Europa League Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Our Best Bets, Including Wager From RB Leipzig vs. Real Sociedad (Feb. 17)

Europa League Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Our Best Bets, Including Wager From RB Leipzig vs. Real Sociedad (Feb. 17) article feature image

Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images. Pictured: RB Leipzig standout Tyler Adams, left, celebrates a goal with his teammates.

After two thrilling days of Champions League action Tuesday and Wednesday, the trimmed-down Europa League playoff round begins Thursday with the first of two legs taking place.

In years past, the competition cuts to 32 clubs for this round, but only 24 teams have qualified up to this point, with eight getting byes and the other 16 others facing off over two legs.

Barcalona taking on Napoli is the highlight fixture, but RB Leipzig plays Real Sociedad; Borussia Dortmund plays Rangers, Zenit Saint Petersburg takes on Real Betis; and, Atalanta battles Olympiacos in some of the other high-profile fixtures of this round.

If you're looking for a preview of Barcelona vs. Napoli preview, that can be found below in this story. That said, here are two of my best bets for the first leg of the playoff round.

Dortmund vs. Rangers Odds

Dortmund Odds-255
Rangers Odds+700
Over/Under2.5 (-170 / +140)
Day | TimeThursday | 12:45 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+ | fuboTV
Odds updated via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Dortmund didn't expect to be in the Europa League when it received a weak Champions League group, but two losses to Ajax and a 3-1 defeat to Sporting Lisbon left them in this position. Dortmund continues to be a bit overrated in the market entering this first leg on home soil.

The Blacks and Yellows have managed 57 goals from 40.8 expected goals in Bundesliga play and have conceded at least 1.2 xG in five of their last six games in Germany. The defense has really struggled at times to prevent miscues and avoid allowing big scoring chances.

In games against Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen, they were badly outplayed and the scoreline in the 3-0 win at Union Berlin very much flattered the overall performance that was more indicative of a 2-1 victory.

Rangers recently had an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Celtic in the Old Firm rivalry match, but the attack has generally been fine in the Europa League and Scottish Premier League this season.

Dortmund shouldn't really have any issues at home winning this match, but Both Teams to Score (Yes) is priced a bit cheaply given that Rangers should be able to expose a less than dominant home defense.

Dabbundo's Best Bet: Both Teams to Score — Yes (-120)

RB Leipzig vs. Real Sociedad

Leipzig Odds-115
Sociedad Odds+330
Over/Under2.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | TimeThursday | 3 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+ | fuboTV
Odds updated via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Leipzig was dealt a brutal UCL group, featuring two of the world's richest clubs and best teams. They wound up finishing third behind Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Now, Leipzig has a real shot under new manager Domenico Tedesco to make a deep European run in the second-tier competition. However, Real Sociedad is a tricky side that can cause some issues for the favored hosts.

As a whole, both clubs are due for some regression that points toward goals. Sociedad has been inefficient in front of goal, only producing 24 goals from more than 30 xG overall. The club has an average shot distance that sits right in the middle of La Liga, yet rank second worst in chance-conversion rate.

It's not that Sociedad doesn't have attacking talent either. They've just struggled to finish chances and now get to play a Leipzig defense that's been rather fortunate. Leipzig has conceded just 27 goals from 33 xG, despite conceding a lot of big scoring chances and being a bit fortunate in recent games to not concede more.

They've improved under Tedesco, but still concede enough big scoring chances that I expect Sociedad to score one on the road in this meeting.

Sociedad has also over-performed defensively, and with two defenses that are a bit overrated generally, don't be surprised if some chances are taken and this game is more open than a typical Sociedad game.

Dabbundo's Best Bet: Total Over 2.5 Goals (-120)

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