Real Madrid vs. Valencia Odds, Pick: La Liga Betting Preview & Prediction (Feb. 2)

Real Madrid vs. Valencia Odds, Pick: La Liga Betting Preview & Prediction (Feb. 2) article feature image

Quality Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Samu Chukwueze.

Real Madrid vs. Valencia Odds

Thursday, Feb. 2
3 p.m. ET

Real Madrid Odds


Valencia Odds

Over/Under2.5 (-162 / +134)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-122 / +104)
Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Real Madrid dropped a crucial two points on Sunday in the La Liga title race via their goalless home draw with Real Sociedad. The gap between them and Barcelona is now eight points, but Real Madrid has a game in hand — Thursday's home contest against Valencia.

La Liga hits the halfway point for the season's two European giants and Real Madrid is in danger of falling too far behind to catch them in the second half of the season. Valencia will come into this match with a new manager after it sacked Gennaro Gattuso, sitting just one point above the relegation zone.

However, the performances didn't match up with the results. Gattuso was more the subject of poor finishing variance at both ends of the pitch. These two sides met in the Spanish Super Cup at a neutral site and the game was highly competitive and went to penalties three weeks ago.

The market has steamed heavily toward Real Madrid since Gattuso's firing, but Valencia are a major buy low in this matchup and at this number.

Real Madrid Aren't Invincible 

As good as Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema and the surrounding talent is at Real Madrid, there are cracks in this side. Transition defense has some holes, the defense lets too many teams into their penalty area and they remain a prime regression candidate from a finishing standpoint. It's not that Real Madrid aren't one of the best teams in Europe, but the market consistently inflates them.

Madrid haven't been all that impressive when facing the upper middle class of teams in La Liga. The defense conceded 3 xG to Villarreal, played even with Athletic Bilbao, barely cleared 1 xG against Sociedad and got steamrolled by Barcelona in the Super Cup final.

When they played Valencia in the semifinal, the total shots were 16-12 in favor of Real Madrid. Valencia won more tackles, had more interceptions and completed more crosses than Real Madrid. Valencia were able to deny easy access into their penalty area, which they have been efficient at doing all season.

The cracks appear in this Real Madrid defense — Madrid are eighth in touches allowed in their own box and 10th in passes allowed into the penalty area. Neither of those are good enough for a team that wants to dominate games and get margin to cover these inflated spreads.

The must-have app for Soccer bettors

The best soccer betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Valencia Dealing With Tough Fortune

Just two points separate 12th from 18th in La Liga, so there's building uneasiness amongst the teams in that mix that ultimately cost Gattuso his job.

It's a classic example of a manager getting fired because the results went bad despite perfectly fine underlying performances. Valencia had a below average xG difference per 90 last season and finished the season comfortably in the mid table.

This year, the underlying numbers improved on the margins but the recent spell of poor form and a bunch of close losses cost him. This team is elite at preventing ball progression and that's a major key any time you go up in class against one of the top teams in La Liga. Valencia are first defensively in passes and crosses allowed into their own area.

They've been both unlucky and below average on set pieces, but surprisingly Real Madrid are a pretty middling set piece attack themselves. Valencia have forced more high turnovers with their pressing intensity and have tilted the field more than Real Madrid this season.

This Valencia team was doing all of the underlying things that suggested they were on the verge of a potential breakthrough. Controlling the ball in more dangerous areas, keeping the opponent out of their penalty area and more. The xG numbers themselves were good but not great, qne the numbers that led to those xG numbers further down the chain were even more optimistic.

Real Madrid vs. Valencia Pick

I agreed with the market when this was priced as Real Madrid -1 at home. Real are a solidly better team and Valencia aren't quite at the level of a Real Sociedad that Madrid just closed -140 on the moneyline against on Sunday. My projection makes Real Madrid -191 in this matchup.

All of the steam toward Real Madrid pushed this line to a nearly flat -1.5, and I'll jump in on Valencia. The new manager could be the spark needed for an inspired away performance despite their poor away form this season. Alternatively, some variance could finally swing toward Los Che on the road as a massive underdog.

Pick: Valencia +1.5 (-125)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.