Soccer Picks: Espanyol vs. Atletico Bilbao

Mike Richardson

Thursday, September 19, 2013 9:07 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 19, 2013 9:07 PM GMT

Your Humble Handicapper casts his gambling eye over to Spain where he see a brave man’s bet and some tidy returns when Espanyol host Athletic Bilbao next Monday.

Check out our report on Spanish La Liga 2013-14 Betting Futures!

Before I tell you where to place your soccer picks to win money in the match, I think I’ll put both teams into some form of context for you.

Athletic Bilbao are 400/1 to win the Spanish League this term, but when you consider that third favourite Real Sociedad are 300/1, it puts it all into perspective a bit. As the Spanish league is a two horse race, being 6th favourite isn’t that bad a deal. Ladbrokes, in turn, go as high as 1500/1. If those numbers frighten you, you might be cheered to know that Bilbao are 4/3 on a top six finish while Espanyol are 18/19.

Enough with the league… WHERE’S THE MONEY, MIKE?

The bookies fancy the home side in this match and offer up an Espanyol win at 13/10 in the soccer odds, while a Bilbao win is at 2/1 and that “scary, scary bet” of a draw is at 12/5. Some people say you shouldn’t bet on draws, and even the weather-beaten gambler will know that it’s squeaky bum tie when a drawn game heads into the final third, but get ready for this.

I think this game is going to be close... about as close as they come.

The last game may have been a 4-0 Espanyol win (playing away last February), but the two previous games both ended drawn 3-3, and the two before that were both decided by a single goal (both in the home sides favour, and both times for Espanyol). Even so, I say back a draw!

(If you don’t believe me, click the video above and watch me tell SBR’s Natalie Rydström what’s what in this game.)

There will be goals, and all I can commit to is an even number of goals, I’ll only say it’s going to be an even number of goals. My sports betting crystal ball tells me we’ll see plenty of goalmouth action, so I’m avoiding 0-0 at 12/1 with Coral. The bookies like the look of 1-1 and they offer that score up at 11/2 . Despite the fact that two of the last five meetings between these sides (and the last time this fixture was played) have ended 3-3, I don’t think we’ll see six goals. So stay away from 3-3 even, at 55/1.

A 2-2 result is the highest I’d go for a fat return, at 17/1. But I fear it’ll be less exciting than that.

Soccer Pick: A 1-1 draw at priced 6/1, at William Hill

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