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Real Madrid vs Manchester U – Super Cup ML and Best Bets

Manchester United(18-15-5) @ Real Madrid(29-6-3)

  • Where: Philip II Arena. Skopje, Macedonia
  • When: August 8, 2017 2:30 pm EST
  • Spread: Manchester United (+1/2) vs Real Madrid (-1/2) vs Draw/Penalties (+250)
  • Moneyline: Manchester United (+250) vs Real Madrid (-110)
  • Over / Under: Over 2 1/2 (-130) vs Under 2 1/2 (+110)

There is a public tendency to believe that sports superstars are great at everything, and always make a crucial difference in any situation. However, reality betrays that myth. For instance, Michael Jordan – the greatest basketball ever and one of the most day-to-day competitive human beings to ever live – was often poor in practice. But those rookies who watched him in awe during drills would never have been convinced of that.

Cristiano Ronaldo is far-and-away the biggest press story going into the UEFA Super Cup between Real Madrid and Manchester U. this Tuesday. Some punters are convinced he will not take the pitch in Macedonia at all. Others believe he will play the entire 90 minutes, while the media consensus seems to be that Ronaldo will appear as a 2nd-half substitute for Los Blancos.

Would Real Madrid be a half-goal favourite if Ronaldo wasn’t expected to go? Hardly. But what if betting value lies in seeing this as a football match between two sides, not Rocket vs. the World?

There is all kinds of wagering action on the Super Cup, let’s have a look at each line on the board – and offer MSB’s recommendations for the spread, money line and O/U total.

Taking Los Blancos ATS – Only half a good idea

Ronaldo has been accused of tax fraud, and the scandal has contributed to keeping him off the pitch in recent matches. His imminent return has driven the action toward Real Madrid, but fans would do well to consider the side’s summer struggles as more than just a product of his absence.

The Spanish champions failed to win a single game in 90 minutes on a pre-season tour of the United States – suffering take-downs by Barcelona and Manchester City in regulation time, in addition to losing to Manchester United on penalties.

Suspensions have also forced Manchester United skipper Jose Mourinho to consider switching to a four-man defence for the Super Cup, meaning that Ronaldo is less likely to overwhelm the Red Devils’ back line by himself in the late-going. There are simply too many questions surrounding the favourites for the ATS wager to have value.

Manchester United vs Real Madrid money line

Let’s employ a little process-of-elimination here. First, the bettor can pitch out (excuse the punnery) the wager on Manchester U. to win in regulation or extra time at (+250). The Red Devils are facing questions at mid-field and other positions, with 36 year-old team captain Michael Carrick likely to sit out due to his inefficiency and fatigue in recent ties.

A wager at (+250) on the Super Cup going to penalties might seem promising. But neither side’s defence has been impenetrable lately, and this is not the World Cup. If the match is tied 1-1 into the late-going, the football is more likely to be wide-open than straight-ahead.

Finally, Ronaldo’s participation is obviously the key to Real Madrid’s even-odds on the money line. If late reports indicate that Rocket will play at least 90 minutes, chances of the superstar finding the net for a deciding GOOOOOLLL! increase two-fold. But beware of unfounded rumours in late betting – there are, after all, much more reliable methods of picking a winner than reading Daily Mail.

The Under is the value play

Click here to bet on (Under 2 1/2 goals) at Bet Online and receive a 50% sign-up bonus.

Bookies are trying to encourage bettors to take the Over on total goals, with Bet Online setting Over 2 1/2 goals payoff at (-130) with a healthy plus-line for the Under. That means opportunity.

MSB sees at least a 60% chance that less than three goals will be scored in regular minutes or extra time, making the under the best value-pick.

Consider what happens if either side takes a 2-nil lead at any point during the match. Yes, Manchester U. is not completely settled with a reliable every-match keeper, but whoever is minding the nets – likely Keylor Navas for Madrid and Kieran O’Hara for the U.K. side – can be trusted to keep a clean sheet if their squad is leading 2-0 and decides to shut down the offence and stall for time. All things equal, that very real possibility gives the edge to an Under bet – and bookies seem mistakenly pleased to back that up with an increased payoff.

Sentimentality can wait

No doubt more than a few punters will wager on their favourite side in this emotional and meaningful match. Far be it from MSB to recommend betting against your own club and its fan base – but a total-goals wager is no such betrayal.

No matter how many hopeful pints are ordered before kick-off, supporters know that victory is never assured in a one-off trophy match like the Super Cup. So enjoy the contest and cheer for your side – but take our word for it that a bet on two-or-less total goals in 120 minutes is the value pick.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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