This will be one of the more highly anticipated games this weekend as the world will be introduced to the new-look Barcelona. The Camp Nou faithful will see at least four new faces in their starting XI, with the possibility of more if the team makes more moves before the game.
The 2021-2022 campaign was disappointing for Barça as they saw their rivals Real Madrid win both La Liga and the Champions League. Barcelona exited early from the Champions League last season and battled the last couple of months in La Liga to finish in the Top 3.
Rayo Vallecano ended their 2021/2022 season on an opposite trajectory. They started the campaign strongly before slipping to 12th place in the league table by the end of the year.
Let’s dive in on the best bets for this matchup this weekend.
FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano Odds
3-way handicap: Barcelona -500 | Rayo Vallecano +1350 | Draw +600
Over/Under Goals: Over 3.5 ( +110) / Under 3.5 (-155)
Both Teams to Score: Yes +110 | No -155
FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano odds are current as of Monday, Aug. 8, on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Barcelona is the biggest favorite in Week 1 of La Liga play this weekend. This comes as no surprise after the team's signings during the summer and their strong finish at the end of last season. They won three of their previous five games and finished in 2nd place in the La Liga table after a horrible start.
The game total is sitting at 3.5, which is relatively high. Still, with the addition of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, Barcelona should find the back of the net regularly this season, and it won’t be surprising to see their game totals in the 3-to-5 range all year long.
FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano Betting Tips
Bet on the Over for the goals total.
This will be a standard tip with betting on Barcelona games this year. Barça averaged 1.79 goals per game last season, and that will surely go up this year with the new additions to their offense.
The club plays in a Pep Guardiola-style offense under manager Xavi, and this is a system in which Lewandowski and Raphinha will excel. The ex-Bayern Munich striker already had experience playing in this system when he was under Pep at Bayern.
Dembélé will most likely move to the left wing position since Raphinha’s natural position is on the right side.
The Catalonians did, however, concede one goal per game last year, and they will be hoping that the arrival of Christensen and Koundé will bring that number down this season. There are growing pains when new defenders are added to a team, and this could lead to goals being scored, which benefits the game total.
Rayo Vallecano allowed 1.32 goals last season and only won 3 games on the road in 2021/2022.
FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano Prediction
Barcelona 3, Rayo Vallecano 1
The two club meetings last year resulted in Rayo Vallecano winning both matchups 1-0. The first of the two games last season was the loss that forced Barcelona to fire their manager Ronald Koeman.
Barça has looked great in their pre-season friendlies, and if they ride that momentum into this matchup, it will be a one-sided match.
Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano Best Bets
➕ Over 3.5 Goals Scored (+110) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
There will be a lot of goals scored at the Camp Nou on Saturday. Barcelona might be able to net four goals by themselves in this contest.
This is a perfect first game for Barça this season as Rayo Vallecano will have no answer for Lewandowski up top. Before last season’s game at the Camp Nou between the two sides, Barcelona had won six in a row against Rayo Vallecano at home. Six of the previous eight matches between the two sides also exceeded 2.5 goals.
➕ Barcelona Team Total over 2.5 (-120) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
Barcelona averaged 3.86 goals per game in their last seven home games against Rayo Vallecano, including the game in which they were shut out last season.
This year’s lineup won’t be the same as the Messi/Suárez/Neymar teams, but it will be a considerable improvement from last season. So back Barcelona to explode offensively in front of their home fans this Saturday.