Europa League Odds, Picks, Predictions | Juventus vs Sevilla, Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen

Europa League Odds, Picks, Predictions | Juventus vs Sevilla, Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen article feature image

Chris Ricco/Getty. Pictured: Adrien Rabiot and Ivan Rakitic.

The two places in the Champions League final are set after Tuesday and Wednesday's second legs, and the two spots in Europe's second competition will be decided on Thursday as Sevilla host Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen host Roma in the Europa League.

Juventus scored a last-second goal deep into stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw with Sevilla despite being outplayed for the majority of the match. Roma had a textbook José Mourinho performance in which the Italian side conceded very little, pounced on a Leverkusen mistake and won 1-0. Roma hit the road protecting their lead on Thursday.

The winners of these two ties will meet in Budapest on May 31 to decide the champion and spot in next year's Champions League.

Here are my two best bets for the Europa League semifinal second legs.

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Europa League Odds & Picks

Juventus vs Sevilla

Juventus Odds+210
Sevilla Odds+140
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.

The first leg between these two sides on Thursday finished with 3.6 xG and 24 attempts at goal. Even though both sides would be viewed as traditionally more defensive groups, the first leg featured a ton of chances at both ends of the pitch. Sevilla completed seven passes and three crosses into the Juventus penalty area, a sign of just how passive Juventus is defensively. Better finishing from the Spanish side would have seen them go up 2-0 in the first leg, but a couple high profile misses and saves kept the game at 1-0.

Sevilla played a considerably more conservative second half and wasn't able to hold off the increasing pressure from Juventus' attack as it ended 1-1 in stoppage time. The first half of this match showed just how easily Sevilla were able to progress the ball up the pitch and play through Juventus' defenses. The Spanish side took 12 of the 15 shots attempted in the first 45 minutes.

It's true that Sevilla struggled prior to the World Cup, but they've been playing like the seventh or eighth-best team in Spain since February. Given that Juventus' defense is just seventh in xG allowed and bottom half in box entries allowed, Sevilla could expose them at home. There has been a stark contrast this entire tournament in Sevilla's home and away performances in Europe this season. Look no further than the last round, when Sevilla played Manchester United off the park at home and won 3-0.

My projections make Sevilla +150 to win this tie in regulation at home and advance to the final inside 90 minutes. I'd bet them at +140 or better. Sevilla have taken some money since opening as a small, near coin flip home favorite. If Sevilla get down to -137 or better to qualify, I'd also lay the juice there.

Dabbundo's Picks: Sevilla ML (+140 or better) | Sevilla to Advance (-137 or better)

Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen

Roma Odds+280
Bayer Leverkusen Odds+105
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.

Nothing that happened in the first leg changed my view that Roma are a better team than Leverkusen, especially in a two-legged tournament setting. The Italian side conceded solid chances to Adam Hlozek and Florian Wirtz in the first seven minutes, and then Leverkusen weren't able to generate much of anything in front of the Roma goal until the last desperation minutes of the match. That remained true once Roma went up a goal and Leverkusen needed to be a bit more aggressive going forward. From minute eight to minute 80, Leverkusen managed four attempts at goal with a total xG of 0.10.

In terms of expected goals, Leverkusen managed to get to 1 xG in totality, but only three of those shots registered over 0.10 xG. Two of those three good chances were blocked by Roma defenders inside the penalty area. Roma have the best penalty box defense in all of Europe and no team has conceded fewer xG. It makes it a real challenge for Leverkusen to get to two goals and turn this tie around.

Leverkusen had 62% of the possession in the match, which is also textbook Mourinho. For all of their possession, Xabi Alonso's side wasn't able to break into the penalty area with any frequency. Leverkusen had three passes into the penalty area and two crosses + carries into the box. Despite way less possession, Roma out-touched their German opponent 20-8 in penalty area touches.

The line for this match is almost the exact flip as the first leg in Rome. Roma was a +100 moneyline favorite. The market is pricing Leverkusen as the marginally better team – a market rating I disagree with. I'll ride with Mourinho's side finding a goal in transition and it being enough to get them into the Europa League final.

My projection only has Leverkusen at +135 to win this match, and I'd bet Roma +0.5 at -125 or better.

Dabbundo's Pick: Roma +0.5 (-125 or better)

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