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European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 & More (April 30-May 2)

European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 & More (April 30-May 2) article feature image
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Octavio Passos/Getty Images. Pictured: Atlético Madrid standout Antoine Griezmann.

Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich celebrated their respective league titles in France and Germany this past weekend, which means two of the biggest clubs in the world have nothing to play for in their final few matches.

Real Madrid is also on the cusp of clinching the La Liga championship, which means the only crown up for grabs is in Italy and we have some drama there.

AC Milan has now taken a two-point advantage in Serie A with four games left to play after Inter Milan stumbled in a midweek 2-1 road loss against Bologna.

A HOWLER FROM ANDREI RADU. 😳

A LOSS FOR INTER THAT COULD COST THEM THE SCUDETTO.

THE TITLE IS NOW IN MILAN'S HANDS. 🔴⚫ pic.twitter.com/c48UCXVs4n

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) April 27, 2022

This weekend, there is a ton at stake in terms of Champions League spots around Europe, but most notably in Germany, where Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig look to seal their spots in the European competition next season.

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

Augsburg vs. Köln

Augsburg Odds  +175
Köln Odds +145
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-135 / -105)
Day | Time Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Augsburg is going to be really lucky not to get relegated this season. The club has all but secured safety after beating Bochum last weekend, putting the club seven points ahead of the relegation zone with three matches to play. However, the over-performance since the beginning of March has been a bit drastic, as it has a +4 actual goal differential, but a -1.4 xGDiff overall. 

Köln is battling for a Europa Conference League spot, which would be a big deal for a side that was in the relegation playoff a season ago. It has been in fine form, winning its last three matches and creating 6.3 xG overall. That said, this is a great matchup for the  for a couple of reasons.

First off, Köln is one of the best pressing teams in the German top flight, ranking first in PPDA, second in pressure success rate and third in high turnovers, per Opta. In contrast, Augsburg is terrible at playing through pressure, ranking 17th in Offensive PPDA overall.

Secondly, Köln gets off a ton of shots, ranking third in the Bundesliga in attempts per 90 minutes and it’s the No. 1 team in crosses completed into the penalty area, while Augsburg is bottom five defensively in both categories.

The last time these two met, Augsburg earned a 2-0 win, but it was an unfair result, as Köln won the xG battle by a 1.2-0.7 margin. So, I am expecting Köln to enact some revenge in this latest meeting.

I have Köln projected at -139 on the Draw No Bet line, so I like the value on the current odds of -120 odds and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Köln — Draw No Bet (-120)


Serie A Projections

Best Bets

Cagliari vs. Verona

Cagliari Odds  +150
Verona Odds +180
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 / -135)
Day | Time Saturday | 9 a.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Yes, Verona has been over-performing on offense all season in terms of its actual goals scored compared to its xG created with 59 goals off 47.1 xG overall. However, the visiting side has drastically under-performed defensively, allowing 51 goals off 42.2 xG this season.

The club is still alive for a spot in the top seven, which would get them into the Europa Conference League and that would be a big deal for a team of its size.

Cagliari is in the relegation battle, sitting only three points above the drop zone. The reason for that is its defense is allowing too many high-quality chances, as it’s 19th in Serie A in big scoring chances conceded. Offensively, the side has been poor, averaging only 1.04 xG per match and is last in box entries, per fbref.com.

This is a great matchup for Verona, which is a top-five pressing team in the Italian top flight by PPDA, pressure success rate and high turnovers. Cagliari struggles playing through pressure, ranking 14th in Offensive PPDA overall.

Cagliari really struggles creating high quality chances as well, as it’s 13th in big scoring chances. And that’s good news for Verona, because that is its main weakness, ranking 13th in big scoring chances allowed.

I have Verona projected as a +119 road favorite, so I like the value on its Draw No Bet line at +105 odds.

Pick: Verona — Draw No Bet (+105)


La Liga Projections

Best Bets

Athletic Bilbao vs. Atlético Madrid

Athletic Bilbao Odds  +200
Atlético Madrid Odds +150
Draw +210
Over/Under 2.5 (+130 / -185)
Day | Time Saturday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This is most likely going to be a low-event type match, with clubs playing rivaling 4-4-2 formations and similar styles of play facing against each other. However, I do believe Atlético Madrid is a little undervalued on the road.

First off, Athletic Bilbao allows a ton of shots, ranking 13th in Spain in shots allowed per 90 minutes. However, the good news is a lot are low quality, as it’s second in big scoring chances conceded. Secondly, Athletic Bilbao yields a lot of crosses into the penalty area, as it’s 17th crosses allowed into the box, which isn’t not good news when playing against this kind of formation.

Additionally, Athletic Bilbao just allowed Cadiz to create 3.62 xG and get off 27 shots against it in its last match, which is extremely concerning considering going into the game, Cadiz was last in La Liga in xG this season.

*(graphic via infogol.net)

Atlético Madrid is still the No. 1 defensive team in the Spanish top flight in every important metric, including allowing only 0.70 NPxG per match.

On the other side, Athletic Bilbao boasts a top-six offense in a lot of metrics, but struggled big time the last time it faced this foe when it created only 0.9 xG in the contest. The side only had six total shots, with 11 shot-creating actions and that came after Joao Felix received a red card in the 78th minute. 

I have Atlético Madrid projected as a +132 road favorite, so I like the value on the side to grab all three points at +150 odds in this meeting.

Pick: Atlético Madrid ML (+150)


Ligue 1 Projections

Best Bets

Bordeaux vs. Nice

Bordeaux Odds  +290
Nice Odds -110
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-130 / -110)
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 these clubs, with Nice fighting for a spot inside the top three in the table and Bordeaux trying to get out of the relegation zone with four matches to play.

Nice has done a fantastic job dominating the bottom half of the French top flight, putting up a +14.6 xGDiff in 18 matches, while also averaging 1.73 xG per contest. Manager Christophe Galtier has done a masterful job, just like he did with Lille last season, revitalizing one of the biggest clubs in France.

His 4-4-2 system that was so successful at Lille has been outstanding with Nice this season, as a mid-table club that was averaging 1.24 xG per match a campaign ago is now putting up 1.55 xG per 90 minutes when playing out of this formation, per understat.com.

That outstanding offense travels to southwestern France to take on the not only the worst defense in France, but the worst in Europe’s top-five leagues. Bordeaux has only kept one clean sheet and allowed a whopping 84 goals in 34 matches. Yes, it has been unlucky as its opponents have only created 62.4 xG, but allowing 1.84 xG per contest is still really bad.

When these two met earlier this season, Nice completely dominated Bordeaux in a 4-0 victory and created 3.1 xG in the winning effort.

I have Nice projected as a -123 road favorite, so I like the value on the side at +100 odds and will make it my top pick.

Pick: Nice ML (+100)

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