Athletic Bilbao vs. Torino UEFA Europa League Free Soccer Pick

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 2:27 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 2:27 PM GMT

With the tie delicately poised on a draw, there's everything to play for when Athletic Bilbao and Torino collide in the closing leg of their UEFA Europa League's R32 tie on Thursday. 

 

Athletic Bilbao and Torino Draw 2-2 In First Leg
As the first leg of the R32 tie between Athletic Bilbao and Torino ended, it was slumped on a 2-2 draw. All left to play for, prompting a fluid soccer betting market with plenty of angles for profit to be had.

As it is, Athletic Bilbao have the advantage of hosting the deciding leg, as well the cushion afforded by two away goals. Two key facts that correlate to a favourable outlook on the soccer odds board. They enter the match as the marginal faves at +100 soccer odds to win outright, and they are the clear-cut favourites at -300 soccer odds to advance into the R16.

It's worth noting, the public sector seems to have other ideas. Consensus bets coming down the wire show a distinct trend towards the Italians turning the table on Athletic Bilbao. Torino, currently trading at tempting +280 soccer odds to win outright in San Mames Barria and slightly shorter (interestingly so) +260 soccer odds to advance into the R16, appear to resonate amongst soccer bettors. And to be fair, it's only a small advantage Athletic Bilbao have, really.

 

Fade the Public and Shade Athletic Bilbao?
One-time runners-up in the competition (lost to Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the final), it's been three years since they've enjoyed similar success. Obviously, they'd love to replicate that form and, even, go one better this season. As it is, at this early vantage point in the knockout stages and with Athletic Bilbao only clutching at the R16 straw, it's too early to suggest they are a match for anyone in Europe's second-tier competition. To put a finer point on it: they can be backed on soccer picks at +2500 to win the competition outright, a fair bit longer than several competition favourites, which include their far superior Serie A rivals Roma and Napoli, amongst others.

 

Fade the Bookies Shade Torino?
Torino have lived in the long shadow of their loftier city rivals Juventus, three-time champions in a row and likely Serie A champions this season as well. That said, this season, Torino are holding their own in Italy's top flight. They are enjoying a successful run, up to ninth place with an 8-9-7 mark and 33 points. Most auspiciously, Torino's away form is something to hang one's hat on of late; they are 3-2-0 in their last five domestic away games, including a win over Inter Milan. Most recently, Torino punched above their weight class to hold Fiorentina to a 1-1 draw on the road. And, a few weeks back, Torino routed sixth-placed Sampdoria 5-1.

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Soccer Betting Verdict: 
Athletic Bilbao opened and closed the scoring in Torino, thereby taking the slight advantage (away goal rule) and improving their chances to advance into the next round this Thursday. They'll be feeling pretty confident heading into the return leg as a result, which makes them a good soccer pick at +100 to win outright.

However, the Italian side must also fancy their chances going into the second leg. Granted their home leg could have been better; they did let the lead slip, after all. Then again, it could have been worse if they lost it altogether. Fact is, they are very much in it. With a real shot to recover and turn it around in their favour. That alone makes them ripe for the picking at +280 soccer odds to win outright.

Call it a hunch: the way this tie is poised, there's bound to be more drama before all is said and done. This pair is well-matched. So much so that it wouldn't surprise us if it resulted in another draw (which can be shaded at +260 on your soccer picks), leaving advancement to be sorted out by the away goals rule.

Soccer Pick: Draw +260

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