Looking at the 1×2 market initially which arguably and with hindsight got this slightly wrong. The favourite for this game was the visitor Athletic Bilbao, but they were under pressure most of the contest and relied on their keeper to escape with a point. As was predicted in our preview, the draw @ 3.30 was the way to go despite being the biggest price of the three in this market.
Moving onto the Asian handicap market for this contest, where the punters were refunded given that the draw (DNB) was a safety net and returned any bets on Betis -0 or Athletic -0. The market got this right pretty much, at times Betis may have merited a -0.25 handicap based on their ambition versus the lack of it from Athletic. 1-0 and 0-0 were equally accurate results.
Looking at The Under/Over market last of all where the line was rightly set low at 2.25. The game never looked set to have goals or give the Over punter a run for their money. Once more the betting preview anticipated a tight ‘under’ type match given that it was two big clubs going for the top four places. Neither took big risks and the all-important opener just never came, meaning the fear of conceding first took over.
Real Betis were forced to settle for a goalless draw at home to Athletic Club. In front of a packed and noisy stadium, Betis began better and with more ambition. They looked more probable winners and generated a couple of big enough opportunities to merit a narrow win. 1-0 would have been a fairer result.
In the end, Unai Simon’s goalkeeping heroics helped Athletic Bilbao avoid a third consecutive away defeat, although Los Leones did improve in the final quarter of the contest.
Bilbao couldn’t find fluency in their football and was kept on the back foot in the opening period. Luis Henrique and Nabil Fekir both could have done better with their chances but could not beat Spanish number one Unai Simon.
Simon’s goal came under threat more in the first 20 minutes or so in the 2nd period. Fekir was inches away on a free-kick into the top corner before Luiz Henrique dribbled into the penalty area and forced another big save.
In the final 15 minutes or so the Basques grew with confidence and thanks to their subs, took the initiative. Any late goal for the visitor would, however, have been ill-deserved, Raul Garcia swung wildly over in their only real opportunity.
Betis held firm despite Luiz Felipe’s late sending-off for a frustrated foul. The visitors were easily happier with the point and had Simón to thank for keeping it 0-0.