Real Madrid has very difficult schedule in next 3 weeks (@ Olympiacos, @ Laboral and hosting Khimki). If they lose today and Oly wins, greeks will be supermotivated next week at home and if Real lose next week too, they will be in very difficult table situation. Their motivation is much higher today . On top of thi, right now Real Madrid is in better shape, with better players and with established system, while Barcelona is still searching for their game. We also should not forget, that Rudy Fernandez is officialy back to the roster and will get playing time tonight.
Barcelona will travel to Vitoria next week, than will host Bamberg and travel to Kaunas. Barcelona will get at least 2 wins and will qualify for playoffs. Sure, they will never tank game to Real Madrid at home by helping them to advance to next round, but I really can’t see them as favorite today, looking to their game this season. Defense is not working well, offense unpredictable, too many old players (Navarro, Arroyo, Oleson) or those who lost motivation and trust (Tomic). Strange things happens this year in capital of Catalonia..
I expect close battle here, but all small details points to Real victory or at least 50/50 game. Normally we should see here -5 line after Barcelona took 84:83 victory in Madrid being 3.5 points underdogs. But we are getting “welcome odds on Barca” from bookies… Bookmakers wants to see public money on Barca side, but I think we should be on “smart money” side today. Paid subscribers were able to take Real +4 @ 1.87 in the afternoon, now odds on Real dropped, but I think they are still ok to take.
We can’t take Real as strong favorite today. But they are more motivated, they will look for revenge and they are absolutely capable to win in Barcelona. So I go with them today.
Pick: Real Madrid +3.5 @ 1.87 Pinnacle