One of the unfinished Round of 16 UCL ties comes to an eventual conclusion as Manchester City play their home leg against Real Madrid (3pm ET Friday).
Man City have the advantage following a 2-1 win in Spain in the first leg but that was a long time ago. Much has happened in the interim and both teams have been in solid form since soccer returned to the schedules so which way will this go?
Man City vs Real Madrid Moneyline Odds
Manchester City are hot favorites to win on the night with moneyline odds at a general -145. Victory for Real Madrid is the next option at a typical +330 while the draw completes this market at a best of around +350.
Those are the betting lines for the win in 90 minutes and exclude the potential for overtime and a possible penalty shootout. As an alternative, you could look for the ‘to qualify’ market where the odds change quite considerably. City shorten and are as low as -750 with Bovada USA betting website, while Real go out to +500.
Those odds may have been set based on Manchester City’s performance in Madrid in March but Real Madrid have marginally better form coming into this return. Zinedine Zidane’s side have won four and drawn one of their previous five as they sealed yet another La Liga title.
Man City have also won four but lost in their FA Cup semi-final to Arsenal. At the very least, this moneyline market could have been closer and, if City are to win, it should be much tighter than those odds indicate.
MCFC vs Real Madrid Interesting Prop Bets
Two strong sides will be able to field some of the most lethal strikers in the game and there will be plenty of interest in the individual goal scorer betting. The one issue comes in the Man City camp where the potent Sergio Aguero will miss out due to lingering injury problems.
In Aguero’s absence, City’s Gabriel Jesus is favorite with the sportsbooks targeting the States to open the scoring. He is followed closely by teammate Raheem Sterling. Karim Benzema is Real Madrid’s first representative and he is the third favorite in the first goalscorer market.
Others to consider at longer odds include MCFC’s Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez plus Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale of Real Madrid.
Moving through the list of regular prop bets, ‘both teams to score’ is predictably short this time. It’s down as low as -200 with the bookies and, while it could be one of the more likely props of Friday’s contest, that’s just a little too short to be interesting.
Instead, it may be worth switching attention to the ‘total goals’ betting in the search of better value. Looking at the relative safety of the ‘over 2.5’ line, the odds in question drop to similar levels as BTTS. We therefore need to push higher and, if we go up one stage to ‘over 3.5’, we are into figures that start with a + sign (odds against).
Looking at the ‘correct score’ betting, this may be a high-scoring contest. A final scoreline of 2-2 will attract definite interest at odds starting at +1000 (10/1) and that would be the preference for this preview. Alternatively, if you feel it won’t be as close as we are suggesting, you can take a 3-1 victory in favor of either side and get some similar prices.
There have been some fairly short odds in this round up but could we get some better profits out of this fixture? We now come to the decision making process for our Man City vs Real Madrid predictions conclusion.
Our Betting Preview’s Man City vs Real Madrid Predictions & Picks Verdict
Soccer’s return was welcome but it was also strange to see those games being played behind closed doors. In the main, the big sides across Europe were not affected by the lack of support and we could largely follow the form book when making a call.
That form is very tight on both sides and it seems to back up our theory that this will be closer than the USA odds setters suspect. Real Madrid may not be the dominant force in the UCL now that Cristiano Ronaldo has departed for Juventus but they remain one of the most dangerous teams in world football.
Man City have that first leg advantage but, following the long delay in resumption, the return will be something of a one-off final. Real have the ability to draw the game at the very least and that’s going to be our first pick for Friday’s encounter.
Both Teams to Score looks to be one of the most likely props in football right now so take those short prices if you want to claim a modest profit. Alternatively, take the ‘over 3.5 goals’ bet to get some better value.
Finally, USAbetting will have a bet on Raheem Sterling to score at any time. The England international has endured something of a barren spell since the start of the year but he has scored 30 goals in 50 games this season and will always be a threat.
Expect a tight and entertaining game and remember, all of these picks are for 90 minutes (normal time) only, excluding any possible overtime. Here goes with our picks and MCFC vs Real Madrid predictions:
- Bet the draw @ best odds of +350 with Bovada on the moneyline. Next best is Bookmaker at +339.
- Expect Raheem Sterling to score at any time in 90 minutes @ -105 with Intertops.
- Go for ‘over 3.5 goals’ being scored @ best odds of +134 with 5Dimes.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.