La Liga Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions (Tuesday, June 23): Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao Preview
Fran Santiago, Getty Images. Pictured: Leo Messi
- Bilbao will take on Barcelona in Tuesday La Liga Soccer action (4 p.m. ET, beIN Sports).
- Barcelona are a heavy -480 betting favorite entering the matchup over Bilbao (+1500 underdog).
- See our full betting preview below, including analysis, predictions and picks.
La Liga: Bilbao at Barcelona Odds, Pick
|Bilbao odds||+950 [BET NOW]|
|Barcelona odds||-345 [BET NOW]|
|Draw odds||+460 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday at 4 pm ET|
It’s gut-check time for Barcelona, who come into their match with Athletic Bilbao tied with Real Madrid atop the La Liga table. If the season ended today it would be Madrid, not Barcelona, hoisting the trophy.
The stakes aren’t quite as high for Athletic Club Bilbao, though Los Leones could make a charge for a Europa League spot if they can put together a string of results. Defeating Barcelona would certainly provide a boost in that endeavor.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
|Goals for per game||2.3||1.1|
|Expected goals for per game||1.92||1.28|
|Goals against per game||1.03||0.87|
|Expected goals against per game||1.11||1.38|
|Total goals per game||3.33||1.97|
|Total expected goals per game||3.03||2.66|
With Barcelona being such big favorites, the best place to start breaking down this match is with Bilbao. Is there anything in their statistical profile that sticks out and should provide an edge for either team?
To me, that opportunity arises from Los Leones’ overrated defense. Bilbao are they conceded 1.83 xG to lowly Eibar and 2.14 in a lucky 1-0 win over Real Betis. Los Leones are playing with fire and you can’t do that against Barcelona.
I also suspect this game will be wide open. Plenty of teams will try and park the bus against Barcelona and hope to squeeze out a draw, but Bilbao have nothing to lose from going for the win. They aren’t in relegation danger and are comfortably in a mid-table position.
It may seem counter-intuitive to back Barcelona to score at will in this match since Athletic Bilbao have allowed the third-fewest goals in La Liga this season, but their underlying metrics on defense scream for regression. Bilbao may not give up a lot of goals, but they do concede a decent amount of scoring chances.
Teams like Barcelona don’t let those opportunities slip.