UEFA Europa League Soccer Picks: Take Everton at Home +130 vs. Dynamo Kiev

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 6:51 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2015 6:51 PM GMT

Everton are set to face stiff competition from Dynamo Kiev in UEFA Europa League's last 16. Join us as we preview the first leg of this intriguing tie and deliver our soccer betting verdict.

Everton Premier League Fortunes Under the Cosh
Everton's Premier League campaign took a serious departure from where they left off last season and is in dire straits with just ten rounds left. Sat in the bottom half of the table, just six points clear of the drop, Premier League points are most imperative  now for Roberto Martinez and his Toffees if the Goodison Park faithful are to be treated to top-flight football next season. So what happens over the course of the next few weeks, which include both Europa League and Premier League games, are certain to be season-defining.

Everton are 14th in the Premier League table with a subpar 6-10-12 mark and 28 points. Neither home or away form has provided any cheer to disgruntled fans: the Toffees are only 3-7-3 at home and 3-3-9 on the road in English top flight. And, most recently, they are after back-to-back losses to Arsenal and Stoke City (both on the road and by a 2-0 score). Indeed, the Toffees are without a win at home in domestic action in five straight games. Put another way, they have just two wins in their last 15 Premier League home games. Crikey.

In Europa it's an entirely different story. The Toffees have been playing up to their perceived standards. They finished group play with a 3-2-1 record, which was enough to secure top spot over Wolfsburg in Group H. And they continued that strong form through the first knockout round in a convincing win over the Young Boys (4-1 in Switzerland and then 3-1 at Goodison Park and took the tie on a convincing 7-2 victory). So convincingly that they are on the shortlist of contenders in soccer betting markets, trading at lively +1100 futures to win outright.

Needless to say, Europa League R32 provided Everton fans with something to cheer about finally because for the first time in a long time the Toffees played up to their potential. On Thursday, when the Toffees welcome Ukrainian leaders Dynamo Kiev to Goodison Park, these fans will hope to have something to cheer about again.

Check Out This Other Capper's Take on Everton/Dynamo Kiev

Europa League R16 First Leg Soccer Odds
Despite their solid run of form in Europe, soccer odds makers have priced Everton at +130 to win outright in the first leg. That's because Dynamo Kiev isn't a side to take lightly, even if they are priced at +240 to win in Liverpool on Thursday. The Ukrainian side comes into this competition after overcoming French side Guingamp 4-3 on aggregate. A tie that opened on a 2-1 loss in France and saw them down to just nine men for the duration of the second half, before turning around with a 3-1 win in Kiev.

Dynamo Kiev finished group play with a strong 5-0-1 record, albeit their section was rather light on quality with Aalborg BK, FC Steaua Bucuresti and Rio Ave FC. In domestic action, they have a significant edge over the rest of the field with a 13-3-0 mark and 42 points, seven points clear of their nearest rivals Shakhtar Donetsk. That undefeated run of form in Kiev could prove deciding in a tie that is balanced delicately between these two sides: Everton are the -125 faves to advance into the quarters, but Dynamo Kiev are an attractive +100 soccer pick to pull off the feat.


Soccer Betting Verdict:
Banking on home advantage in this tie is going to be key to Everton's success and will determine whether they advance into the quarterfinals or not. Everton at +130 to win outright at home in a competition they seem to be playing with confidence appears to be a good soccer pick in our books. Put it this way: if Everton fall behind at Goodison Park, it'll be hard to see how they would be able to reverse the tie in Kiev. This is a must-win for Everton if they hope to continue living the European dream.

Another market that appeals to us is total betting. Everton scored ten goals and conceded just three in group play. They've added to their tally of ten another seven thanks to the Young Boys capitulating so badly. On the flipside of the coin, the Ukrainians saw both games of their R32 tie yield three goals or more. Surprisingly, the Over 2.5 is trading at +105 for this game.

Soccer Picks: Everton +130; Over 2.5 +105 at bet365

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