UEFA Europa League Soccer Picks: Sevilla vs. Villarreal

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 6:31 PM GMT

Defending champions Sevilla are in pole position to advance into the quarterfinals when they host Villarreal in the second leg of their R16 Europa League tie. Can they finish the job on Thursday?

Sevilla In Pole Position
Of all the ties trading on the UEFA Europa League odds board, none is more crystal clear than the all-Spanish affair between Sevilla and Villarreal. The defending champions Sevilla grabbed the tie by the scruff of its neck last week, running away 3-1 winners on the road they are almost assured a spot in the quarterfinals. All that remains is to rubber stamp their progress with a solid account this Thursday when the pair resumes hostilities at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

As it is, Soccer odds makers have cornered this tie wholeheartedly in Sevilla's camp by installing them as the whopping -2500 favorites to advance into the quarterfinals. Of all the teams in pole position to go to the next round, none benefits from higher odds than Sevilla does. And yet juxtaposing this futures betting market is the second leg match betting market that takes a rather conservative turn, favoring Sevilla only notionally at +120 to win the second leg.

These are the defending champions. They also have the advantage of hosting the second leg as well take three away goals into Thursday's proceedings. Not pricing Sevilla above even money appears to ignore their decisive edge in this tie, wouldn't you say?

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Villarreal Faces Uphill Battle
To be fair, Villarreal are the significant +250 underdogs to win the second leg. There one gets the sense of the task before Villarreal, and making matters worse is a run of four games by the Yellow Submarines without a win against Sevilla, including a 2-1 loss in their league clash at Sanchez Pizjuan.

The tie couldn't have started more disastrously than it did for the Yellow Submarines as they conceded a goal in the first minute. That set the tone for the rest of the game and the Yellow Submarines never quite recovered.

If Villarreal are to come good on their soccer odds, they need to score at least three goals and stay perfect on defense. The likelihood of that is slim. In their last ten games in all competitions they've conceded in all but two. During that run, six of those games yielded Over 2.5 goals as well.

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Familiar Foes
Obviously, these are familiar foes. There will be no surprises between them when they clash on Thursday and that could work both ways. Sevilla, however, have form over Villarreal. Los Rojiblancos are sat fifth in La Liga with a 16-4-7 record and 52 points. Although they are only three points ahead of Villarreal (14-7-6 and 49 points), their home form is a staggering 10-4-0 and includes 28 goals netted and just seven goals conceded. The Yellow Submarines,  by comparison, are just 4-7-3 on the road in domestic action and boast 17 goals netted and 14 conceded.

Soccer Betting Verdict
There's only one way to slice this matchup it would seem: Sevilla to advance into the quarterfinals. So commanding is their lead in this tie that it would take a spectacular effort by Villarreal, previously unseen, to overturn this tie. We just don't see that happening.

So on to our choice Soccer picks, backing Sevilla to advance into the quarterfinals at -2500 is not an option. The bet just doesn't offer meaningful return. Amazingly, however, backing Sevilla at +120 to win the second leg offers a great bang for your bucks. Another soccer pick we'd recommend is the Over 2.5 trading at -175.

Free Soccer Picks: Sevilla +120 at bet365

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