Europa League Quarterfinal: Second-Leg Value Picks

Europa League Quarterfinal: Second-Leg Value Picks article feature image
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Paolo Bruno – Getty Images Europe

A wild week of Champions League action should have bettors and fans excited for Thursday’s four Europa League second-leg matches, which will all take place at 3:05 p.m. ET.

  • Atlético Madrid at Sporting Lisbon
  • Lazio at Red Bull Salzburg
  • RB Leipzig at Marseille
  • Arsenal at CSKA Moscow

Odds to advance to semifinal:

Arsenal and Atlético Madrid are still big favorites to reach the semifinal, but that shouldn’t dissuade anyone from watching the second-leg matches. In the last two days in the Champions League, Roma upset Barcelona as +2500 underdogs to advance to the semifinal, and Juventus (+5000) nearly came back from a 3-0 deficit at Real Madrid. Anything can happen.

Below I’ve broken down the line movement, public betting percentages and sharp money indicators to find the best bets in each second-leg match.

Our opening leg value plays were mostly successful with Arsenal (-309), Atlético Madrid (-320), and RB Leipzig (-140) all claiming victories, but Salzburg (+0.5) were unable to hang on for a result. There are no big favorites in the second-leg matches so it should be a bit harder to predict the outcomes. Nonetheless, there’s value out there.

(Odds via Pinnacle; Betting Percentages via market average of multiple offshore sportsbooks)

Atlético Madrid at Sporting Lisbon

Moneyline Odds: Atlético -113, Sporting +398, Draw +235

Atlético Madrid take a 2-0 lead into Portugal and look to be in cruise control to the semifinal. Striker Antoine Griezmann has been on fire for them, and scored vs. Real Madrid on Sunday to earn a 1-1 draw.

Sporting Lisbon haven’t exactly had the smoothest week as their team president called out players and threatened to suspend 19 of them, including Patricio, William Carvalho, Sebastian Coates, Fabio Coentrao, and Bruno Cesar.

Atlético Madrid are now short favorites at -113 in the second leg, but they were as high as -143 just a few days ago at Pinnacle. Initially sharp money took Atlético, but then there was buyback on Sporting after they reached as high as +510 on the moneyline. Sixty percent of tickets have come in on Atlético which is to be expected, so books have seen good two-way action here.

The total has dropped from 2.25./2.5 down to 2, and a draw or 1-0 loss would be enough for Atlético to advance. I would lean toward a draw here but don’t see a ton of value in the odds, so this is a pass for me.

RB Leipzig at Marseille

Moneyline Odds: Marseille +132, RB Leipzig +204, Draw +275

RB Leipzig won the opening leg 1-0 at home, but are coming off a disappointing 4-1 home loss to Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Monday. To make matters worse, midfielder Naby Keita was injured in that match and may not be able to play on Thursday.

Marseille are still fielding a thin defensive unit and will also be under pressure to score goals at home since they weren’t able to get anything in the opening leg. If RB Leipzig score somewhat early, it will be very difficult for Marseille to advance.

Public bettors seem to have lost faith in RB Leipzig after their blowout loss in the Bundesliga as more than 65% of tickets have taken Marseille to win. However, there was some sharper money on RB Leipzig to move their odds from +203 to +182, before slowly coming back up to +204. Now that the odds are basically back to the opener, I love the value on RB Leipzig +204 to get a road win and roll into the semifinal. It’s a great opportunity to fade public bettors and be able to follow the early reverse-line movement.

Lazio at Red Bull Salzburg

Moneyline Odds: Salzburg +124, Lazio +215, Draw +277

Salzburg managed to grab two road goals in the opening leg but ultimately lost 4-2, meaning they’ll need a multi-goal win in the second leg to advance. The Austrian club hasn’t lost a home match this season but are coming off two consecutive losses, 4-2 to Lazio in opening leg, and 1-0 to LASK in the Austrian Bundesliga.

Lazio have more overall talent and moved into third place in Serie A this weekend, a positive aspect in their season, and have scored multiple goals in four straight away matches in all competitions. Salzburg know they can score too though, and will have confidence at home, but can they do enough to advance?

Sharp money likes Salzburg to get a home win, moving from +136 to +124 despite getting just 25% of the ticket action. Public bettors have decided to back Lazio to get a road win, which isn’t a huge surprise, especially with a high total of 3 goals. I think it’ll be tough for Salzburg to keep Lazio off the scoreboard, but it’s still a solid spot to fade the public by taking Salzburg +124, and even a little bit on the exact scoreline of Salzburg 2-1 (+850). It would be a nice result for the home side, but still enough for Lazio to advance to the semifinal.

Arsenal at CSKA Moscow

Moneyline Odds: Arsenal +109, CSKA +242, Draw +287

The first leg ended in a 4-1 Arsenal victory, and it honestly could have been about 7-3 with all the chances each team got. Arsenal usually don’t have trouble scoring, but they’ve been a bit shaky defensively in their last two matches against CSKA Moscow and Southampton (3-2 win in EPL). It’s usually difficult to travel and play road matches in Russia but Arsenal are still small favorites at +109.

There are no real injury concerns on either side to impact the play on the field, or the odds on paper. Everything points to Arsenal advancing easily, but could this be similar to Barcelona/Roma where CSKA reverse a 4-1 loss in the opening leg to win 3-0 at home and advance?

More than 75% of tickets have come in on Arsenal, so lots of public action backing the Gunners on the road. They did move from +110 to -102 early on, signifying a little bit of smart money, but have since moved back to +109. I won’t be betting this match, but I wouldn’t blame contrarian bettors for taking a shot on CSKA +0.5 goals (-120).

The semifinal draw will be announced on Friday, April 13th at 7 a.m. ET and we’ll break down each matchup with updated title odds next week.

Lastly, here’s a look at current odds to win Europa League, via 5Dimes:

Atlético Madrid +110
Arsenal +255
Lazio +650
RB Leipzig +750
Marseille +2000
Red Bull Salzburg +3000
Sporting Lisbon +10000
CSKA Moscow +25000

Cover photo features Red Bull Salzburg’s Valon Berisha