Free Soccer Picks: Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Betis

Steven Suarez

Monday, January 13, 2014 8:36 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 8:36 PM UTC

Athletic Bilbao will hope to build off a wonderful league over the weekend when they entertain Real Betis in the second leg of the round of 16. Have we found the best soccer betting value?

Odds Overview

Betis won the first leg 1-0 at home, with Ruben Castro's goal making the difference at the Benito Villamarin.

For the return leg, no one should be taken aback by the soccer odds. Athletic Bilbao is the favorite to win back on their home turf. Sportsbooks have the Lions listed at -320 to win straight up, with the Green and Whites nearing +1000 as massive underdogs.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":255407, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Athletic Bilbao

Consecutive losses to Real Sociedad (0-2) and Betis could have had the Lions down in the dumps, but they responded exceptionally well this past weekend, thumping Almeria 6-1 at home in a La Liga clash.

This one was over early. Mikel Rico opened the scoring in the sixth minute and Ander Herrera and Aymeric Laporte put Athletic Bilbao up 3-0 before Almeria pegged one back close to 10 minutes before halftime.

The Lions continued to pour it on after the interval, with Aritz Aduriz getting on the score-sheet and Ibai Gomez contributing a brace. It was a fine performance from Athletic Bilbao, exactly how Ernesto Valverde would have wanted his side to fight back.

Those three points kept the Lions' fourth spot in the La Liga table firmly intact. They hold a four-point advantage over Real Sociedad and a five-point edge on Villarreal, with those two sides set to face off on Monday to make up the match in hand.

Athletic Bilbao has to be loving their chances of overturning this 1-0 deficit, considering the fact they've yet to lose at the San Mames Barria this term. They have eight wins and two losses through 10 league matches and have scored 23 goals while allowing only nine.

Make sure to check out our Soccer Picks & Tips for Osasuna vs. Real Madrid

Real Betis

In what's been a disaster of a season for Betis so far, they could really use the boost in confidence that would come with a cup victory.

In La Liga, the Green and Whites can be found in dead last in the standings, having totaled a horrific 11 points through 19 fixtures. They're five points behind the second-to-last team Rayo Vallecano and have won just two league matches all season.

We saw Betis in action over the weekend, though they couldn't hold serve at home in a 2-1 loss to Osasuna. Jorge Molina scored for the Green and Whites but it ended up being nothing more than a consolation.

Now Betis heads back on the road, where they've been a complete and utter mess in 2013/14.

In nine La Liga matches away from the Benito Villamarin, the Green and Whites have lost seven times and drawn twice. That's not a good sign at all ahead of this trip to Bilbao.

World Cup 2014 Group C Betting Odds

Copa del Rey Pick

Though Betis holds the edge heading into the second leg, having got a crucial goal but more importantly not letting the Lions get an away goal, we expect Athletic Bilbao to win and advance to the semi-finals of the competition.

Simply put, the Lions have been masterful at home, having already beaten Betis once (2-1) while also getting the best out of none other than Barcelona in a 1-0 victory. You read that right. The only team the Catalan giants have lost to (in the league) this season is Athletic Bilbao.

Knowing their unbelievable strength at home and coupled with the fact the Green and Whites have been dreadful in away matches, we look for the Lions to overturn this deficit and book their spot in the next round for our soccer picks.

Soccer Pick: Athletic Bilbao 3 Real Betis 1

Aggregate: Athletic Bilbao 3 Real Betis 2

comment here