Spanish league leaders Real Madrid play host to 9th place Valencia in this weekend’s European Banker. The hosts suffered an unexpected start to the new year with a 1-0 away loss to Getafe.
Valencia also lost their last game, on New Year’s Eve on home soil to Espanyol 2-1. However, La Liga odds have Valencia’s value at +750, with the draw coming in at +400 and Real Madrid laying as much as -400. Which way to lean at the top-rated sportsbooks?
Real Madrid CF vs. Valencia CF
Saturday, January 08, 2022 – 03:00 PM EST at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Real Madrid Hoping to Bounce Back
Real Madrid started off the new year in disastrous fashion following a shocking 1-0 loss to lowly 16th place Getafe (they were 19th before beating Madrid). Madrid controlled the majority of the game, outshot the hosts by 8 shots, and had 7 more corners than them.
This has allowed gapping to close between themselves in 1st and Sevilla in 2nd to just 5 points and Sevilla has a game in hand. An interesting fact we found was 77% of the time when Madrid have been leading the league table after the Christmas break, they went on to win it. Regarding injuries and COVID, at the time of writing, Vinicius Jr. is the only major player missing for the host.
Real Madrid is one of just three la Liga teams to go undefeated at home with 6 wins and 3 draws, scoring 18 goals and allowing just 5 with an impressive +13 goal difference. We see the defeat to Getafe as nothing but a blip and although Valencia will be very keen to take a big scalp here, Madrid is undefeated at home in 15 matches against Valencia, winning 10 of them.
Valencia on the Cusp of Something Big
Valencia has looked much better under former Getafe coach José Bordalás, and he has managed to bring his feisty style of play to the team on the east coast as they are averaging the greatest number of cards both home and away. While in charge of Getafe last season, Bordalás also ranked 1st in both home and away cards. Valencia -0.5 cards in this match are available to bet at -125, it’s a bit of juice to lay but given the fact they average the most in the league with 3.58 per game and Madrid the least with 1.5 per game, it’s well worth a bet.
Despite being 9th, Valencia is just 5 points behind 3rd place and Bordalás seems to be building a very formidable and strong squad. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this team battling for the top 5 for the rest of this season and even heading into next season. With a few key transfers and some more firepower up front Valencia can become a top team again under this coach in our opinion. Valencia is missing zero key players with COVID at the time of writing.
Real Madrid vs. Valencia Pick
Based on the card stats we just have to take a look at Valencia over 2.5 cards in this game and over 1.5 goals given the fact that Valencia has conceded 16 goals in 9 road games thus far this season. Valencia lead the league in most games over 1.5 goals with 16 of their 9 games seeing more than one netted.
We are also keen to oppose Real Madrid here, although maybe not the smartest bet opposing them on home soil in the Santiago Bernabéu, we can’t ignore the fact that this Valencia team has the ability to cause an upset here and to take the visitors at +1.5 at -120 which we believe to be amazing value as we cash our bet even if they lose by 1 goal.
Valencia has covered the +1.5 in 7 of their 12 away games in all competitions this season. Real Madrid has only managed to cover the -1.5 in 4 of their 12 home games in all competitions this season.
For those of us who are really brave, we also believe Valencia at +750 to be a good value and worth a small bet at our soccer picks, if only for fun.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.