Soccer Picks: Atletico Bilbao vs. Real Madrid

Steven Suarez

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:23 PM GMT

Days after securing their position in the Champions League semi-finals, Los Blancos aim to keep momentum high with a good league showing against Athletic Bilbao.

Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Madrid 

Odds Overview

Surely you've heard about the benefits of utilizing multiple books in order to get maximum value out of your picks.

Well, soccer is one of the sports where this practice is crucial. The soccer odds vary quite a bit depending on the site, as Athletic Bilbao is trading as low as +520 at one and as high as +600 at another. Madrid is essentially a -200 favorite for Sunday's league match.

Athletic Bilbao

It has been far from a memorable season for the Lions. They're currently in 14th place in La Liga, a remarkable 30 points behind this weekend's opponents.

Last weekend Bilbao gave Sevilla a good fight, only to lose 2-1. Carlos Gurpegui had evened up the match at 1-1 early in the second half, but Alvaro Negredo scored for the hosts with only minutes remaining to give the Lions yet another tough result.

Bilbao's home record is far from daunting. They've logged seven wins, six losses, and two draws in 15 matches in their own stadium, while recording a goal differential of minus-two. It's hard to envision Madrid having much difficulty here.

If the Lions are to get anything from this tie, they're going to have to withstand a lot of pressure while also making the most of anything limited opportunities they may get.

Aritz Aduriz will be the one to watch. He leads the team with 13 league goals and was also their top goalscorer in the Europa League. Aduriz is joined by other talented players such as Ibai Gomez and Markel Susaeta.

Real Madrid

It wasn't pretty, but Los Blancos did what they needed to do in their 5-3 aggregate win over Galatasaray during the week.

Holding a 3-0 advantage from the first leg, Madrid got off to the perfect start thanks to an early Cristiano Ronaldo goal. However, the Turkish outfit made things interesting with three second-half goals, but in the end that was as close as Galatasaray would get.

Ronaldo scored the final blow in stoppage time, locking up a semi-final spot for Madrid in Europe's prized competition. They will face Barcelona, Bayern Munich, or Borussia Dortmund for their chance at the finals.

As for their most recent La Liga match, Los Blancos has no issues at all in a 5-1 thumping of Levante at home. Mesut Ozil had a brace, with Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Kaka also getting their names on the score-sheet.

In terms of their away form, Madrid hasn't been anywhere near as dominant. They're still undefeated at the Bernabeu, but have lost five times in 15 away matches this season, disappointing some of our soccer betting weekends .

[gameodds]17/224778/1593-19-999996-93/us[/gameodds]

La Liga Pick

About the only thing on Bilbao's side is an extra few days of rest. Even playing at home hasn't seemed to make much difference for the Lions this season.

Rewind back to November and we see that Madrid dominated Bilbao 5-1 at the Bernabeu. There were a couple unlikely scorers in that win for Mourinho's team, with Sergio Ramos and Sami Khedira getting rare goals.

Though a similar scoreline will prove difficult away from home, it wouldn't surprise us if we see yet another comprehensive win for Los Blancos. They must be full of confidence right now and we see them taking care of business against the vastly inferior Lions, regardless of venue.

Pick: Athletic Bilbao 0 Real Madrid 2 at Paddy Power

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