The Copa Del Rey is down to four teams, and Athletic Bilbao look like the best bet for Cup glory.
Who do Bettors Favor?
A check on the best online sportsbooks tells us that Real Betis are the team to beat in the Copa Del Rey. They have an advantage from the first leg of their semi-final against Rayo Vallecanosemi-final, have a solid chance of reaching the final and are as short as Evens. Athletic Bilbao can generally be backed at around +250, while Valencia and Rayo Vallecano are considered the underdogs.
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Betting on the Copa Del Rey
This competition has a reputation for being much less stable than La Liga. Real Madrid, for instance, hasn’t won the Cup since 2014, while Atletico Madrid hasn’t won it since 2013. Besides the big three of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona, Espanyol, Zaragoza, Deportivo la Coruna, Mallorca, Betis, Sevilla, Valencia, and Real Sociedad have all tasted Copa glory this century.
Three of the four remaining teams in this year’s competition have previously won the tournament, although the fourth, Rayo Vallecano, has never made it to the final. However, due to the unpredictable nature of the game, any of the four could yet claim the famous silverware.
Can Real Betis Win the Copa Del Rey?
Real Betis has the best league record among the four clubs still in the tournament. They are now third in La Liga and have a solid chance to qualify for the Champions League next year, despite the fact that they may be passed by Barcelona and face a difficult struggle against numerous teams below them.
Also to their advantage at this stage is their 2-1 lead against Rayo Vallecano, secured despite being 1-0 down in the first leg. They’ll almost certainly be favorites to win the semi-final, and will probably be favorites in the final, having beaten Real Sociedad and Sevilla, the present La Liga second-placed team, to reach the last four.
The dilemma for those considering a bet on Betis is whether they can be trusted. Though they have had a strong start to the season, they have demonstrated a high level of inconsistency and look to be the sort of unit that may throw in a terrible performance at any time. Bettors won’t receive any compensation to balance that risk in the Futures market since their odds are so low, making Betis an unappealing choice.
Will this be Athletic Bilbao’s Season?
Athletic Bilbao has a long history in this competition, although it hasn’t served them well in recent years. The 23-time champions have got to the final five times in the previous 13 years, losing each time, including the finals of 2020 and 2021. Despite the fact that four of those losses were against Barcelona, to finish with nothing from five final appearances is poor.
However, there are indications that things may be better this season. Bilbao are having a great campaign and are strongly in contention for a European berth. Significantly, they beat both Real Madrid and Barcelona on their way to the Copa Del Rey semifinals.
Of course, Bilbao supporters will recall their side’s defeat to Real Sociedad in the 2020 final, so nothing is assured, but after defeating Barcelona, this squad should be confident that they can go all the way.
Although their inability to capitalize on a one-man advantage in the first leg of the semi-final against Valencia was disappointing, they are still level in the tie and will head into the second leg with confidence owing to their strong away record. They’ve only lost once on the road in La Liga, and that was a narrow loss against Real Madrid, so they seem to be good value at the moment.
Can the Underdogs win the Copa?
Valencia has a remarkable record in this competition. They’ve got to the final three times since 1999, winning the Cup each time, the most recent victory coming in 2019, and Valencia supporters will be optimistic heading into the second leg of the semi-final after their excellent performance in Bilbao, in which they hung on with 10 men in the second half.
The issue for Jose Bordelas’ team is that they are badly out of form. Valencia are yet to pick up a league win in 2022, and have dropped down to the middle of the table. They also had the simplest path to the last four, defeating three lower league teams, and relegation-threatened Cadiz. At their present odds, they aren’t a team to count on.
A bet on Rayo Vallecano would offer higher odds, but their form is just as bad as Valencia’s. They’ve dropped out of the top five in La Liga after losing four of their previous six games, and they’ve only scored once all season. The idea of a first-ever Copa Del Rey final will be enticing, but I don’t think they’ll be able to overcome their first-leg deficit against Betis.