Real Madrid vs. Atalanta Champions League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Take the Dog
Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images. Pictured: Atalanta standout Marten de Roon.
- Real Madrid look to finish the job and eliminate Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday.
- The Spanish champions benefitted from an Atalanta red card in the first leg that helped give them a 1-0 victory.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down why he's backing the attacking Italians to get a result in Madrid.
Real Madrid vs. Atalanta Odds
|Real Madrid Odds||+100|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-150 / +110)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 4 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+|
|Odds as of Monday afternoon via BetMGM.|
One of the most highly anticipated matchups in the Champions League’s Round of 16 will conclude on Tuesday, with Atalanta traveling to the Spanish capital to take on Real Madrid.
The first leg lost some of its luster when Atalanta midfielder Remo Freuler picked up a red card in the 17th minute at Bergamo. Atalanta defended the next 73 minutes, only to concede a late winner and critical Real Madrid away goal from left back Ferland Mendy.
Real Madrid only needs a draw to advance, while Atalanta needs a win and at least two goals to go through to the quarterfinal round.
Real Madrid will be bolstered by the return of Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema on the defensive and attacking fronts. Neither was fit for the first leg three weeks ago, but both are expected to start.
Due to a yellow-card accumulation suspension, though, Los Blancos will be without defensive midfielder Casemiro. He’s one of the best in the world at his position, providing excellent cover for Real Madrid’s defense. Atalanta will feature its open, expansive style of play and searching for goals to advance, and the hosts don’t really have a direct replacement for him.
Defensively, Casemiro is as important as Ramos is to the defense, which has had its worst games without him in the lineup.
Real Madrid found some success in the first leg by passing through Atalanta’s pressing style, but didn’t have anyone to finish off the moves in the penalty area. That’s how Los Blancos drew the red card on Remo Freuler, forcing Atalanta to overcommit in its man-mark, pressing system.
With Benzema back, Real Madrid should have enough shot getters to produce plenty against this occasionally shaky Atalanta defense.
The soccer-analytics community fell in love with Atalanta a few years back, and the Italian side hasn’t fallen off much despite a somewhat aging squad and the loss of Alejandro “Papu” Gomez in the midfield.
Atalanta looks poised for yet another top-four, Serie A finish, and it has a decent chance to knock its European giant counterpart.
However, the loss of Freuler to suspension is an important one. He’s the engine that makes this Atalanta midfield go, and there will be a lot more pressure on Marten de Roon and Mario Pasalic to make up for the ball recovery and pressing ability of Freuler in the system.
Bottom line, Atalanta needs goals in this game and have had no problems finding them in the Italian top flight.
Atalanta ranks third in Serie A in expected goals for, sitting just a nose behind league leaders Inter Milan and Juventus, according to Understat. Manager Gian Piero Gasperini’s side spends more time in the opponents’ penalty area than any team in Italy, as well as less time in its own penalty area in the league.
The visitors have had no problems away from home, both domestically or in Europe. Atalanta averages more xG/90 away from home in the league, winning all three of its Champions League away matches against Ajax, Liverpool and Midtjylland without conceding a goal.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The first leg of this tie was ruined by Freuler’s red card, allowing Real Madrid to avoid facing the true Atalanta attack.
Los Blancos have had issues with the lower-level Spanish teams, and the absence of Casemiro is a big one for breaking up the diamond attacking overloads the Italians are going to try to create with their wingbacks.
I invested in Atalanta to advance at +300 odds prior to the first leg and will be riding that here. For the game itself, I make Atalanta +180 on the money line and would play the club here at +220 or better.
Pick: Atalanta ML +240 (down to +220)