Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Betting Odds, Pick, Predictions: Back Madrid in El Clásico (April 10)
Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Real Madrid standout Karim Benzema.
- The latest chapter of global soccer's biggest club rivalry takes place Saturday when Real Madrid hosts Barcelona in another El Clásico showdown.
- Both powerhouses are in the hunt for the La Liga crown, with a victory for either in this affair going a long way toward that goal.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down this match below and explains why he likes Real Madrid to triumph.
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Odds
|Real Madrid Odds||+185|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-148 / +118)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 3 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday afternoon via DraftKings.|
The biggest match in all of club soccer — El Clásico — has some huge title implications on the line Saturday in the second meeting between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Barcelona trails Atlético Madrid by a point in the La Liga standings, while Real Madrid is three behind the league leader. A win and three points for either side could vault it into first place in the Spanish top flight.
Both Real Madrid and Barcelona are in incredible form in league play, as Real Madrid is unbeaten in its last 12 matches across all competitions, while Barcelona is unbeaten in their last 19 league fixtures.
Real Madrid has beaten Barcelona in back-to-back meetings, including a 3-1 victory at Camp Nou earlier this season. However, Real Madrid is coming into this match shorthanded, as both of its starting center backs — Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos — are sidelined for this much-anticipated showdown.
Los Blancos have returned to their usual dominant form, winning 12 of their 17 matches across all competitions and putting up a +15.83 xGDiff in the process. They looked incredibly dominant against Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday, beating the defending Premier League champions, 3-1, on home soil.
Manager Zinedine Zidane’s 4-3-3 system has been completely overwhelming teams this season, as Real Madrid is registering 1.84 xG per 90 minutes and allowing just 1.00 xGA when playing out of that formation.
Additionally, Karim Benzema has been the man in form, notching 0.67 xG/90 minutes in La Liga action. He’s also netted eight goals in his last six league games, so he will be difficult for Barcelona’s defense to handle.
Real Madrid completely dominated Barcelona in the first meeting, creating 3.43 xG versus Barcelona’s 1.91 xG in the victory. Zidane’s men typically don’t implement a high press, but instead use what’s called a “mid-block,” which is when the midfielders create a wall and don’t allow the opposing midfield to play through them.
This caused Lionel Messi to drop deeper and deeper, forcing him to try and complete dribbles through the middle. The strategy worked well the first time around, and I expect Zidane to employ the same tactics in this matchup.
Barcelona’s dominant 19-match unbeaten run in La Liga might have to come with a bit of an asterisk, due to the fact 13 of those 19 fixtures came against the bottom half of the table. However, its underlying metrics are really impressive, as Barcelona has registered up a +27.68 xGD, according to Understat, in those games.
The powerhouse has been scoring goals in bunches this season, averaging a league-leading and whopping 2.26 xG per match. Messi, himself, is having another dominant year, and is currently the top goal scorer in league play with 23 goals already this season.
Barcelona’s problem this season, though, is the fact it’s struggling versus stiff competition. We all saw the beatdown Paris Saint-Germain put on it in Champions League, but it’s also translated over to domestic play.
Against Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid and Sevilla, Barcelona is 1-2-1 with a +0.12 xGD this season. Given all of the difficulties tactically Real Madrid has given it the last two times they’ve played, I think Barcelona is going to struggle against its bitter rival.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Even with Real Madrid in a sandwich spot between Champions League matches and minus their top two center backs, I think it’s a bit undervalued in this meeting of powerhouses.
Barcelona has done all its damage versus the bottom of the table, and Zidane will have his team well set up tactically to handle Lionel Messi and his teammates.
Since I have Real Madrid projected at +125, I am going to back its Draw No Bet line at +114 odds via DraftKings as my top pick.
Pick: Real Madrid — Draw No Bet (+114)