La Liga Betting Odds, Picks & Prediction for Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid (Saturday, May 8)
Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images. Pictured: Lionel Messi
Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid Odds
|Atlético Madrid Odds||+275|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-122 / +100)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10:15 a.m. ET|
|Odds updated Saturday via DraftKings.|
Spanish giants Barcelona and Atlético Madrid meet at Camp Nou Saturday for a match that could decide the La Liga title.
Atlético leads Barcelona and Real Madrid by two points, so three points could see them sink Barcelona’s hopes. On the flip side, Barcelona could go to the top with a win, and if they draw, Real Madrid can go to the top if they beat Sevilla.
Atlético has always caused Barcelona a lot of problems and actually defeated them 1-0 earlier this season. Will Barcelona overtake the top spot or will Atlético take another step closer to their first title since 2014?
Barcelona’s dominance since the start of 2021 was mainly due to the fact that it was beating up on lesser competition, as only two matches have come against the current top four.
However, its underlying metrics are really impressive, as Barcelona has registered up a +25.61 expected-goals differential since the new year, according to Understat.
The Spanish giants have been scoring goals in bunches this season, averaging a league-leading 2.28 xG per match. Lionel Messi is having another dominant year. He is currently the top goal scorer in the Spanish top flight with 28 goals already this season.
Barcelona has been incredibly dominant in La Liga against teams outside the current top four. But when it’s facing Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid or Sevilla its a different story. In five matches versus the current top four, Barcelona is 1-1-3, including a 1-0 loss against Atlético in November.
Atlético’s fantastic season is starting to slip through their fingers as their once 10-point lead only a few short months ago is down to two with four matches to go. Diego Simeone’s side is not in the best of form at the moment, winning only four of its last eight matches and one of its last five away from home.
However, the reason it’s currently a top the table is because of its terrific defense. Simeone values achieving defensive perfection over a high-powered attack. For years, “Los Colchoneros” have been Europe’s most difficult defense to break down.
Keeping eight players behind the ball create a defensive wall that works in unison to deny the opposing team space to play through the center or between the lines. This forces opponents to play through the wide areas to access the penalty area.
So far this season, Atlético have allowed just 1.09 xGA per 90 minutes in its patented 4-4-2 last season. Atlético will do its best to blanket Messi in the middle of the pitch and force other Barca players to beat them.
What’s actually been the more surprising thing about this season for Atlético is how prolific their offense has been. They’re averaging 2.13 xG per 90 minutes out of the 4-4-2, which incredibly impressive for such a defensive formation.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I think this is going to be a high-scoring affair with how prolific these two offenses are. Especially if Barcelona scores first and brings Atlético out of their defensive 4-4-2 and forces them to be more aggressive.
Therefore, I am going to back Over 2.5 goals at -113 (DraftKings).
Pick: Over 2.5