Sevilla (+225) at Athletic Bilbao (+112), Draw (+229)
Two-time defending Europa League champions Sevilla face a tricky visit to the new San Mames stadium today as they take on Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal (3:05 PM Eastern).
After Borussia Dortmund (6/4), Sevilla have the second-best odds to win the tournament, sitting at 11/2. While the roster has changed significantly over the years, Sevilla have long found success in the Europa League, winning four titles since 2006.
They were actually hoping not to defend their crown this year, qualifying for the Champions League. But they’re back in the knockout phase of the Europa League after getting bounced in from the UCL in the Group Stage.
They started their title defense with a win over Molde in the Round of 32 and then took down Basel in the Round of 16. However, they didn’t win on the road in either series, losing in Molde and drawing in Basel.
For its part, Bilbao will be looking to knockout a second Spanish team from the tourney. They advanced over Valencia in the Round of 16 (2-2) thanks to scoring the lone away goal.
Bilbao have yet to lose at home in the Europa League (3-2-0), but they have looked vulnerable at times, conceding four goals in five matches.
Despite their solid run, Bilbao are only fifth in the odds among the eight remaining teams, listed at 10/1 to hoist the trophy. But they were also underdogs against Valencia and have a proven track record against Sevilla, winning the last five head-to-head at San Mames.
Pick: Athletic Bilbao (+112).
(Photo Credit: Ben Bore (Rhys) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)