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Best European Soccer Bets Across Serie A, Ligue 1 & La Liga (May 2-3)

Best European Soccer Bets Across Serie A, Ligue 1 & La Liga (May 2-3) article feature image

Via Giuseppe Maffia/Getty Images. Pictured: Brahim Diaz of AC Milan during the Serie A match between AS Roma and AC Milan Calcio at Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy on 29 April 2023.

  • European football continues across Serie A, Ligue 1 & La Liga this week, and we have top picks for each league.
  • Analyst BJ Cunningham has picks for AC Milan vs. Cremonese, Almeria vs. Elche, and Toulouse vs. Lens.
  • Find his picks and analysis for each of these matchups below.

The congested European football calendar continues with midweek matches in La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

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.

Serie A


AC Milan vs. Cremonese 

AC Milan Odds-340
Cremonese Odds+850
Over/Under2.5 (-115/ -110)
Day | TimeWednesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This is the definition of a sandwich spot for AC Milan. They are coming off a 96th-minute equalizer against Roma on Saturday with a huge match against Lazio this weekend and then the first leg of their Champions League semifinal encounter with bitter rivals Inter Milan. I highly doubt AC Milan will rest anyone for this match because they are still in a heated battle for a top-four spot in the Serie A table.

With that being said, this is just about as perfect of a matchup as it gets in Serie A for them. AC Milan are a very good transitional team and are deadly on the wings with Rafael Leo and Brahim Diaz. Typically, they have struggled when they have to play against teams that play deep low blocks. Cremonese is not that type of team.

Cremonese likes to press and try to disrupt their opponents build up play and press high. They’re 10th in Opponent Build Up Percentage Allowed and 13th in High Turnovers, which is actually quite high for team near the bottom of the table. However, since they aren’t a great pressing team, it typically leaves a lot of space in behind, and good teams in Serie A have punished them. Against the top-seven teams in Serie A, they’re allowing 2.15 xG per match. Things also tend to fall apart for Cremonese once they fall behind and have to be more aggressive with their high pressing because when they are playing from behind this season, they’re allowing 2.05 xG per 90 minutes, per

AC Milan has been really strong offensively against the bottom half of the Serie A table as well, averaging 1.71 xG per match and continue to pile on the goals when they are ahead by averaging 1.91 xG per 90 minutes when playing with a lead.

I have 3.18 goals projected for this match, so I like the value on Over 2.5 goals at -115 (DraftKings)

Pick: Over 2.5 goals (-115 | DraftKings) 

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La Liga


Almeria vs. Elche

Almeria Odds-145
Elche Odds+370
Over/Under2.5 (-130/ +100)
Day | TimeTuesday | 1:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

When the two worst defenses in La Liga meet, there are going be chances created. 

Almeria and Elche are bottom two in npxG with both allowing over 1.60 npxG per 90 minutes. These two also, unsurprisingly, have allowed the most big scoring chances in La Liga. However, Almeria, unlike Elche, have been a halfway decent offense. They’re currently sitting ninth in npxG per 90 minutes, are averaging the 12th most shots in La Liga and are sixth in xG per set piece, which is a huge against Elche, who is the worst set-piece defense in La Liga.

Almeria has shown their offensive prowess and their willingness not to just sit deep in a low block and defend like a lot teams in the bottom half of the La Liga table do. They typically play out of a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation and have been an effective transition team ranking first in La Liga in direct speed. That will be effective here against Elche, a very direct team in and of themselves. Over the last few matches, Almeria have been strong offensively, scoring twice and creating 1.9 xG against a good Getafe low block then this past weekend scoring twice and creating 1.3 xG against Real Madrid.

It’s not quite official yet, but Elche is going to be relegated to the Segunda Division. Their defense has done them in this season by conceding the most expected goals in La Liga. Their 4-4-2 low block has not been effective at all, and to make matters worse for them, two of their starting defenders, Pedro Bigas and Helibelton Palacios, are most likely going to be out.

Typically when teams have nothing left to play for, they become incredibly aggressive in their tactics, which creates very open style matches. This is what happened this past weekend when Elche beat Rayo Vallecano 4-0 with 3.6 xG created in total for the match.

I have 3.23 goals projected for this match, so I like the value on Over 2.5 goals at -130 (Caesars).

Pick: Over 2.5 goals (-130 | Caesars) 

Ligue 1


Toulouse vs. Lens 

Toulouse Odds+360
Lens Odds-135
Over/Under2.5 (-140/ +115)
Day | TimeTuesday |  3 p.m. ET
How To WatchbeIn Sports
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

There is a lot of must-win tax built into this line. Lens is battling with Marseille for second place in the table and the final automatic Champions League spot, while Toulouse is coming off winning the Coupe de Frances over the weekend and is comfortably in the middle of the table.

Although Lens’ rise to be one of the top-three teams in Ligue 1 is impressive, and they have the third best xGD per 90 minutes in the league, they have overperformed this season, especially defensively, as they have conceded 25 goals off of 35.1 expected goals this season. They have struggled defensively on set pieces as they’re 14th in xG per set piece allowed. Toulouse is an above average offense in Ligue 1, ranking eighth in npxG, and they’ve been on fire recently, creating 9.5 expected goals in their last six matches. They’re also scored 10 goals off of set pieces and are seventh in xG per set piece, which could pose a problem for Lens.

Toulouse is a defense that is in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table in xG allowed, but they can cause some havoc with their pressing. They’re fourth in PPDA, ninth in high turnovers and ninth in Opponent Build Up Completion Percentage Allowed. They’ve also been much better at home this season than they’ve been on the road as they have put up a +1.8 xGD at home versus a -6.4 xGD away from home.

I only have Lens projected at +125, so I like the value on Toulouse +0.5 at +110 (DraftKings).

Pick: Toulouse +0.5 (+110 | DraftKings)

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