Soccer Picks & Tips: Barcelona vs. Levante

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 6:09 PM GMT

Barcelona will look to maintain their significant edge over nearest rivals Real Madrid in La Liga when they take on Levante. Where can bettors find the best value for their soccer picks?


Though the title – as some would have it – is practically sewn up by the Catalans, they know, as do savvy soccer betting enthusiasts, that Real Madrid, last year’s La Liga champions, haven’t given up hope on the title just yet. Granted, the road to the title is complicated for Real with games running out in La Liga – not to mention it would color the soccer world both shocked and impressed if Los Blancos were to close the gap. But if Barça wants to make sure champagne and confetti rains down on them at the end of the domestic season, their best insurance is to runaway with the title now.

[gameodds]17/225344/349-43-999997-192/us[/gameodds]

Barcelona must win

It might be odd to say this but it’s a must-win game on Saturday if Barcelona wants to maintain its stranglehold on the La Liga title that amounts to a 13-point edge over Real Madrid in the table a. A draw or a defeat for the Catalans would be costly.

Now, both Real Madrid and Barcelona feature on Saturday’s soccer betting card with Real having the earlier start (2 hours ahead to be exact). If Real comes through on expectations and beats Real Betis, they will provisionally whittle down the gap to 10-points and the pressure would revert back to Barcelona.

Overall, Barcelona is 26-3-2 on the season to date, a record that includes a 14-1-0 home mark. Based on their account in La Liga and, well, their world class reputation, they shouldn’t be challenged by Levante, a side that sits 12th in the table on the strength of a mediocre 11-7-13 mark on the season (3-5-8 on the road). If that isn’t enough assurance, Barcelona can draw comfort from the fact that they have dominated the head-to-head with Levante; in 11 meetings, Barcelona has yet to lose against to the Granotes, going 8-3-0 (5-0-0 at home).

Clearly, odds makers are confident of a Barcelona win, going to press with soccer betting odds that corner the game wholeheartedly in Barcelona’s camp – Barcelona is listed at 1/5 to win outright while Levante is listed at a far flung 11/1 and the draw is listed at a barely reachable 6/1.

Is there any value in Levante?

As far as straight up match betting goes, Levante offers no quantifiable value. Sure, their deliciously long soccer odds would be quite the coup d'état by soccer fans that back them – only if (and this is the catch) they actually came through on them. But the chances of Levante handing Barcelona a defeat at Camp Nou are as unlikely as Levante winning La Liga this season. To put it bluntly, a pipedream by the most delusional Levante fan (not being mean, just keeping it real).  

The only way Levante would have a shot is if Barcelona commits the cardinal sin in soccer: not taking their opponent seriously. From time to time, big clubs have been guilty of such arrogance and, in turn, lesser clubs have reaped the rewards. But short of a crystal ball, predicting Barcelona’s attitude for Saturday’s tilt is impossible. It goes without saying however a win over Barcelona would be huge for Levante. It would make their season.

Soccer betting verdict: It’s clear that Barcelona has a job to complete, which is to sew up the La Liga title. Now isn’t the time for them to take it easy and don’t they know it. Any other team but Real Madrid breathing down their necks and a 13-point edge in La Liga might be a plump cushion to sit on comfortably. With Real Madrid on a nine-game undefeated trot and still entertaining the notion of a La Liga title this season, Barcelona can’t take any chances. Expect a resounding performance by Barcelona against Levante.

Soccer Free Picks – Barcelona to win at 1/5 at William Hill.