Soccer Picks Barcelona vs. Valencia

Steven Suarez

Thursday, January 30, 2014 4:38 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 4:38 PM GMT

The Catalans just cannot shake Atletico Madrid off in the La Liga race. They really need to get all three points against Valencia this weekend to stay atop the standings. Let's look at the soccer odds and picks for this match.

Odds Overview

Barcelona is the biggest favorite of the entire weekend in Spain's top league. They're trading at -750 to get the victory, leaving Valencia as a humungous +2000 underdog in the soccer odds. A draw (+900) is also a longshot in the eyes of sportsbooks.

Barcelona

Want to know the last time the Catalans lost? You'd have to go way back to the first day of December, when they fell 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao in what's been their only league loss of the season.

Since that point, Barcelona has recorded a 13-match unbeaten run, with 11 wins and two draws in that span. They will head into this weekend's clash on the heels of three straight victories, as they crushed Levante in the Copa del Rey and also had no trouble with Malaga (3-0) in the league.

In the cup quarter-finals, the Catalans cruised to a 9-2 aggregate win. They won 4-1 in the first leg at Levante and then, this past week, they waltzed their way to a 5-1 victory at home. Alexis Sanchez had a brace and Adriano, Carles Puyol and Cesc Fabregas also scored.

Barcelona was able to rest the likes of Messi, Xavi, Gerard Pique and even Victor Valdes in preparation for this encounter with Valencia, so tired legs won't be an issue at all.

The Catalans will look to remain undefeated at the Nou Camp this weekend. They've scored a ridiculous 34 goals in 10 home matches and have surrendered on only six occasions. Gerardo Martino's team has already beaten Valencia once in the league as well, with none other than Messi scoring all three goals in the 3-2 triumph.

Valencia

The Goats are desperately searching for that winning feeling, as it's been a while since they've won a match outright.

With the recent 2-2 draw with Espanyol, Valencia has now gone winless in five consecutive matches across all competitions. In that time they've also bowed out of the Copa del Rey, falling victim to Atletico Madrid.

Against Espanyol, goals from Paco Alcaver and Jonas weren't enough. Valencia controlled the tempo for the most part but let in a couple first half goals and then couldn't find their way past opposing goalkeeper Diego Alves in the second half.

It's been a rough month for Valencia, and the fact Helder Postiga is poised to leave on a season-long loan to Lazio only compounds the issues. Postiga was influential in the first meeting with Barcelona, scoring both goals, but won't be available this time around. Bringing Chilean forward Eduardo Vargas on board (on loan from Napoli) should help cover the loss though.

However, when you account for the Goats' awful away form (two wins, two draws, six losses with a -10 goal differential), it's hard to get too excited about their chances at the Nou Camp.

La Liga Pick

Folks, the Catalans have won 10 out of 10 league matches at the Nou Camp and we're not about to pick against them here this weekend.

Valencia has been in shaky form and have already lost six times in 10 away matches in La Liga.

With that said, let's not over-think this one. Back Barcelona to win by two or more goals (to get more bang for your buck) as one of your soccer picks for the weekend, with Messi and company keen on staying in first place in La Liga.

Pick: Barcelona 3 Valencia 0

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