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Best Bets Across European Soccer Weekend, Featuring Inter Milan vs Sassuolo

Best Bets Across European Soccer Weekend, Featuring Inter Milan vs Sassuolo article feature image

It’s a big weekend across Europe with the Bundesliga title hanging in the balance along with top four and relegation fights heating up as we close out the season.

If you’d like to see my projections for the Premier League, along with all three European competitions (Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League), you can find them here.

If you’d like to listen to the audio form of this article, I am also part of the Wondergoal Podcast with my co-hosts Michael Leboff and Anthony Dabbundo.

If you’d like to see picks from me for all European leagues, you can follow them in the Action Network App.



Union Berlin vs Freiburg 

Union Berlin Odds+113
Freiburg Odds+265
Over/Under2.5 (+140 / -170)
Day | TimeSaturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This is another situation where Union Berlin are overvalued. 

We all now the story with the Union Berlin offense at this point. They play a 3-5-2 formation that is built on long balls up to the two strikers, getting the ball in wide areas to create chances via crosses and taking advantage of set piece opportunities. 

Well, that style of play has not led to a steady creation of chances. Union Berlin have scored 44 goals off 32.2 xG, which is the second-lowest xG total in the Bundesliga. Union Berlin have scored 38.4% of their non-penalty goals this season from set pieces. In fact, Union Berlin have scored 15 goals from set plays, which is the most in the Bundesliga off of 6.7 xG. That’s insane over-performance.

Freiburg are a team set up very similar to that of Union Berlin. They’re very reliant on set pieces as well, as they lead the Bundesliga with 16 set piece goals this season and are also top five in xG per set piece. Christian Streich, who has been the Freiburg manager for over 10 years, has reverted them back to his narrow 4-2-2-2 formation that they’ve played many times in the past. The formation really allows you to play through the middle of the pitch, which is the best way to try and break down Union Berlin’s compact defense. 

Both of these clubs are near the bottom in terms of direct speed, despite not being possession-dominant sides, which is going to create an incredibly slow-paced encounter. 

The previous meeting was one of the odder matches you’ll see this season. Freiburg won 4-1, but there were only seven total shots between the two teams and four of them were penalties, meaning there were only three total shots from open play. 

I only have Union Berlin projected at +157, so I like the value on Freiburg +0.5 at -140. 

Pick: Freiburg +0.5 (-140)

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Serie A


Inter Milan vs Sassuolo

Inter Odds-245
Sassuolo Odds+600
Over/Under2.5 (-167/ +135)
Day | TimeSaturday | 2:45 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

We have a spot here for Inter between their Champions League semifinal tie with AC Milan.

Sassuolo have a defense that has under-achieved this season, conceding 50 goals off of 43 xG. They’ve been much better recently, only conceding 8.1 xG in their last eight matches. Sassuolo’s defensive metrics are pretty average overall for the season, but they have allowed the sixth-fewest final third entries in Serie A because they like to play a high line and press opponents when they cross the half way line rather than pressing them in their final third.

Inter are one of the best defensive teams in Italy, allowing only 0.89 npxG per 90 minutes. In the previous meeting, Inter held Sassuolo to just 1.2 xG on 15 shots on the road and Sassuolo only registered two shots with an xG rating over 0.10.

With this being a sandwich spot for Inter and their focus being on the Champions League, they may rotate some of their guys, which could mean a low-event style match.

I only have 2.58 goals projected for this match, so I like the value on the under 3 at -120.

Pick: Under 3 (-120 or better)

La Liga


Elche vs Atletico Madrid

Elche Odds+700
Atletico Madrid Odds-275
Over/Under2.5 (-148/ +118)
Day | TimeSunday | 10:15 a.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Just when you think Diego Simone was some archaic defensive manager playing out of a 4-4-2, he flips Atletico into an offensive powerhouse.

Simeone switched the formation to a 5-3-2, playing Yannick Carrasco and Marcos Llorente – two attacking players – as wing backs. This allows Madrid to attack opponents in wide areas and also frees up space in the middle of the pitch for Grizemann and Morata to create chances.

Since Diego Simone made this switch in formation, Atletico Madrid have scored 28 goals in 10 matches and are averaging 2.18 xG per match. So, going up against the worst defensive team that has already been relegated is a perfect scenario for goals.

Elche are allowing a whopping 1.86 xG per match this season, which is by far the worst mark in Spain. Against the top four teams in La Liga it’s been an absolute nightmare, allowing 16.7 xG in seven matches. Typically when teams are already relegated, they tend to play more aggressive without much care for defending.

I have 3.3 goals projected for this match, so I like the value on the over.

Pick: Over 3 (+110 or better)

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Ligue 1


Strasbourg vs Nice

Strasbourg Odds+132
Nice Odds+220
Over/Under2.5 (+116 / -143)
Day | TimeSaturday | 11 a.m. ET
How To WatchbeIN Sports
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

There is a lot of “must-win” tax in this line with Strasbourg needing to win to avoid falling into the relegation zone, while Nice are comfortably in the middle of the table.

Strasbourg’s problems all season long have come in defense. Although they have been improved lately, they’re still allowing 1.56 xG per 90 minutes. They have conceded far too many big scoring chances even though they’re allowing a low number of shots. They also have been one of the worst teams at defending set pieces, along with defending in transition, which is where this match is likely going to be played.

Nice have been in fantastic form ever since Didier Digard took over as manager on January 10th. In his 17 matches in charge, Nice have a +10.6 npxGD, which is the second-best mark in France during that time frame. He has sured up their defense, as Nice are only allowing only 0.93 npxG per 90 minutes. Nice also have a fantastic transition defense, ranking second in final third to penalty box conversion rate allowed.

They have been the far better side for the entirety of the season, so for this line to imply that these two would be a pick’em on a neutral field is just not true.

Therefore, I like the value on Nice, draw no bet at +125.

Pick: Nice – Draw No Bet (+125)

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