Soccer Picks Real Sociedad vs. Barcelona

Nila Amerova

Thursday, February 20, 2014 12:34 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 12:34 PM GMT

Real Sociedad take on Barcelona in La Liga betting at the weekend, a clash sportsbooks are cornering firmly in the visitor’s camp. Can La Real deny Barcelona what appears to be an almost sure win according to sportsbooks across the board?

Barcelona flying high once again

Predictably, odds makers send Barcelona into their league clash with La Real as the hot favourites at -275 to win outright while tipping the hosts at the severe disadvantage. But do the sportsbooks have it right or are they severely underestimating La Real at their whopping +650 soccer odds.   

Barcelona have established order once again in La Liga. They are back to the top after several weeks spent in second-place ignominy, an unduly sufferance they finally ended on the back of a 6-0 routing of Rayo Vallecano in week 24 La Liga betting.

Barcelona’s perch atop La Liga remains tenuous though as they are matched on a 19-3-2 record and 60 points with both Madrids in the table – the pecking order determined by goal difference with Real Madrid in second place and Atletico Madrid in third place –and that reality sets up a rather intriguing title race towards the business end of Spanish top- flight in which Barcelona (surprise, surprise) are the preferred choice at -120 soccer odds while Real Madrid at +140 and Atletico Madrid at a very generous +800 offer attractive alternatives.

Since a rare 3-2 defeat at home to Valencia earlier this month Barcelona have righted the ship, going undefeated in five straight games (four wins and a draw) across all competitions, including a recent 2-0 victory over Manchester City in Champions League action.

During this positive stretch, Barcelona also defeated Real Sociedad in Copa del Rey 3-1 on aggregate, a result that mostly fell in line with expectations and largely explains their favourable odds to beat La Real Sociedad in domestic action.

But when we breakdown Copa del Rey in context of the two legs an interesting picture emerges, one that would suggest sportsbooks aren’t giving La Real their due credit for managing to draw the second leg 1-1 at Estadio Municipal de Anoeta. And lest you think that was a fluke, a one-off result, it wasn’t. Far from it in fact.

La Real are sixth in La Liga with a solid 11-7-6 mark but level on 40 points with fifth placed Villarreal. At home, they are 7-3-1 to date and largely down to that impressive home record this season they are hobnobbing with the uppers in Primera society.

Ahead of their clash with Barcelona, they boast an undefeated record in nine straight home games – six wins and three draws. Their only defeat at Anoeta this season was a 2-1 defeat at home to Atletico Madrid. In fact, that defeat is their only league defeat since November 2012 when they lost to Espanyol 1-0. Oh, and, if that isn’t suitably impressive, keep in mind that La Real beat Barcelona last season at the Anoeta 3-2.

Soccer Betting Verdict: On paper, this would appear to be a straightforward affair for Barcelona. Sportsbooks certainly seem to think so, installing them as the hot favourites to win outright at -275 soccer odds. Barcelona’s credentials aren’t in question at all. If there were a club to warrant such blatant favouritism, they are that club. But fact is Barcelona haven’t beaten La Real in four meetings at the Anoeta – losing once and settling on a draw three times. Speaking of which, the draw is listed at a tempting +400 at Bet365.

La Real are being written off rather hastily, particularly when they recently underscored their positive record at home to Barcelona with a narrow 1-1 draw in Copa del Rey. Of course, beating Barcelona is a big ask at +650, a soccer pick not for the fainthearted. But a draw is within reasonable probability, don’t you think. Keep in mind Barcelona are returning from a midweek trek to Manchester City – a short trek it might be but its travelling nonetheless and that can wreck havoc with any team.

Soccer Free Picks: Draw +400

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