Real Betis vs Barcelona Odds, Pick: Goals to Come in La Liga Fixture
Alex Caparros/Getty. Pictured: Ansu Fati.
Real Betis vs. Barcelona Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-110 / -120)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-110 / -120)|
|Odds via Caesars. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Barcelona look to extend their lead at the top of the table when they take on Real Betis in Seville.
They have been on a roll out of the World Cup break, going unbeaten in eight straight matches. They currently have a five-point cushion between them and Real Madrid, but dropping points on Wednesday will open the door for Madrid to make up that gap, as they play on Thursday.
Barcelona have a difficult stretch ahead of them as well with Sevilla, Villarreal and then Manchester United in the Europa League.
Real Betis are currently sitting in sixth place in the La Liga table, just three points off Atletico Madrid for a spot in the top four. Betis played Barcelona as recently as January 12th in the Super Copa de España, and they actually took them all the way to penalties, but ended up losing in the end. We’ll see if they can replicate that type of performance again and get a result.
Real Betis Still Overrated Based on Underlying Metrics
Real Betis are actually one of the most overrated teams in La Liga, particularly on the defensive end. So far this season, they have only conceded 14 goals off of 21.2 expected, which actually ranks in the bottom half of the table.
If you are going to cause Barcelona problems, like Girona did over the weekend, you have to be a good pressing team that can disrupt them in build-up play. Real Betis are not that type of team.
They are currently 15th in La Liga in PPDA, 10th in opponent build-up completion percentage and 16th in high turnovers. What is even more puzzling about their defense is you would think if they’re not a big pressing team that they would be well-drilled at staying compact and defending their penalty area, but they’re not.
Real Betis have been a tad underrated offensively, given they’ve scored 18 goals off of 22.4 xG, but they’re still only averaging 1.07 npxG per 90 minutes, rank 15th in shots per 90 minutes and are only averaging 5.67 passes completed into the penalty area per 90 minutes, which is 15th in La Liga.
Barcelona Crucially Finding Form
Barcelona have been flying under Xavi this season in La Liga and have some of the most impressive underlying metrics in all of Europe. They currently have a +1.25 xGD per 90 minutes mark in Spain, which is the second best number in Europe’s top five leagues, only short of Manchester City.
What Barcelona have done such a good job of is putting a stranglehold on possession, and when they do lose the ball, they counter-press at an elite level to ensure teams aren’t able to easily build out of the back against them.
Barcelona are averaging 64.5% possession, 19.5 10+ pass sequences per 90 minutes, 76.6 progressive passes + dribbles per 90 minutes, 12.2 passes into the penalty area per 90 and 31.9 touches in the penalty area per 90. All of those are the best mark in La Liga, per fbref.com.
In the last meeting between these two, Barcelona had a whopping 30 10+ pass sequences and an xThreat of 2.26, so I am not really sure what is going to change this time around.
Betis vs. Barcelona Pick
In over 120 minutes of action, Real Betis didn’t do much in the previous meeting against Barcelona. The biggest stat from that match is Barcelona had a 90.6% build up completion percentage, which goes to show how little resistance Real Betis was applying.
These two combined for an xThreat of 4.03 in the last meeting, but neither could really turn that into high quality chances, as only 2.23 xG were created. If both teams are able to threaten the penalty area like that again, I have no doubt that they will create better chances than the previous meeting, where four goals were still scored.
I have 3.09 goals projected for this match, so I like the value on the over.
Pick: Over 2.5 (-120 via Caesars)
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