UEFA Europa Pick: Feyenoord vs. Roma

Nikki Adams

Thursday, February 26, 2015 5:31 PM GMT

Feyenoord and Roma are set to decide their R32 tie in Rotterdam on Thursday. Poised on a 1-1 draw after the first leg, bookies roll out a coy soccer betting line, with no clear-cut faves. 

First Leg Draws To Bitter End
A day that dawned full of promise for both Roma and Feyenoord in Europe's second-tier club competition, ended in the most unsavoury way possible. In this case, it's not the game itself, which played out on the field to a vacillating 1-1 draw. Rather that the game became a backdrop to clashing fans and Roma's police. Played out in the public in the most abhorrent fashions, the normally delirious celebrations of soccer loyalists got out of hand and turned into an unnecessary riot that left a wake of unimaginable destruction in the historic centre of the Italian capital.

As if it weren't awful enough to cause the havoc they did in the Eternal City, Feyenoord fans have risked raising tensions even further ahead of the second leg of their R32 tie with Roma. Reportedly, T-shirts have been produced that vow revenge for events at last week's first leg. As a result, the Dutch city police are on high alert, the danger of hostilities being renewed in the streets of Rotterdam even before the game gets underway a very real threat.

All this sets up a rather tense reverse leg on Thursday, literally and figuratively. Let's just hope, by the day's end, the headlines are about the football and nothing else.

 

Feyenoord Notional Underdogs
The soccer betting outlook on the matchup between Feyenoord and Roma is one of the most conflicting of the entire Europa League right now. Going into the first leg, Roma were firmly in the driver's seat, not only priced at -188 to win outright in Rome but also as the team to beat in the entire competition at +1000.

At the time, we previewed the game and found the market outlook wholly unwarranted. Truth be told, we backed a Feyenoord win or draw at +160 on our soccer picks, and were handsomely rewarded. As the game ended, Roma were found wanting clearly on the pitch. From Rudi Garcia lamenting his side's complacency and not doing enough to firmly secure victory at home, to fan reaction and experts weighing in on the game criticising Roma for fading away in the second half.

The upshot of all this is the overall Europa League winners market has benefited from a reappraisal. Napoli and Wolfsburg are now joint leaders on the Europa League odds board as the +900 faves to win it all. Liverpool (surprising a bit?) are second in line with a +1100 price tag and Villarreal are third in line on +1200 futures odds. Roma are down to fourth overall with a +1400 price tag ( position they share with Zenit, Inter Milan and Everton), which is a significant demotion in football betting terms. Then again, they probably shouldn't have been at the top of the Europa League market to begin with. (For the sake of completeness, Feyenoord are trading at whopping +5000 soccer odds to win it all, way down the scale of competition).

In terms of the second leg, the inconsistency of the soccer betting markets continue. Feyenoord are the notional underdogs going into their home leg of the R32 tie with Roma, matched at +180 soccer odds to win outright, which puts them just a smidgen longer than Roma at +170. This tight match betting outlook stands in stark contrast to the overarching winner's market. What's more, it doesn't appreciate the Dutch side's home advantage enough nor the vital away goal they have. Indeed, the Dutch should feel confident about their chances at home to a Roma side that is visibly struggling and short on confidence.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict:
 This isn't the same Roma side that enjoyed a solid season in Serie A, a distinction that odds makers didn't quite cotton on to at the start of the knockouts. Last week, we weren't confident in Roma's chances or backing their soccer odds. Not a whole lot has changed this week either. We're still not convinced by the Italian side.

Somehow the Italians seem to have lost the plot and their lacklustre form of late only highlights their woeful plight at the moment. They are ripe for the taking by Feyenoord in our opinion. Not until the Giallorossi put in a convincing 90 minutes of football will we be jumping on their bandwagon. So, our soccer pick is to stay with Feyenoord by either backing them to win straight up at home at +180 or backing the double result again a Feyenoord win or draw at -208.

Free Soccer Pick: Feyenoord +180

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