UEFA Europa League Soccer Picks: Dinamo Moskva vs. Napoli

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 9:24 PM GMT

Napoli look to finish the job when they travel to Dinamo Moskva on Thursday. By the soccer odds, Rafa Benitez and his Azzuri are up for the grueling task in the Russian capital. Do the bookies have it right or will Dinamo Moskva spring a surprise on Europa League bettors.

Napoli in Pole Position
The first leg couldn't have gone better for Rafa Benitez and his Azzuri had they scripted it themselves. They took control of the tie with a 3-1 victory at home and now they will attempt to put it to bed in Moscow. Indeed, odds makers fancy their chances of winning in the Russian capital at +150 Soccer Odds.

Still, Napoli must be wary of a Dinamo Moskva side that boasts formidable form at home and has a potentially pivotal away goal. It doesn't help either that things aren't looking up for Napoli in Serie A after a crushing 2-0 defeat to Hellas Verona at the weekend. This latest setback extends their disappointing form to three in a row winless (or one win in their last five league games) and sees them slip three points behind third-placed Lazio.

It's a conspicuous dip in form that has many soccer bettors wondering whether Napoli are built strong enough to handle the demands of campaigns on multiple fronts: Serie A, Coppa Italia and Europa League. The Scudetto race is practically settled. Juventus is sure to win their fourth Serie A title in a row, which leaves Napoli pursuing the double in Coppa Italia and UEFA Europa League. Both campaigns are alive and kicking – Gli Azzuri are a potentially a game away from the Coppa Italia final and the last eight in Europe – but that can change at a moment's notice.

Napoli Can't Underestimate Dinamo Moskva
Although the Italians are the soccer betting favorites across the board, it's not reason enough to write off Dinamo Moskva. Those looking to back the upset on their soccer picks can be encouraged by several aspects of this matchup. On one hand, the hosts have the pivotal away goal. On the other, they have home advantage for the second leg, which in their case could prove deciding.

Dinamo Moskva are third in Russia's top flight table with an11-2-5 mark and 35 points. A record that includes a 6-1-2 mark all while netting 24 goals and conceding 10 goals. Most importantly, they haven't lost at home since October when they fell to Rubin Kazan 2-0. That's a run of eleven games undefeated, ten wins and one draw. What's more, in European action they finished with a perfect 3-0-0 mark in group play all while scoring four goals and conceding one goal. In the R32, they beat Anderlecht 3-1 after settling on the scoreless draw in the first leg in Brussels.

In spite of their good form, the Russians are at the disadvantage to win outright at +200 and priced even more disingenuously as the long shots at +600 to advance into the last eight. Then again, Napoli have the tie firmly under control at the moment and the Russians have their work cut out for them to turn this tie on its head.

Soccer Betting Verdict
In all likelihood, Napoli will advance into the last eight as evinced by their whopping -1000 futures odds. However, whether they win the second leg is another matter entirely. It's quite possible they'd lose the second leg but still advance on aggregate. As such, we're not tempted by their +150 UEFA Europa League Odds to win in Moscow. A far better soccer pick would be to back the Russians at +200 to win the second leg in what is essentially a must-win game. Needless to say, it's also tempting to tickle their +600 soccer odds to advance into the quarterfinals, but it's a long shot soccer pick that we're not entirely confident recommending. Certainly, it's not for the fainthearted soccer bettor. Tread carefully.

Free Soccer Picks: Dinamo Moscow to win +200 at bet365

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