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European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (April 15-18)

European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (April 15-18) article feature image
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Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: RB Leipzig standout Angeliño.

With Champions League and Europa League down to the final four, plenty of clubs outside England can now turn their full focus to domestic competitions.

The drama in Serie A is off the charts right now, with AC Milan is leading Inter Milan and Napoli by just two points in the exciting Italian top flight.


*Graphic courtesy of FBref.com


This weekend, there are a few massive matches with plenty at stake like Bayer Leverkusen facing RB Leipzig in Bundesliga action; Sevilla taking on Real Madrid in La Liga; Napoli battling Roma in Serie A; and Paris Saint-Germain going up against Marseille in their Ligue 1 showdown.

If you’d like to read more about how I determine my projections, you can check it all out here.

You can use these projections to identify betting value on current lines, plus follow me in The Action Network App to see any bets I make during the week.

Bundesliga Projections

Best Bets

Leverkusen vs. RB Leipzig

Leverkusen Odds +190
RB Leipzig Odds +125
Draw +270
Over/Under 2.5 (-175 / +120)
Day | Time Sunday | 1:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Oh my, how the tables have turned. For much of the Bundesliga season, Leverkusen was massive over-performers on offense, but RB Leipzig has now taken the baton from the club.

Over its last eight Bundesliga matches, the Red Bulls scored 24 goals off 10.6 expected goals, which is insanity. I mean over their last two games against Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim they scored seven goals of 2.4 xG overall.

So, this run has to end at some point and what better time coming off a road trip to Italy, where Leipzig faced Atalanta in the second leg of the Europa League tie. The Red Bulls then had to travel back to Germany for Sunday’s contest at Leverkusen.

If you can believe it, Leverkusen has actually been a tad underrated on offense. Since a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich, the side has scored five goals off 8.1 xG, which isn’t surprising given all of the negative regression that was due.

That said, Leverkusen is still third in the Bundesliga in NPxG, averaging 1.68 per match. On the flip side, the club is top five in the league in NPxG allowed and second in big scoring chances conceded. That’s massive against RB Leipzig, which averages 2.14 big scoring chances per game. In fact, Leverkusen has only yielded a total of four big scoring chances in their last seven fixtures.

I have Leverkusen projected at +124 on the moneyline at home, so I love it on Draw No Bet wager at +115 odds and catching RB Leipzig in a really bad spot.

Pick: Bayer Leverkusen — Draw No Bet (+115)


Serie A Projections

Best Bets

Lazio vs. Torino

Lazio Odds -155
Torino Odds +425
Draw +280
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / -115)
Day | Time Saturday | 2:45 p.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The Lazio offensive over-performance hasn’t stopped. Last weekend, the club scored four goals on 1.5 xG against Genoa. So, Lazio now has 64 goals this season via 46.5 xG, which means it’s getting comical at this point.

Lazio is 14th in Serie A in shots per 90 minutes, but second in big scoring chances. So, it truly lives and dies on high-quality chances. That’s a problem when you face Torino, which is one of the league’s best defensive outfits.

Torino just held AC Milan to a 0-0 draw and only 0.8 xG, which isn’t surprising if you’ve been paying attention. For the season, Torino is only allowing 0.84 NPxG per match, 10.13 shot per 90 minutes and 0.71 big scoring chances per outing, all of which are third in the Italian top flight.

Torino is best pressing team in Serie A, ranking first in PPDA and pressure success rate. It’s also second in terms of progressive passes plus dribbles allowed, as well as sixth in both high turnovers and shots created off high turnovers, per Opta.

Lazio really struggles when it has to face some of the top defenses in Italy. Against the top six defenses in terms of xGA per match, Lazio is averaging 1.1 xG per game and have a -7 xGD in nine contests.

Against the rest of Serie A, it’s averaging 1.59 xG per match and have a +13.3 xGDiff in 23 matches. On the other hand, Torino plays incredibly well against the big boys. In 10 matches versus the current top six teams, Torino only has a -0.5 xGDiff in league play.

I have this match projected right at Pick’em, considering for the year Torino has a +9 xGDiff, while Lazio is at only +6.3 xDiff overall.

So, I love Torino getting +1 on the spread line at -140 odds in this contest.

Pick: Torino +1 (-140)


La Liga Projections

Best Bets

Alavés vs. Rayo Vallecano

Alavés Odds  +160
Rayo Vallecano Odds +180
Draw +210
Over/Under 2.5 (+130 / -185)
Day | Time Saturday | 10:15 a.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This line is a little crazy because Alavés is the worst team in La Liga and is staring relegation in the face. So, why is it the slight home favorite against Rayo Vallecano?

Well, it’s because Rayo Vallecano hasn’t won a match since Dec. 18 of last year and can you guess who it beat? Alavés. However, Rayo Vallecano hasn’t really been that bad over this run. They’ve just been incredibly unlikely. Since the win against Alavés, Vallecano has picked up four points in 12 tilts and has a -13 goal differential, but its xGDiff is only -5.57 and its xP are 12.84, per understat.com.

And since the loss to Rayo Vallecano, Alavés is allowing 1.86 xG per match and has allowed 27 big scoring chances in 14 contests. Things have been really bad of late as well, with the club yielding a whopping 9.2 xG in their last four games.

Offensively, things have been bad since that December loss as well. Alavés has only created more than one xG four times in its last 14 matches and is only averaging 0.80 NPxG per match for the season.

The main reason Rayo Vallecano dominated Alavés in the previous meeting is because the latter couldn’t play through its pressure. Vallecano had a 47.9% pressure success rate and its PPDA was at 2.66 overall. So, basically it was one of the best pressing performances of the La Liga season.

Overall, Rayo Vallecano is fourth in La Liga in PPDA, while Alavés is 18th in Offensive PPDA. So, I’m expecting Rayo Vallecano’s pressing to be successful once again.

I have Rayo Vallecano projected as a +131 road favorite, so I love the value we’re currently getting on its Draw No Bet line at -105 odds.

Pick: Rayo Vallecano — Draw No Bet (-105)


Ligue 1 Projections

Best Bets

Lyon vs. Bordeaux

Lyon Odds -300
Bordeaux Odds +775
Draw +475
Over/Under 3.5 (+115 / -160)
Day | Time Sunday | 11:05 a.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

It’s desperation time for both of clubs for different reasons. Lyon is within five points of a Europa League spot, while Bordeaux is two points from safety out of the relegation zone.

These are two of the highest event teams in Ligue 1, with Lyon’s matches averaging 3.04 xG per match, while Bordeaux’s games are averaging 2.94 xG overall. It’s also worth noting Bordeaux has only kept one clean sheet on the season in Ligue 1 play.

Offensively, Lyon has been a juggernaut all season. Its 1.72 xG per match average is good for third in the French top flight. Lyon is also top five in shots per 90 minutes, box entries, big scoring chances and progressive passes. The club also been on fire in the second half of the season, because the last time Lyon was held at less than one xG was against Lille on Dec. 12 of last year.

*(Graphic via infogol.net)

Well, now it gets to face the worst defense in France, as Bordeaux is allowing 1.84 xG per match and conceded 45 big scoring chances in 31 fixtures.

On the flip side, the defense has struggled, allowing 1.33 xG per match, which is 14th in Ligue 1 and has allowed its opponents to create more than one xG in 20 of its 31 matches in Ligue 1. Bordeaux actually isn’t that bad offensively for a 19th-place team. It averages 1.10 xG per game, which is 11th in France. It also creates the ninth-most shots per 90 minutes and has the 11th most big scoring chances.

Additionally, the last time these sides met it was pure chaos. The match ended in a 2-2 draw, with 4.7 xG created and seven big scoring chances, five of which were generated by Bordeaux.

I have the Both Teams To Score (Yes) wager projected at -136, so I like the value on the current line of -116 odds and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Both Teams to Score — Yes (-116)

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