La Liga Odds, Preview, Prediction: Real Madrid vs. Alaves Betting Preview (Saturday, August 14)

La Liga Odds, Preview, Prediction: Real Madrid vs. Alaves Betting Preview (Saturday, August 14) article feature image
  • Real Madrid meets Alaves on Saturday afternoon in La Liga action.
  • Madrid is favored but banged up, does that make them vulnerable?
  • Doug Greenberg previews the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Real Madrid vs. Alaves Odds

Real Madrid Odds -225
Alaves Odds +625
Draw +370
Over/Under 2.5 (-135 / +115)
Day | Time Saturday | 4 p.m. ET
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Odds updated Friday morning via DraftKings.

Welcome back to La Liga, where the same three teams always finish at the top of the table and the rest just fight to avoid relegation. At least that’s how it usually goes.

One of those perennial favorites, Real Madrid, will kick off their season Saturday against one of the latter teams, Deportivo Alaves, which finished 16th last season and narrowly avoided a demotion.

As in all opening weeks for any sports season, more casual bettors — as opposed to season-long bettors — will be out in strong numbers. Because they are generally not as attuned to the intricacies of this space, they’ll be looking to the big, most notable names to back financially. World-famous Real are likely to be a popular pick in moneyline parlays and spread wagers as a result.

But the public largely does not determine the final lines for games — bookmakers and sharp bettors do. As such, when Alaves was given -110 on the +1.5 opening line, smart money snatched it up, pushing this to the more expensive price we are seeing now. Let’s explore how this happened and why you should be looking to back the home dogs on Saturday.

For starters, home-field advantage is a huge factor in any soccer match; opposing stadiums can be extremely hostile to visitors, especially once you start getting into smaller clubs with passionate fan bases. To give you an idea, when playing at Mendizorroza Stadium last season, the Babazorros lost by two or more goals just three times.

Granted, one of those times was against this Real Madrid club during a 4-1 defeat in January. But on the flip side, Alaves didn’t just cover when they played at Santiago Bernabeu last season — they won outright 2-1. Further, Alaves had covered this number three straight times at home against Madrid in the seasons prior to that 2021 blowout, which included a straight-up 1-0 win in 2018-19.

Basically, Deportivo Alaves can hang with Real Madrid given the right set of circumstances. Those conditions may be met this weekend.

That’s because Los Blancos will be majorly shorthanded. Dani Carvajal (leg), Eden Hazard (hamstring), Toni Kroos (pubalgia), Ferland Mendy (leg), and Marcelo (undisclosed) could all miss this contest due to injury, while Marco Asensio will likely be held out amidst his return from the Tokyo Olympics and transfer rumors surrounding him. Alaves, meanwhile, are at relatively full strength, with only some minor injuries on defense and none on the offensive end.

This is a great spot to pick a small-name team that a lot of the public will be overlooking. The opening weekend excitement will convince many first-time or occasional bettors to look at the familiar brand name, but fading the public is a beautiful strategy that often pays dividends.

Expecting any team to win by multiple scores in a road game is a big ask; expecting them to do it against a club they’ve had trouble with in the past while dealing with a mountain of injuries is a monumental task.

Pick: Alaves +1.5 (-150)

Doug Greenberg is the Lead Writer for The Rundown, a free daily betting newsletter and FOS brand. Click here to subscribe.

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