Free UEFA Europa League Soccer Picks: Roma vs. Feyenoord

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 2:31 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 2:31 PM GMT

Europa League frontrunners Roma open their R32 tie with Feyenoord on Thursday at the Olimpico. Join us as we preview this intriguing second-tier European club competition and serve up our free picks

Roma Top Betting Faves To Win Outright
UEFA Europa League sits on the cusp of the R32 and Roma are sat atop the pile as the team to beat in the field of 32 on +1000 on soccer betting odds board, a smidgen ahead of Italian rivals Napoli and Top Premier League faves in the competition Liverpool (both at +1200). Drawing tournament underdogs Feyenoord (+8000 to win it all) factors into the equation, a favourable opening tie in the knockouts that the Giallorossi are expected to win without question. What this favourable outlook seems to blatantly ignore, however, is a serious dip in form by Rudi Garcia's ragazzi across all competitions. From fading in the Scudetto race to dropping out of Champions League and Coppa Italia, the last two months have been nothing to cheer about and yet another season with nothing to show for it could very well be Roma's fate.

 

Domestic Woes
Since November, Roma have gone without a win at home in Serie A (five straight draws), which marks a stunning collapse in Italy's top flight for a club of their quality. It also conveniently correlates to a cushy seven-point lead for Juventus to now ride down the stretch towards a fourth straight domestic title. Most recently, that poor run of form spilled forth into their Coppa D'Italia campaign. After labouring to a 2-1 victory in extra time over Seria A upstarts Empoli in the R16, they went out of the competition earlier this month in the quarterfinals, ever so meekly behind a 0-2 loss to Fiorentina.

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European Breakdown
One could argue these troublesome signs can be traced back to Champions League and the pressure of balancing campaigns on numerous fronts. Even more specifically to one match. After getting off the mark with a 5-1 win over CSKA Moskva in Champions League, the Giallorossi unravelled spectacularly in the face of the rest of Group E's field of competition, nowhere more so than on their very own hallowed grounds at the Olimpico when they meekly succumbed to a 7-1 evisceration by Bayern Munich. Prior to that loss on match day 3 in Champions League betting, Roma boasted sublime form on the back of a 7-1-1 mark across all competitions; the only hiccups were a 1-1 draw to Man City at the Etihad (Champions League) and a 3-2 loss to Juventus in Turin (Serie A).

Although Bayern Munich closed as the -125 faves and Roma the +375 home underdogs at online sports betting shops, many soccer bettors were readily backing the in-form hosts. What nobody expected was what actually happened, nor could anybody have predicted it. It was, on one hand, the utter and complete collapse by the hosts. On the other hand, the biggest away win ever by Bayern Munich in European competition. Bayern Munich got off to a flying start, scoring five goals in quick succession in the first half and two more for good measure in the second half, and put the tie firmly out of Roma's reach.

When all was said and done, Roma finished with a 1-2-3 record and five points in the competition. In other words, they went without a win in their last five European engagements. Nevertheless, they managed to clinch a berth in Europe's second tier competition, albeit (and this is worth noting by soccer bettors looking to place futures bets on this competition) down solely to the win over CSKA Moskva, who also finished on five points, were they able to secure third place.

 

Second Shot At European Glory
By virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker, Roma have earned a second shot at European glory this season. However, there's an argument to be had about the legitimacy of Roma's favourable prospects in this competition being somewhat inflated. Beginning with their match odds against Feyenoord Rotterdam to their futures odds as the team to beat in the competition. By their recent form, they certainly don't strike a convincing pose on the soccer odds board. What's more, the rest of the field must be well aware of just how wholly off colour and off form the Italians really are, including Feyenoord Rotterdam.

As it stands, Roma are the firm faves at -188 to win outright at home and the Dutch visitors are matched on +600 soccer odds, all while the draw is trading at +333. On paper, Roma packs a nice punch but they don't feel like the clear-cut faves. By that same token, Feyenoord feel severely underrated in this game. The Dutch side is third in the Eredevisie table and boast a 5-1-2 record in their last eight games overall. Unlike Roma, they earned their place in the R32 by winning Group G with a perfect 3-0-0 record. Winning form that sets them up nicely for this clash even if it's gained at the expense of lesser competition. What the Dutch have and Roma don't is confidence.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict
Backing Roma on their current form isn't a recommended soccer pick, especially not at their price of -188. By the soccer odds, Feyenoord to win outright at +600 or the draw at +333 (or the safer option: double chance bet Feyenoord or draw at +160) are simply too tempting to just gloss over.  

Soccer Pick: Feyenoord or draw at +160 in double chance betting at Bet365

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