Soccer Picks: Liverpool Stands As Team to Beat In The Europa League

Nikki Adams

Sunday, April 17, 2016 7:31 PM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 17, 2016 7:31 PM GMT

Liverpool move to the top of UEFA Europa League outrights as the competition enters the penultimate round. Are the Reds the best soccer beting option to win it all now?.

Quarterfinal Wraps up Dramatically
Against all odds, Liverpool advanced into the final four of Europe’s second-tier competition following a dramatic come from behind win over Borussia Dortmund. Extraordinary doesn’t even begin to encompass the events that unfolded at Anfield stadium last Thursday. Few could have predicted it. Even though the Reds had already upset the odds to a certain extent after drawing 1-1 to BVB at Signal-Iduna Park in the first leg, Borussia Dortmund were competition favourites and, in turn, were expected to advance into the semis, if not win it all.

European nights at Anfield are typically special. This one though was one for the ages. Jurgen Klopp’s side fell 0-2 in the blink of an eye (1-3 on aggregate) and a nervous tension settled over the kop. Although they got one goal back early in the second half the German side was quick to respond, restoring the two-goal lead in just ten minutes and with just 30 minutes left to go and three away goals in the bank they looked all but certain to advance.

Then the unthinkable happened, the Reds responded with three unanswered goals – an improbable feat, make no mistake – with the winning goal coming halfway into stoppage time and stunned Thomas Tuchel and his Black and Yellows.

Table 1: Europa League Odds Ahead of Semi-finals according to Bet365 

Liverpool The Team To BeatGoing into the quarterfinals, Liverpool were priced as the third overall favourites after Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla. A consequence of the draw that pit them against competition favourites Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals mainly. The Germans were enjoying a standout season across all competitions through exceptionally dominant play and it was no surprise at all to see odds makers buying what they were selling.

Yet, Jurgen Klopp and his Reds proved they had the measure of the best in the competition as they defied the soccer odds boards and advanced into the quarterfinals. On the heels of that impressive upset on one of the most extraordinary European nights at Anfield, Liverpool emerged as the competition favourites, backed in from +600 in the previous round to a short +163.

Two-time defending champions Sevilla, meanwhile, remain the second favourites albeit at +188 soccer odds to win outright. On one hand, they are nipping at Liverpool’s heels, priced ever so closely in outright betting and backed in too from +500 going into the quarterfinals down to their newly-minted price tag.

What is interesting is the fact that they didn’t emerge as the team to beat after Borussia Dortmund’s untimely exit. After all, they were the next-best priced side going into the quarterfinals. That is partly down to Liverpool’s brilliant account over BVB, but also Sevilla’s own less than superb account against La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao.

Sevilla ran out 2-1 winners in the first leg on the away but then suffered a 1-2 defeat at home to their opponents in the second leg. The tie, level 3-3 on aggregate, went into overtime before it was decided on penalties. Truth be told, they did not look special in the second leg and that’s taken the shine off of their soccer odds. That they’ve drawn competition long shots Shakhtar Donetsk might appear favourable as well, but in reality the Ukrainian side is a dangerous floater in the competition and can’t be taken lightly.

 

Name the Finalist Odds
Several sportsbooks are offering name the finalist odds. Here we look at those according to Bet Victor and below we dissect early consensus betting polls.

Table 2: Finalists Odds

 

Most Popular Bets in Early Markets
One of the most fascinating developments of Europa League betting is the flow of early money. By the soccer odds, bookies are leaning towards a Liverpool-Sevilla clash in the title match at +137, followed by a Liverpool-Shakhtar Donetsk clash at +275. In short, the market favours anything to do with the Reds in Europa League final betting.

Chart 1: Consensus Betting Polls

Contrary to themarket outlook public betting is leaning more towards a Sevilla-Villarreal clash. The all-Spanish affair has already raked in just under 50% of early bets (see above chart). It’s early days yet and more betting is sure to come down the wire, but, as it currently stands, that’s a rather intriguing soccer betting trend.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s the matchup to spot on your soccer picks per say, rather it’s going to be interesting to see whether the bookies or the public has it right when all is said and done.

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