Pick Zenit at -163 vs. Austria Vienna in the Champions League

Nila Amerova

Monday, December 9, 2013 8:24 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 8:24 PM GMT

Zenit St. Petersburg will be fighting for group survival when they descend on Austria Wien Vienna in Champions League betting. Join us as we deliver our soccer-betting verdict and various angles for profit with our serving of soccer free picks.

Zenit St. Petersburg on the verge of L16

Following the draw release, at SBRforum.com we assembled a comprehensive preview of all the Champions League Groups and respective futures odds to both win group betting and advance in second place. As far as Group G is concerned, we’d picked Atletico Madrid to win (which they’ve done) and Zenit to steal second place at the expense of a favoured FC Porto. We are now on the cusp of match day six, the ultimate group round, and Zenit is a match away from completing our predictions correct.

Currently second in Group G but just a point ahead of FC Porto, Zenit needs a win to guarantee advancement. That said any result would suffice in the event their Portuguese rivals succumb to Atletico Madrid, which – in case you are interested – is our prediction for the preview of this section’s second match.

Luciano Spalletti however will not be taking anything for granted, not popular opinion in sports betting circles nor sports betting markets that firmly corner this match in his side’s camp on savoury -163 odds to win outright on the road, not least group betting odds that have Zenit as the runaway -700 favourites to advance into the knockout stages over FC Porto at +500 soccer odds at Bet365.

Austria Wien proved resilient when they last collided in St Petersburg, forcing the scoreless draw on the Russians on match day 2. And, in the previous round, the Austrians, proved the measure of FC Porto in Portugal when they forced the 1-1 draw on the Portuguese to earn only their second point in Group action – a result that registered as a bit of an upset in Champions League betting. It was FC Porto’s opportunity to leap frog Zenit in the standings but for the Austrians spoiling the party. Now it remains to be seen whether they’ll do so again at the expense of Zenit’s bid for the last 16.

Austria’s first sojourn into Europe might already be over, ending on a lacklustre note. But they’ll be looking to give their fans something to cheer about on their last lap, a last hurrah perhaps. That’s what playing for pride and respect is all about, although odds makers are taking very little stock of it, sending them into their home tilt with Zenit as the underdogs, on whopping +500 soccer odds to win outright at Bet365 and equally large +320 soccer odds on the draw.

Can the Austrians turn the odds in their favour? Or will Zenit come through on their favourable odds on the road and across the board as well, effectively getting the job done.

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Soccer Betting Verdict

Austria Wien have been dubbed the “Group’s whipping boys” but, arguably, a more accurate assessment would be to limit that label to just “Atletico Madrid’s whipping boys,” really. If we we’re to take away the two defeats to Atleti, which include seven goals conceded and none scored, Austria’s mark in group action would read as follows: 0 -2-1 with one goal scored and just two conceded, both of which were to FC Porto. Taken in that context, it would be safe to say that Austria Wien have been modestly good in this competition, even taking the measure of both FC Porto and Zenit, two established sides on the European stage.

That Austria Wien have had the measure of Zenit on the scoreless draw is a positive, which they can take into this match and lends their odds some value. It’s not entirely unthinkable that they would muster up a meaningful result such as a draw at +320 for instance. Zenit have all the incentive with European knockout stages on the line but Austria Wien will be a tough nut to crack, make no mistake about it. Of course, we’re banking on a Zenit win at -163 soccer odds at Bet365 – after all they were our soccer pick from the start of the competition to advance – but we won’t be surpZenit to win outright at -163;rised if Austria Wien have a few tricks up their sleeves. Keep in mind that if FC Porto falls to defeat in Madrid, Zenit will advance regardless of the outcome of their match.

Soccer Picks: Zenit to win outright at -163; Under 2.5 at +108

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