Thursday Europa League Odds, Betting Predictions, Model Projections: Back Celtic, Rangers

Thursday Europa League Odds, Betting Predictions, Model Projections: Back Celtic, Rangers article feature image
Credit:

Steve Welsh/Getty Images. Pictured: Celtic standout Kyogo Furuhashi.

  • Europa League action rolls on Thursday with 16 matches across the continent.
  • Brad Cunningham gives his model projections for each match, and a few sides he's betting, including Celtic and Rangers.

The Europa League returns Thursday for the fourth round of group-stage matches. Similar to the Champions League, it’s been dubbed “rematch day” as these are the reverse fixtures of the matches we saw a few weeks ago.

There isn’t a lot of big-time matchups, with the best meetings on the board featuring Bayer Leverkusen vs. Real Betis and Marseille vs. Lazio. So, that means this round of games is built for bettors like us.

If you’d like to read more about how I determine my projected lines and totals using an expected goals model, you can read about it here.

For the Europa League, my projections factor in UEFA Coefficients for every country represented in the competition. The projections also factor in the talent of each squad based on their total transfer value on Transfer Market.

That way, the projections can account for the strength of the domestic league each club plays in and the talent level of each club.

Europa League Projections

Best Bets

Brøndby vs. Rangers

Brøndby Odds +285
Rangers Odds -105
Draw +275
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | Time Thursday | 12:45 p.m. ET
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Rangers completely dominated Brøndby when these two met a few weeks ago in Glasgow. The Scottish champion earned a 2-0 victory and won the expected-goals battle by a 2.24-0.97 margin. Rangers also had 31 shot-creating actions, compared to 10 for Brøndby; 28 touches in the penalty area, with only 10 for Brøndby; and, the losing side didn’t have a shot on target.

Rangers is in fantastic form in the Scottish Premier League, as they have a four-point lead over rival Celtic. They’re averaging a whopping 2.35 xG per match and only allowing 0.71 xG per outing, so manager Steven Gerrard’s side is legit. The three points against Brøndby was much needed, as Rangers is now only one point behind Sparta Prague for second place in Group A.

Brøndby is starting to get exposed in the Europa League for the team they truly are at the moment. They’re currently sitting in sixth place in the Danish Superliga, with only 21 points in their first 14 matches and have a +0.42 xGDiff. Their defense has allowed a whopping 7.6 xG in their first three Europa League matches, so there’s not much hope for Brøndby.

Also, the gap between the Scottish Premier League and the Danish Superliga from a UEFA Coefficients perspective is pretty significant, with Scotland ranked as the ninth-most difficult league and Denmark well behind as the 22nd-most difficult European league.

I have Rangers projected at -146, so I think there’s some value on the Scottish champions to grab all three points on the road in Denmark at -105 odds via DraftKings and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Rangers ML (-105)

Royal Antwerp vs. Fenerbahçe

Royal Antwerp Odds +285
Fenerbahçe Odds -105
Draw +275
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | Time Thursday | 4 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

This match was very chaotic when these two teams met a few weeks ago. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, with 5.4 xG created. There was also a combined for 34 shot-creating actions, 49 touches in the penalty area and 74 progressive passes, per fbref.com.

Fenerbahçe really should have won the game, creating 3.0 xG and wound up with a 2-0 lead inside the first 30 minutes behind goals from Enner Valencia.

Enner Valencia vs Antwerp ⚽️⚽️@Fenerbahce_EN | #UEL pic.twitter.com/DkUTvB6G5d

— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) October 26, 2021

Fenerbahçe is no stranger to high-scoring matches, either, because in the Turkish Superliga this season their matches are averaging 2.73 xG and their last six matches domestically have gone over 2.5 goals. Additionally, their games in the Europa League are averaging 4.13 xG per outing.

Domestically, Royal Antwerp is a highly overrated team. They’re due for a ton of negative regression defensively, as they’ve only allowed 16 goals. However, their opponents have created 24.83 xG, which is the worst mark in the Belgium Pro League. Even through their first three Europa League matches, they’ve allowed their opponents to create 6.5 xG overall.

I have 3.25 goals projected for this game, so I think there’s value on the total over 2.5 goals at -120 on DraftKings and would play it up to -135 odds.

Pick: Total Over 2.5 Goals (-120)

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Ferencváros vs. Celtic

Ferencváros Odds +215
Celtic Odds +125
Draw +265
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | Time Thursday | 4 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

Celtic totally dominated Ferencváros in the previous meeting, winning 2-0 and out-creating the Hungarian champions by  3.4-0.6 margin in the xG category.

In that matchup, Celtic also had 19 more shot-creating actions, 197 more touches in the final third and completed 378 more passes than its opponent.

The ball from Jota. The finish from Kyogo Furuhashi. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Pe4FwXlrSx

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 19, 2021

Celtic has been in good form in the Scottish Premier League after a shaky start, as they’ve won four of their last five matches on the domestic front. They’re averaging a crazy 2.15 xG per match, while only allowing 0.85 xG per game.

Ferencváros has really struggled in their three Europa League matches, losing all of them and conceding 7.3 xG as well. That isn’t really that shocking, because they haven’t been that dominant in their domestic campaign, as they’re only averaging 1.42 xG per match and only have one win in their last three fixtures.

Also, the gap between the Scottish Premier League and the Hungarian First Division from a UEFA Coefficients perspective is pretty significant, with Scotland ranked as the ninth-most difficult league and Hungary is well behind as the 28th-most difficult European league.

I have Celtic projected at -116, so I think there’s some value on them at +125 via DraftKings to grab all three points again in this matchup.

Pick: Celtic ML (+125)

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