Thursday Europa League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions for AC Milan vs. Lille (Nov. 5)
Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images. Pictured: AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, center, and his teammates.
- AC Milan and Lille face off in Europa League action Thursday.
- Lille has been more impressive statistically this season. Will that be enough to take down the Italian juggernaut?
- Jeremy Pond previews the match, including his betting pick as well as three bonus picks from around the continent.
AC Milan vs. Lille Odds
|AC Milan Odds||-139 [BET NOW]|
|Lille Odds||+365 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+295 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-129/+104) [BET NOW]|
|Time||3 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS All Access | UniMás|
Clubs in top form domestically and internationally hit the pitch Thursday when AC Milan hosts Lille, highlighting a crucial set of Champions League fixtures.
AC Milan, the Serie A giant, sits atop the Group H table after picking up convincing wins over Celtic (3-1) and Sparta Prague (3-0) in its first two games in the competition. On the other side, Lille earned a 4-1 victory over Sparta Prague before settling for a 2-2 draw against Celtic.
This should be a highly entertaining match with the combatants entering this showdown in top overall form.
With that said, let’s take a look at this meeting and see what’s in store.
You might not have a hotter club across all of Italy than the Rossoneri.
AC Milan is unbeaten across all competitions this season, winning seven of its eight matches. The lone “blemish” was a thrilling 3-3 draw against bitter rival Roma in Serie A play.
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has turned back the clock at 39 years of age, is playing some of the best soccer of his life and has the Rossoneri rolling on European soil.
Most recently, AC Milan picked up a 2-1 win against Udinese in league play, with Ibrahimovic scoring the winner in the 83rd minute of the match.
AC Milan sits on 3.8 expected goals and 1.1 expected goals against, resulting in a +2.7 xGDiff and +1.34 xGDiff/90 minutes. One would assume the club’s numbers would be top of the table due to the fact they’re so strong. Yet, it’s Lille that maintains the edge in the statistical data.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Things have been going well for the Ligue 1 outfit, which is unbeaten across all competitions at the start of its campaign.
However, Les Dogues have endured three consecutive draws during that stretch, including a 1-1 stalemate against Lyon in its most recent contest.
Not possessing the ability to put away its opponents should raise some slight concerns for Lille backers, especially when it’s now heading on the road to face a very in-form AC Milan side.
As for that comparison in advanced metrics, Lille is the group’s best, currently boasting 4.6 expected goals and impressive 0.9 expected goals against, generating a +3.7 xGDiff and +1.83 xGDiff/90 minutes.
Even when you incorporate the fact this is a home match for the Italian power, I do believe these numbers give the French side a slight, overall advantage.
[Track your soccer bets by downloading the free Action Network App.]
AC Milan-Lille Picks
As previously mentioned, I give Lille a razor-thin advantage in this meeting when I look at everything on paper.
However, as I’ve said many times before, match outcomes typically aren’t determined looking at a bunch of crunched numbers and can actually muddle the overall picture.
What is clear, though, is AC Milan is in better form than its French foe. When you add in the edge of playing at San Siro, everything points to the Rossoneri.
That being said, I am backing Ibrahimovic and AC Milan to secure all three points against Lille. The Rossoneri are unbeaten in their last five Europa fixtures, and I see that total moving to six matches in this affair.
I am also playing the total to go over the number. AC Milan has scored three goals in its last four matches at San Siro, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility it hits this total on its own.
Picks: AC Milan ML (-139) | Total Over 2.5 Goals (-129)
- Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Tottenham Hotspur — Total Over 2.5 Goals (-180): Let me make this simple. Ludogorets is defensively poor and volatile on offense. On the other side, Spurs is going to come into this fixture looking to make Europa amends after that brutal 1-0 loss against Antwerp last time out. Expects goals to fly around Razgrad Arena in this tilt, which has me backing the total going over the number in this Group J match.
- Hapoel Be’er Sheva vs. Bayer Leverkusen — Total Over 2.5 Goals (-157): This is a huge Group C match for the Israeli top-flight side, which has a solid chance of getting out of this group along with Leverkusen. It gets a shot at the Bundesliga side that’s scored 14 goals in its last five matches across all competitions, which has led me to believe this fixture will not be short of goals.
- Leicester City ML (-130) vs. S.C. Braga: On paper, this is the most even match on the entire slate. Leicester and Braga have the exact same Group G table lines (2-0 records/5 GF — 1 GA/six points), but I like the Premier League side pick up all three points at the friendly confines of King Power Stadium.
Track your soccer bets in The Action Network app now for live scores, live win probabilities, line-move alerts and so much more.