Europa League Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expert Analysis For Juventus vs Sevilla, Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen

Europa League Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expert Analysis For Juventus vs Sevilla, Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen article feature image
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Stefano Guidi/Getty. Pictured: Angel di Maria.

After two days of Champions League action, both the Europa League and Europa Conference League will stage the first two legs of their respective semifinals on Thursday.

The Europa League provided plenty of late drama in the last round after Roma had a late comeback to beat Feyenoord at home and Juventus held off a late flurry of chances from Sporting to make the semifinal. This Europa League is not just a chance at European silverware for the four remaining clubs, but Sevilla, Leverkusen and likely Roma will need to win the competition if they want to be in the Champions League this fall.

Juventus are viewed by the market as a solid -155 favorite to advance against Sevilla, who have the recent history in this competition on their side despite poor form in La Liga most of the season. Leverkusen are the slight favorite at -125 to qualify for the final against Roma, but Roma just won the Europa Conference League under José Mourinho last season.

Here are my two best bets for the Europa League semifinals.

Europa League Odds & Picks

Juventus vs Sevilla

Juventus Odds-134
Sevilla Odds+400
Draw+260
Over/Under2.5 (+130 / -163)
Day | TimeThursday |  3 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Juventus haven't conceded a goal from open play in any of their last five Europa League matches, but they benefitted from some very friendly matchups against overachieving sides. Nantes were the best draw Juventus could have asked for in the round of 32 — a bottom half side in Ligue 1 who then got a red card early in the second leg. Juventus benefitted from a matchup with average Bundesliga side Freiburg in the round of 16 and then conceded more than 3 xG in two legs against a solid and capable Sporting Lisbon side in the quarterfinal.

Over 180 minutes, Max Allegri's side was a bit fortunate to have skated through given the quality of chances at both ends of the pitch.

Sevilla's underlying numbers fell off a cliff in the first half of the season, but they've rebounded and regressed back toward their priors since. Prior to the World Cup break, Sevilla were 17th in xG difference in Spain and a legitimate relegation level performer. The talent always suggested they couldn't remain that bad and since February began, Sevilla are seventh in xG difference and producing 1.54 xG per match.

They are up to fifth in field tilt, fifth in final third entries and fifth in crosses. Sevilla may have switched managers twice this year, but the slow build up play and crossing approach remains a focus of the attack. Given how little Juventus counter-presses to win the ball back once losing possession and how passive they are, Sevilla should be able to get plenty of crosses and box entries to apply consistent pressure into the Juventus penalty area.

Juventus' defense is just seventh in Italy in xGA, doesn't press off the ball and doesn't stop teams from getting shots or crosses into the box. There's a ton of regression coming for this group given its alarming defensive profile. And while Sevilla's defensive profile has improved marginally, it too remains below average in Spain. I know the narrative on first legs supports the under in this tie, but both defenses are too shaky to not take the over on a deflated total.

Dabbundo's Picks: Over 2.5 (+130), Both Teams to Score – Yes (+115)

Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen

Roma Odds+110
Leverkusen Odds+275
Draw+230
Over/Under2.5 (+120 / -150)
Day | TimeThursday |  3 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Xabi Alonso played under José Mourinho for multiple seasons at Real Madrid, and now he'll coach against him as manager of Bayer Leverkusen against Roma. Neither team has a realistic top four shot at the moment, so this competition is likely the only path to the Champions League. Alonso has solidly improved Leverkusen since taking over in the fall, but he's also benefitted from the return of attacking star Florian Wirtz. Wirtz has three goals and two assists in six Europa League 90s. He's also added six assists in Germany and 0.51 xG + xA per 90 in Europe this year.

Leverkusen are pressing significantly less now than they did in years past. Only Union Berlin have a lower passes per defensive action number in the Bundesliga. As a result, Leverkusen are 13th in Germany in box entries allowed. Die Werkself are well above average at limiting box entries and shot volume though, showing real improvement from the manic pressing and risk taking defense of years past that conceded too many chances.

Roma don't press once losing possession, which gives this match a real chance of playing out as a stalemate. The possessions will be lengthy in build up, and both defenses are excellent at defending their penalty areas. Roma have conceded fewer xGA than any team in Europe and even though Roma have failed to keep a clean sheet in four matches, they haven't conceded more than 1 xG in any of those matches.

Leverkusen are just 15th in expected threat in Germany, so don't expect sustained pressure on either penalty area.

Dabbundo's Pick: Under 2.25 (-113)

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