 odds instead of a plus price on the moneyline is because of the number of draws away from home and the scheduling spot.

Xavi’s team has seven draws in 12 league road games (58%) to go along with Valencia’s six ties in home league matches. This fixture is also sandwiched in between Barcelona’s Europa League knockout games against Napoli.

I’m expecting a positive result for the visitors, but I also want the extra security in case the draw trend continues.

Pund’s Pick: Barcelona -0.25 (-130)

Athletic Club vs. Real Sociedad

Athletic Club Odds +145
Real Sociedad Odds +225
Draw +205
Over/Under 2.5 (-165 / +135)
Day | Time Sunday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

My final best bet of the week comes in the derby headliner, which is a game that I see being tied when we reach halftime.

This has been a profitable bet in Real Sociedad games this season, cashing in 14 of 23 (61%) for the highest percentage in La Liga. One of the primary reasons for this has been how compact the team has been to start matches. Sociedad has kept a clean sheet in the first half of games in a league-leading 78 percent of fixtures this season.

There is also a great chance to add to the first half shutout totals against an Athletic Club team that has failed to score in 58 percent of league games.

If you look at the first game of the derby back on Halloween, this same bet got to the window, as neither team found the back of the net in the opening period.

This is a trend I’m expecting to continue in this heated rivalry.

Pund’s Pick: First Half — Draw (-110)

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