Soccer Picks: Zenit St. Petersburg vs. FC Porto

Nila Amerova

Monday, November 4, 2013 9:50 PM GMT

Champions League betting serves up the clash between Zenit St. Petersburg and FC Porto on match day 4, two sides mired in the battle for second spot in Group G. Join us as we breakdown this matchup complete with soccer odds and picks.

Zenit looking to build on crucial away win

Zenit St. Petersburg are sat in second place in Group G on four points, a point ahead of FC Porto who were tipped at the start of the competition as the second favourites at +180 behind Atletico Madrid (+120)  to challenge for top spot in group betting markets. The Russian outfit improved their bid for a place in the knockout rounds with a crucial away win over FC Porto on match day 3, but, if it’s going to count towards something meaningful in the broad spectrum of this competition, they’ll need to underscore that victory with another over FC Porto in St. Petersburg this Wednesday.

Zenit defied the odds to become the first Russian outfit to win at FC Porto when they defeated their 10-man Portuguese counterparts 1-0, thanks to Aleksandr Kerzhakov’s late goal. In spite of the historic result, odds makers are being cautious with the betting landscape for the reverse leg.

Across the board, sportsbooks have gone to press with a tight betting line, listing both sides on the long side of even money. Zenit have the slight edge with +150 odds to win outright but FC Porto are nipping at their heels on +200 odds to win outright at Bet365. Clearly, by refusing to install Zenit as the firm favourites on the short side of even money they aren’t putting stock in the result at Estádio do Dragão and, at the same time, perhaps expecting FC Porto might yet have something to say about it all.

The draw meanwhile is listed at +240, on larger soccer odds than a victory for either side because surely both will play to win this game, fully aware a draw would be a disastrous outcome that would leave too much in the hands of fate.

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FC Porto look to rebound in St. Petersburg

FC Porto were dealt multiple setbacks at home to Zenit, going a man down early before eventually succumbing to a 1-0 defeat in the late stages. Now their campaign hangs in the balance, they need an away victory badly to get back on track.

While odds makers aren’t pricing them out of the market for a positive result in St. Petersburg –at +200 soccer odds they aren’t exactly a long shot pick to win outright – overall group betting markets have experienced a marked change with Zenit now priced as the second favourites to qualify at -150 (down from +300) while FC Porto are tipped at +110 (down from +180) at Bet365.

Undoubtedly, FC Porto have the quality and depth to get the better of Zenit and with a strong record on Russian soil from past competitions to draw inspiration from they deserve the benefit of value odds in the soccer betting markets. That said Zenit proved they were equal to the task. They too have the quality and depth to pull off the double against FC Porto. Indeed, Zenit aren’t going to be pushovers either, not with Hulk mercilessly harassing FC Porto’s backline. Fact is Zenit is on the verge of potentially opening up a four-point gap in Group G, an outcome that would be huge for Zenit’s bid and in turn detrimental to FC Porto’s bid for the knockout stages.

Soccer Betting Free Picks: Zenit to win outright at +150