Another big domestic European soccer weekend is on the horizon, with one of the world's biggest rivalries in Spain, as well as the quarterfinals of the world's oldest official soccer competition in England. All of those games are on ESPN+, and all of them are worth a peek on the betting markets.
Let's take a look ahead with our best bets for the weekend.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Real Madrid v. Barcelona (Sunday)
With 10 games to go in the La Liga season, Real Madrid has a 10-point lead on second-place Sevilla and a15-point lead on third-place Barcelona (which has a game in hand). FiveThirtyEight projects Real Madrid as a 97% title favorite, so the slim title hopes of both Sevilla and Barcelona likely hinge on the leader dropping points at home on Sunday.
Whether or not Karim Benzema starts after injuring his calf on Monday, I expect scoring in this game. Stylistically, the matchup suits both teams, as Barcelona looks to possess the ball, and Real Madrid tries to strike on the counter. Their January SuperCup meeting in Saudi Arabia was a snapshot of these differences. Barcelona had more possession (53%), more sequences of greater than five passes (52-32), and an average sequence time that was nearly three-and-a-half seconds longer (13.4 seconds to 10.0). The teams combined for 34 shots and 4.4 expected goals in Real Madrid's 3-2 win. This game should look similar, which should again lead to goals.