Leaders at the end of the round, but not satisfied:
The markets had anticipated an easy victory for Los Blancos. Like really easy. The 1×2 market had odds of 1.23 for Real Madrid’s victory, and the Asian Handicap even lines were between Real Madrid -1.75 and -2 on average.
It was one of those games when the punting experience tells you there’s something wrong with the lines, but you don’t really feel like buying them. I had seen Girona +2 @1.82 in the Asian markets on Saturday night, but I didn’t really feel like betting on Girona.
In case you are new to Asian Handicap betting, that bet of Girona +2 would win even if Real Madrid won the game by one goal, the bet would be void if they lost by 2, and it would only be a betting loss if the hosts won by 3 goals or more.
Real Madrid is not a team to bet on when they have big handicaps these days. Ancelotti was even questioned recently if he isn’t being a bit like Simeone, adopting Cholismo when they are winning.
He answered saying that he considers that a compliment because he admires Simeone. It’s evident that Real Madrid usually packs up the midfield in a 4-5-1 formation when they score. Italian managers hardly ever betray their football beliefs, although some are more extreme like Ranieri in the past with Leicester, for example.
Real Madrid 1 – 1 Girona: Over/under Results
Unders proved to be a winner here, as the lines of the Asian Handicap markets were well-above Over 3. That is a natural consequence when you have a team with handicaps between -1.75 and -2.
Both the final result of the game and the small number of goals produced in the match may have to do with the psychology involved in the moment.
Barça was thrashed in Madrid recently, they lived sad moments in the UEFA Champions League group stage, but they are doing their homework with their recent victories in their La Liga games, including teams of tradition like A. Bilbao and Valencia.
Real Madrid knew they had to collect a point to be leaders again, and ideally, they would have to win. In theory, beating Girona wouldn’t be a hard task.
But now we have had a Sunday evening full of anger and conspiracy theories due to a penalty awarded to Girona. Personally, based on the footage I saw, it was a weird penalty in the era of VAR.
Real Madrid: What now?
In the coming Wednesday, Real Madrid will face Celtic in the last game of the UEFA Champions League group stage, and the Madridistas don’t need points as they are qualified for the knockout stage.
We can expect squad rotation, and then Real Madrid will have a tough game against Rayo Vallecano in the next La Liga game. Real Madrid will face an adversary that has only lost one in the last 5 games, thrashed Cadiz at home recently, and was brave enough to collect a point in a late penalty against Atlético Madrid recently too. The race to finish as leaders of La Liga by the time of the World Cup break is going to be exciting, and it’ll be psychologically relevant to stay as leaders during the entire World Cup.
If Barcelona manages to do it, it will feel like a sign of recovery, which is everything Real Madrid wants to avoid.