As the UEFA Europa League heads into the quarterfinals, we evaluate the futures betting markets on hand to win outright, and we recap the events of the previous round in order to help you make sound decisions for your soccer picks.
Quarterfinal Draw Is Out
On the heels of UEFA Europa League's quarterfinal draw release, sportsbooks released the updated soccer odds for the tournament. (See Table 1). Wolfsburg and Napoli remain top favorites to win it all, but defending champions Sevilla have leapfrogged into third place while Fiorentina moved into fourth place. The only real casualty is Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg, which slips into fifth place. Ukrainian sides Dynamo Kyiv and Dnipro and Belgian side Club Brugge remain the long shots of the competition.
Table 1: UEFA Europa League Odds To Win Outright
Table A: The Soccer Odds trading before the R16 kicked off
Table B: Current, updated soccer odds ahead of quarterfinal stage.
UEFA Europa League R16 Recap
Europe's second tier competition didn't go unmarked; there we're upsets galore to delight soccer betting enthusiasts.
The biggest upset of the sweet 16 round according to the UEFA Europa League odds board was Fiorentina's 4-1 win on aggregate over Roma. Roma were amongst the top favorites going into the previous round. It's also worth mentioning they were the top favorites when the tournament was poised to kick off the knockouts in the R32. They'd since slipped in favor though. Overtaken by Wolfsburg and Napoli as it were when the R16 took shape; mainly because they didn't live up to their billing in the R32. Still, there were many soccer bettors that had high hopes for the Giallorossi when the R16 draw emerged and they were slated to take on domestic rivals Fiorentina. It was a matchup that they had a reasonable shot at winning, so the thinking was.
To be fair, the same applied to Fiorentina, who were riding sensational form across all competitions. There was no reason why they couldn't emerge triumphant either, save for established perceptions about the each club and past trends in the competition.
In any event, it should have been a competitive and closely fought tie, as evinced by the 1-1 draw in Florence after the first leg. But it wasn't in the end, and the shock that permeated soccer betting markets following Roma's 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina in the second leg of their tie in the nation's capital was profound. Going out without a whimper wasn't in the script.
Another upset was Everton's untimely exit to Dynamo Kyiv, made all the more sensational by the manner in which the Toffees lost: taking one of their heftiest defeats in European competition, 6-4 on aggregate.
Finally, tournament long shots Dnipro and Club Brugge put paid on their soccer odds by advancing into the last eight. Few soccer bettors would have banked good money on their soccer picks for either side to advance.
Dnipro advancing at the expense of Ajax was a right shocker, even if it was by the skin of their teeth. The tie settled on a 2-2 draw but Dnipro advanced by virtue of the away goals rule. So too was the advancement of Club Brugge at the expense of Besiktas. Then again, the Belgians left no doubt about their intentions as they won the tie comprehensively.
Quarterfinal Matchups Set; How Do The Odds Measure Up?
Soccer bettors have to be wary about the Europa League odds board and try not to take it for granted when deciding on their soccer picks because there are certain realities that aren't being reflected appropriately.
First and foremost, Wolfsburg and Napoli have been drawn together in a tie. Second, defending champions Sevilla have also received a tough draw with Zenit St. Petersburg in the quarterfinals. Right there, by virtue of the draw, the tournament is sure to lose two of the current top five on the Europa League odds board. That's a significant loss before the semifinals, which could blow this tournament wide open.
On the flipside, Dnipro and Club Brugge are set to collide in another quarterfinal tie. This means that a tournament long shot is absolutely certain to reach the semifinals, effectively sit two match-wins away from a spot in the final. That's heady stuff for a Cinderella to potentially have the last laugh at the final ball.
Finally, Fiorentina have drawn Dynamo Kyiv, marking the most favorable matchup on paper. Granted the Ukrainians punched above their perceived weight class to eliminate Everton, but that's not necessarily an indication of more upsets to come from them. If all goes to plan, Fiorentina should advance into the semis. At which point, you might have to like their chances of winning it all given their brilliant form since the New Year in all competitions.
Last Words And A Soccer Pick Or Two...
So there you have it, the updated soccer odds for Europa League betting enthusiasts, along with a handy recap and a look ahead. All things to consider before deciding on your choice soccer picks for the quarterfinal round and beyond.
Soccer Picks: For our money, we are quite keen on two teams: Wolfsburg at +300 or Fiorentina at +550 soccer odds to win it all.