European Soccer Best Bets & Odds: Our 3 Early Betting Picks for Premier League, Bundesliga, More (Aug. 20-21)

European Soccer Best Bets & Odds: Our 3 Early Betting Picks for Premier League, Bundesliga, More (Aug. 20-21) article feature image

Marc Atkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City standout Phil Foden.

The European soccer season is now fully underway, with La Liga and Serie A joining the festivities this past weekend.

That said, I'm here to give you a look at some bets I've already made before this weekend's latest matches. The goal here is to beat the market and get some closing line value using my projections.

Also, if you'd like to follow me in The Action Network App you can see any bets I make during the week.


Augsburg vs. Mainz | Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET

Augsburg was really close to relegation last season with its -20.1 xGDiff during the Bundesliga campaign Without making any significant moves in the transfer market, it was pegged as odds-on favorite to be relegated this season.

The club was handed a 4-0 blowout loss to Freiburg on opening weekend and followed that with an incredibly lucky to road win at Bayer Leverkusen.

On the other side, Mainz was one of the league's more underrated teams last season. It was  incredibly stout on defense, ranking inside the top six in expected goals allowed, shots conceded per 90 minutes and big scoring chances yielded.

Tough luck for Bayer Leverkusen in their 2-1 home defeat against Augsburg in the Bundesliga yesterday…

— The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) August 14, 2022

Mainz also were a top-three pressing team by PPDA, high turnovers and ball recoveries. In contrast, Augsburg was one of the worst Bundesliga teams at playing through pressure, ranking 17th in Offensive PPDA overall.

Finally, Mainz created a whopping 5.6 xG over the two meetings against Augsburg last season.

On opening weekend at Bochum , it went from +130 to +120 at close and is a club that gets a lot of love in the market, so I wouldn't be shocked if they close around +105 odds.

I have Mainz projected at -103, so I love them at +118, which is the best line available and would play it down to +112 odds.

The Pick: Mainz ML (+118 | play to +112)

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Serie A

Torino vs. Lazio | Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET

This line makes no sense, but I expect smart money to push it toward where the line should be (Pick'em) come kickoff.

Torino was one of the most underrated teams in not just in Italy, but across Europe last season. The club finished in 10th place in the table, but had a +9.1 xGDiff, which was actually better than Lazio (+7.6 xGDiff), which finished four places higher in the standings.

Torino did lose its best defender in Ginelson Bremer, but delivered a typical dominant performance against an inferior opponent last time out.

*(Graphic courtesy of

Defensively, Torino was third in xGA, shots allowed per 90 minutes and big scoring chances conceded. That last statistic is key when facing Lazio, because its offense almost entirely relies on big scoring chances. It was second in the Italian top flight in that category, but 13th in shots/90 minutes.

Now, we get to the Lazio negative regression. Last season, the side scored 77 off 55.3 xG, which was a 21.7 goal over-performance overall. That's totally insane. Lazio's first match against Bologna was more the of the same, scoring two goals off 0.58 xG in the contest.

A lot of its offensive success came against the bottom half of the table. Against the top five defensive teams (Napoli, AC Milan, Torino, Juventus and Atalanta), Lazio created only 9.6 xG in 10 matches and just 1.6 xG across two matches against Torino.

Money has already came in on Torino, moving Lazio from +115 to +120 and I expect the line to move closer to Pick'em prior to the meeting. That said, the price on the side at +0.5 goals via the spread line is going to get expensive.

I have Torino projected as a +157 moneyline favorite, so I love getting that half goal at -145 and would play it up to -172 odds. The Draw No Bet wager at +103 or better works as well.

The Pick: Torino +0.5 (-145)

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Premier League

Newcastle vs. Man City | Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET

Manchester City is rightfully a massive favorite again. All of the shine through the first two matches has been on the attack, where the Cityzens have scored six combined goals against West Ham United and Bournemouth.

However, can we talk about the Man City defense?

The Cityzens have kept back-to-back clean sheets, only allowing a total of 0.50 xG, nine shots and 17 touches in its penalty area. Those are dominant numbers that are a continuation of last season, when they allowed 0.64 xG per outing and ranked No. 1 in every single defensive metric.

Newcastle had a great run after the January transfer window, but did you know it only averaged 1.24 xG per game in that time span? In fact, in the Magpies' final 10 matches last season and two matches this campaign, they created a total of five big scoring chances. They also played Manchester City toward the end of last season and got pasted in a 5-0 shellacking.

*(Graphic courtesy of via The Analyst)

Manchester City plays a possession-dominant style that suffocates foes and forces them to defend inside their final third for 65 to 75 percent of the game.

The Cityzens were also the No,. 1 pressing team in the EPL by PPDA last season, while Newcastle was last in Offensive PPDA after the transfer window. So, I don't know how Newcastle is going to create anywhere close to 1.00 xG in this latest meeting.

I have the Both Teams To Score (No) line projected at -129 and imagine as the week goes on that wager, along with the total staying under three goals via the Asian Handicap, will take some significant money,

As of now, I love the price I'm getting for BTTS (No) at +100 and would play it to -112 odds.

The Pick: Both Teams to Score — No (+100 | play to -112)

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