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Bilbao vs Barca Betting Odds – Barca rolls at the Nou Camp

Posted by Todd Shale on 4/1/2010 2:41:48 PM
Soccer odds – Pick Barca -600

Online betting players are watching Barcelona run away with the league along with Real Madrid ahead of their Clasico showdown next week, but the Catalans first have to deal with Athletic Bilbao in a La Liga matchup on Saturday. With Barca’s embarrassment of riches and their form at home, they should be able to hand Bilbao a loss to hurt their Champions League ambitions.

Bilbao vs Barca Betting Odds: Pick Barca -600
  • What: Soccer betting
  • When: Saturday, April 3, 2:00 PM ET
  • Where: Nou Camp, Barcelona, Spain
  • Key Stat: Barca is 13-1-0 at home this season

The Storyline

Athletic Bilbao sit in sixth place in La Liga, and they are two points out of a Champions League spot, and they are coming off a huge 4-3 win at home over Racing Santander on Monday. Barca is tied with Real Madrid at the top of the table, and after a 1-0 win at Mallorca on Saturday, Barca held on for a 2-2 draw at Arsenal in the Champions League, but they let a 2-0 lead slip away in the last 15 minutes, which may give Bilbao some confidence. However, Barca is almost unbeatable at home.

Offensive Matchups

Fernando Llorente is garnering attention from top teams with 20 goals in all competitions this year, and notched a pair in the win over Santander. Gaizka Toquera adds a spark from midfield, but Bilabo have scored just 40 goals this year, and only 14 of those have come away from home.

Barca is behind only Real Madrid in goals scored with 71, and Zlatan Ibrahimovich scored a pair against Arsenal. If Ibrahimovich could be more consistent, Lionel Messi would be even more effective, and he leads La Liga with 25 goals.

Betting Edge: Barca

Defensive Matchups

Bilbao’s defense will need to play better than they did against Santander if they want to pull off the huge upset in your sportsbook. Andoi Iraola has been their most consistent defender, but the rest of the back is susceptible to lapses in concentration, and Barca will rip them apart if they’re not careful.

Lost in Barca’s attacking quality is their ability to defend, although a lot of this comes down to their possession game which keeps the ball away from an opponent. Carlos Puyol was sent off against Arsenal, but will be available for this game, while Dani Alves returns to the lineup, and Rafa Marquez will slot in somewhere at the back as well.

Betting Edge: Barca

Notable Injuries

Both teams come into this match relatively healthy, or as healthy as a team can be at this point in the season. There are no major injuries to report.

Betting Edge: Draw

Totals

Five of the last 10 between these two have gone over the posted total, and Barca will be looking to make a statement ahead of important games next week against Arsenal and Real Madrid. With Bilbao’s defense not looking so good, it could get ugly.

Pick: Over 2.5


Betting Prediction

Bilbao has won just one of their last 10 meetings with Barca, and that was a 3-1 victory at home back in May, 2006. Barca has been outstanding at the Nou Camp this season with 13 wins and a draw in 14 matches with 39 goals scored, and only eight goals against. It’s almost laughable how much ahead of the league Barca (and Real Madrid) is as the two are 21 points clear of anyone else. Bilbao will go into this match thinking that a draw is as good as a win, but with Ibrahimovich confident and the players that Barca can bring off the bench, a rout is probable.

Todd’s Pick: Barca -600

Get Todd’s sports betting picks each week in the Betting Edge at BetOnline.

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