UCL Soccer Picks: Bet Basel +320 to Upset Porto in Tuesday's Clash

Nikki Adams

Monday, March 9, 2015 6:27 PM GMT

The R16 tie between FC Porto and Basel is delicately poised on a 1-1 draw. With everything to play for yet, it's the Portuguese side that is set to the good in soccer betting markets. Can Basel beat the soccer odds? Find out as we breakdown this matchup and serve up our soccer picks.

FC Porto Have The Slight Edge
FC Porto will hope to join Real Madrid (the popular Soccer pick in Tuesday's other R16 Champions League tie) in the quarterfinals by the end of the day's proceedings. As it is, they have home advantage for the return leg as well as a crucial away goal, two aspects they hope to capitalise on when they take on Basel, a tricky and frustrating side at the best of times.

Group H winners FC Porto entered the tie as the favorites and, arguably, were the better side in the first leg. However, they fell behind early. As the clock wound down, Derlis Gonzalez's 11th minute strike increasingly appeared to have settled the tie in favor of the Swiss; that is, until Porto were given a lifeline. With approximately ten minutes left in the game, Porto were awarded a penalty shot after Walter Samuel was deemed to have handled in the area. Danilo stepped up to the spot and didn't miss the mark. He rifled a shot into the back of the net and lifted Porto to a vital 1-1 draw that could prove deciding in Lisbon.

Undoubtedly, Porto were rather fortunate to deny Basel the win in the first leg of their R16 tie, but they still enter the second leg as strong favorites to both win and advance. In match betting markets, they are trading at -222 to win the second leg outright. In futures betting, they are the -450 favorites to advance into the quarterfinals.

On the flip side of the coin, Porto did receive a setback this weekend when Jackson Martinez sustained a high thigh injury in a 1-0 win over Braga. The Colombian striker was on pace to be the league's top goal scorer  for a third successive year and his loss will be huge. There are also reports that Maicon is doubtful for the second leg. These absences can't be downplayed obviously.

 

Basel Too Extreme Long Shots
A win in the first leg would have improved the Swiss side's prospects for the return leg, but a draw doesn't exactly spell disaster either. Put another way, it's not the insurmountable obstacle the soccer odds board implies with Basel trading at +750 to win outright and at +320 to advance.

Basel must erase a 1-away goal advantage in Portugal if they hope to beat the soccer odds. A lot is being made about their poor record against Portuguese sides (0-3-2) and relative inexperience at this level. But all that will become a moot point if they actually are successful. There's always going to be a time for firsts – a first win in Portugal, first Champions League quarterfinal...and so on.

Basel emerged second behind Real Madrid in Group B action, beating out Liverpool for the spot. They punched above their weight class in previous instalments of this competition as well. Most famously when they beat Chelsea at home and at Stamford Bridge, albeit in group action. These aren't underdogs that should be taken lightly.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict:
On paper, there's no doubt that FC Porto strike a convincing pose. Their credentials include two titles in this competition, a great run of form through group play and solid home form across the board, amongst other things. On the strength of just these points, they are worthy favorites to win at -222 and, in turn, a solid soccer pick.

But how can one not be drawn to the underdogs Basel and both their tempting +750 Champions League Soccer Odds to win outright and +320 soccer odds to advance. For several reasons, they could prove the value soccer pick for the upset.

To begin with they have everything to play for in the second leg, even though they might feel hard done by after the penalty in the first leg. Secondly, the Swiss side is a tricky side to play against and that could frustrate Porto to no end, not unlike the first leg where Porto struggled until luck turned things around. Finally, they also have a notional ace in the pocket: Basel coach Paolo Sousa is well versed on Portuguese football. A Portuguese national, he spent large stints with Benfica and Sporting Lisbon as well as the national team. His knowledge is an intangible asset for the Swiss team.

If those aren't good reasons for you to back Basel, then consider the simple fact that upsets do happen from time to time. Even to strong favorites in the game such as FC Porto.

Soccer Picks: Basel to advance +320

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