La Liga Soccer Picks, Odds & Predictions: Why Lionel Messi & Barcelona Are Being Overvalued vs. Sevilla
Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images. Pictured: Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona warm up
- The latest odds for Friday's La Liga match between Sevilla and Barcelona make Lionel Messi & Co. odds-on favorites to get the win (odds: -106).
- This match will have a huge impact on the La Liga standings, as Barcelona sits atop the table, with Sevilla in third.
- Our soccer betting expert Brad Cunningham picks out his favorite bet for this match, explaining why Barcelona is being overvalued by the betting market.
Sevilla vs. Barcelona Pick & Odds: La Liga Friday Match
|Sevilla odds||+275 (BET NOW)|
|Barcelona odds||-106 (BET NOW)|
|Draw odds||+270 (BET NOW)|
|Time||Friday at 4 p.m. ET|
Friday afternoon’s match in La Liga has huge implications as league leaders Barcelona head to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium to take on third-place Sevilla.
With Real Madrid clipping at their heels, Barcelona need to hold serve and hope Real Madrid falls at Real Sociedad over the weekend. Sevilla, on the other hand, are trying to stave off a number of challengers for their third-place spot in the table. A result against the league leaders would guarantee a spot in the top four going into next week.
Since the return from break, Los Nervionenses have thrashed rival Real Betis at home and drawn Levante on the road after conceding a late own goal.
Sevilla deserved both of their results based on expected goals. The Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium has been good to Sevilla this year, as they have earned 26 points in 14 matches and boast a +9.97 expected goal differential.
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.
Lately, the results at home good, but not great, for a team of Sevilla’s caliber, with 15 points in their last eight matches at the Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. However, when looking at expected goals compared to their actual results, they’ve been dominant.
Over those matches, Sevilla on average are scoring 1.98 xGF compared to only conceding 0.93 xGA per game. Barcelona will certainly be a massive step up in competition, but I think Sevilla are capable of getting a result from this match.
Barca uncharacteristically haven’t been as dominant on the road as they’ve been in years past. Barcelona have managed only 1.5 point per game on the road this season, which is the lowest average in more than a decade.
The expected points show their lackluster away form is deserved as they average only 1.64 expected points on the road. The main issue for Barca has been surprisingly, in front of net, as they generate only 1.48 xG on the road versus 2.35 xG at home.
Much of their struggles on the road have come against the top half of table as well. For a club regarded as the best team in all of Europe, earning a measly nine points in seven matches versus the top 10 teams in La Liga is a massive disappointment.
Expected goals also show that these struggles are all too real for Barca. They’ve been outplayed in those matches, losing the expected goals battle 10.90 to 8.29. Barca’s poor form away from will certainly be put to the test against a quality side like Sevilla.
Barcelona won the reverse fixture 4-0 against Sevilla at Camp Nou, but that scoreline is extremely deceiving. Sevilla won the expected goals battle 3.27 to 2.46 and were unlucky not being able to take advantage of their numerous high-quality chances.
In my opinion, Barcelona should not be -106 favorites in the match. Most bettors will look at this line and automatically take Barcelona based on the name alone.
Based on my model, I think this line should be closer to a pick’em:
- Sevilla projected odds: +203 (32.96% win probability)
- Barcelona projected odds: +140 (41.68% win probability)
- Draw projected odds: +294 (25.36% win probability)
- Sevilla projected xG: 1.29
- Barcelona xG: 1.47
I am going to back the underdogs at home to get at least a draw against the league leaders.