Real Madrid begins their repeat quest for the La Liga crown with a matchup against newly-promoted UD Almería. This year marks the first time Almería has played in La Liga since 2015.
Almería finished at the top of the La Liga 2 with 81 points last season, and there is a lot to like with this squad. They brought in some young and promising transfers, such as Arnau Solà from the Barcelona youth system, as well as retaining their main striker Umar Sadiq.
Let’s dive in on the best bets for this Week 1 matchup.
UD Almería v Real Madrid Odds
3-way handicap: Real Madrid -250 | UD Almeria +625 | Draw +400
Over/Under Goals: Over 3.5 ( +110) / Under 3.5 (-155)
Both Teams to Score: Yes -150 | No +110
UD Almería v Real Madrid odds are current as of Aug. 5 on BetMGM Sportsbook.
There is no surprise that Real Madrid is favored in this Week 1 matchup. Still, it might seem surprising that they are not bigger favorites considering they easily won La Liga last season and are facing a team that is newly promoted.
The current betting odds show that Almería is receiving a lot of respect from the betting markets, and they have a good chance of avoiding relegation at the end of the season.
UD Almería has the talent on their team to stay up this year, and we’ll get a good idea of what to expect from them in the league this season right out of the gate against the defending champions.
UD Almería v Real Madrid Betting Tips
Both sides were near the top of their respectful leagues in goals per game last season. Real Madrid averaged 2.11 goals per game in La Liga and Almería averaged 1.62 goals per game in the Segunda División last season.
Madrid returns the core pieces of their attack this year in Karim Benzema, Vinícius Júnior and Luka Modrić. Even if there is regression in Benzema’s game, a matchup against Almería is the perfect opportunity for him to get going this season.
Although Almería only conceded .83 goals per game last year, this Real Madrid attack will be the best side they’ve faced in almost seven years.
Real Madrid improved their defense this summer with the signing of Antonio Rüdiger, but it might take him a few games to adjust to his new team and a new league.
UD Almería v Real Madrid Prediction
Real Madrid 3, UD Almeria 1
Almería might grab the early lead in this game as Real Madrid shakes off the rust, but the defending champions should come away with a comfortable victory.
As I stated above, there should be a lot of goals in this game, and once Madrid finds their groove, I expect them to score at will against this Almeria defense which is not used to playing against this level of competition.
UD Almería v Real Madrid Best Bets
Over 3.5 Goals Scored (+110) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
As mentioned earlier, I am expecting a lot of goals in this contest. Of course, you don’t want to take preseason action too seriously, but the last two club friendlies that Almería played in did go over the 3.5 goals total.
Sadiq was 6th in the Segunda División last year with 18 goals, and Benzema was the leading scorer in La Liga with 27 goals. The Real Madrid defense is a tougher test, but I do believe Sadiq will be able to find the back of the net in this contest. Three out of the last four matches between the two sides had over three goals, even though they were between 2013-2015.
Almería will most likely stay up this year and will have the funds to attract high-priced transfers with their new owners.
Both Teams to Score (-150) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
There’s no value in betting on Real Madrid to win this game even though I expect them to come away victorious from this match, but there is value in both teams to score.
Almeria has the acting prowess to force the Real Madrid defense into tough spots. Meanwhile, Sadiq will be the home team's focal point of the attack, with Madrid relying on Rüdiger’s speed to keep Sadiq in check.
Back both teams to find the back of the net in this game.
Bet on this prop at BetMGM.