Europa League Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our 2 Best Bets From Matches Featuring Barcelona, Atalanta & RB Leipzig (April 14)

Europa League Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our 2 Best Bets From Matches Featuring Barcelona, Atalanta & RB Leipzig (April 14) article feature image

Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

After the Champions League provided plenty of late drama Tuesday and Wednesday, with three of the four two-legged ties coming down to the final kicks of the ball, the Europa League matches on Thursday's card are also are set up to provide entertainment.

West Ham United and Lyon tied, 1-1, in London last week and now the match shifts to France with the advantage to the latter club, but not much of one as either side could advance at this point. Barcelona struggled on the road at Eintracht Frankfurt, but managed a 1-1 draw as well and is now coming home.

Barcelona is a clear favorite to go through, but Frankfurt has top German sides like RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund trouble this season.

Braga is the only team of the eight with a lead after one contest since it beat Rangers at home in the opening leg. Now on the road, though, it will need to avoid defeat to go through. The most exciting matchup of the round between Atalanta and RB Leipzig ended in a 1-1 tie and will again be up for grabs. Both are currently 50-50 to advance, per oddsmakers.

That said, here are my two best bets for the Europa League second-leg quarterfinal matches.

Thursday's Best Bets

Atalanta vs. RB Leipzig

Atalanta Odds+165
Leipzig Odds+150
Over/Under2.5 (-145 / +105)
Day | TimeThursday | 12:45 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+ | fuboTV
Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Atalanta and RB Leipzig played to a thrilling 1-1 draw in the first leg in Germany last Thursday in a game that featured four shots off the woodwork and nearly four expected goals. Atalanta controlled large stretches with its possession, plus created more shots and chances. However, the host was dangerous on the counterattack and broke through for plenty of second-half chances.

Now, as the match shifts to Italy, I don't see a reason for this meeting not to play out similarly to the last contest.

Neither side has a lead to protect, which means both have to be more aggressive in going forward to try and win the tie. While some European clubs would tend to be more conservative, that's not in the Atalanta DNA and or what I'm expecting from manager Gian Piero Gasperini's men.

Leipzig's defense has been running ridiculously well when you compare its actual goals allowed to it'd expected goals allowed and Atalanta has the firepower to expose that in attack.

And while the German side's defense is due to regress, Leipzig's counterattacking prowess broke through for plenty of high-quality chances last time and I'm expecting it to do so again. The Red Bulls will be able to exploit the space vacated by Atalanta's overlapping center backs attacking tactic, thus catching them out in transition because of it.

The last game should have cleared well over 2.5 goals and I'm expecting a back-and-forth affair here, plus my projections show value on the over as well.

Dabbundo's Pick: Single Game Parlay — Both Teams to Score (Yes) & Total Over 2.5 Goals (-120)

BJ Cunningham's Europa Projections

Barcelona vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Barcelona Odds-275
Frankfurt Odds+700
Over/Under2.5 (-175 / +120)
Day | TimeThursday | 3 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+ | fuboTV
Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Barcelona has been arguably the hottest team in all of Europe in the last six weeks since Xavi has had time to implement his system. The club also brought in some January reinforcements to improve its depth across the frontline

I've been buying low on Barcelona for the better part of two months now, but the total seems a bit too high for me given Frankfurt's likely attempts to play a defensive style and see out a result.

Barcelona only managed seven shots in the first leg on the road in Frankfurt, and while it should be better at Camp Nou, Frankfurt did an excellent job of keeping the La Liga side from easily moving the ball into the penalty area to create high-quality chances.

Xavi's team completed 51 final third passes, but managed to get just eight into the penalty area for the entire match. That level of low-to-mid block defending and countering is sure to be Frankfurt's approach and I think they can do enough to slow down a red-hot team.

It wasn't long ago Barcelona was one of the biggest xG underperformers in attack in all of Europe. Now, it has finished solidly above its xG numbers. That's in part because it has tallied 36 goals in 14 matches across all competitions.

I think Barcelona will have no trouble advancing, but a more conservative Frankfurt approach means goals will be harder to come by and I only project 2.78 in this match. So, I will back the total staying under three goals at +100 odds via the Asian Handicap and make it my top pick.

Dabbundo's Pick: Total Under 3 Goals (+100)

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