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European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (Feb. 25-27)

European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (Feb. 25-27) article feature image
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Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: RB Leipzig standout Angeliño.

We are in the thick of the European club soccer calendar, with matches becoming more and more important as they come along.

There were a couple big upsets over the past weekend, with Sassuolo beating Serie A leader Inter Milan on the road and Nantes upsetting French giant Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 play.

FT: Nantes 3-1 PSG

PSG fall to their second defeat of the Ligue 1 season… 👀 pic.twitter.com/wbYasGoEUw

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 19, 2022

There aren’t too many big matches on deck, with Lyon facing Lille and Lazio taking on Napoli being the biggest fixtures of the weekend outside of England.

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

Gladbach vs. Wolfsburg

Gladbach Odds +100
Wolfsburg Odds +275
Draw +255
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +105)
Day | Time Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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This is a great spot for Wolfsburg to continue to trend in the right direction. They did lose to Hoffenheim this past weekend, but Wolfsburg has won the expected-goals battle in four of their last five matches. Even overall for the season, the Wolves have a -11 actual goal differential, but a +0.2 xGDiff overall.

Wolfsburg is an elite defensive team due for a lot of positive regression. They’re second in the Bundesliga, allowing only 1.16 NPxG per match and have only conceded 5.6 xG in their last six games. 

📺 Relive this absolute peach yet again…⬇️

Jonas Wind's first goal for #VfLWolfsburg! pic.twitter.com/NjsqY68pku

— VfL Wolfsburg EN/US 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 (@VfLWolfsburg_EN) February 23, 2022

Elite defense is the exact opposite of what Borussia Mönchengladbach has displayed this season. The question marks started after a 4-1 loss to Köln on Nov. 27 in the German top flight. Since then, the Foals have conceded 24.4 xG in 11 matches and only held foes to less than one xG once in those 11 games.

Wolfsburg has been improving offensively, creating 12.3 xG in their last nine matches and are now up to 11th in NPxG overall.

I have this match projected much closer to a Pick’em, so I love the price on Wolfsburg getting +0.5 goals on the spread line at -115 odds.

Pick: Wolfsburg +0.5 (-115)


Bochum vs. RB Leipzig

Bochum Odds +425
RB Leipzig Odds -155
Draw +310
Over/Under 2.5 (-145 / +120)
Day | Time Sunday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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Bochum is a pretty fraudulent team to be sitting in 11th place in the standings. For the season, they have a -10.1 xGDiff and their defense has been terrible. On average, Bochum is allowing 1.62 xG per match, but it gets really bad when they have to face teams above them in the table.

In 12 matches against the top 10 teams in Germany, Bochum is allowing 2.03 xG per match, including a 3-0 loss to RB Leipzig. The Red Bulls created 2.52 xG against them back in October.

The biggest problem Bochum runs into defensively is they’re allowing way too many big scoring chances, conceding 44 opportunities in 23 matches. That’s a problem against RB Leipzig, who has created the second most big scoring chances in the Bundesliga.

*(graphic via infogol.net)

RB Leipzig’s offensive numbers are impressive, but a lot of it has happened routing lesser competition. Against the bottom nine defenses in terms of xGA per match, which includes Bochum, RB Leipzig has scored 35 goals off 29.4 xG in only 12 matches, per fbref.com. So, the Red Bulls should be able to put at least two goals in the back of the net.

Offensively, Bochum hasn’t been as bad as expected this season. They’re averaging 1.18 xG per match and have been on fire of late, with 7.8 xG goals in their last five matches. The RB Leipzig defense has been very shaky all season, especially when it comes to conceding big scoring chances, as they’ve yielded the sixth most in the German first division.

I have 3.48 goals projected for this match, so I love the total clearing three goals via the Asian Handicap at +115 odds.

Pick: Total Over 3 Goals (+115)


Serie A Projections

Best Bets

Lazio vs. Napoli

Lazio Odds +195
Napoli Odds +150
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -110)
Day | Time Sunday | 2:45 p.m. ET
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This is a “hold-onto-your-seat” type of bet, but it’s a good time to bank on some Lazio offensive regression. The Italian side is one of the biggest offensive performers across Europe’s top-five leagues, scoring 53 goals off 36.9 expected goals this season.

That’s insane and regression is going to come for them over the final 13 matches of the season. Well, now they have to face one of the best defenses in Europe, as Napoli has only allowed 18 goals from 19 xG in 26 matches. 

The last time they met, Napoli destroyed Lazio in a 4-0 rout, but there actually weren’t many high quality chances. Napoli scored those four goals off only 1.2 xG, but most importantly, they held 62% possession and limited Lazio to only eight shots and 0.4 xG, per fbref.com.

If Napoli is able to control a large share of the possession, the pace of this match is going to be very slow. Napoli leads Serie A in sequence time, passes per sequence and build-up attacks, per Opta. So, it’s no surprise that their matches are only averaging 2.37 xG this season.

Additionally, these teams are playing Europa League Knockout Playoff matches next Thursday, so there will be some tired legs in both squads.

I only have 2.01 goals projected for this match, so I like the price on the total staying under 2.5 goals at -110 odds.

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-110)


La Liga Projections

Best Bets

Levante vs. Elche

Levante Odds +105
Elche Odds +280
Draw +245
Over/Under 2.5 (+120 / -140)
Day | Time Friday | 3 p.m. ET
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Levante is really unlucky to be sitting in last place in the La Liga table. On the season, they have a -26 actual goal differential, but a -3.2 xGDiff overall. They are due for a lot of positive regression on defense, conceding 51 goals off 34.5 xG, but being even-money favorites against a decent Elche team is a tad crazy.

Elche has over-performed for the season, as they’re sitting with a -6 actual goal differential, but have a -12.1 xGDiff so far. However, their efforts lately have been encouraging. Since the start of the year, they only have a -1.8 xGDiff in seven games and had to play Real Madrid, Villarreal and Sevilla in that run.

I only have Levante projected at +159, and if you look at FiveThirtyEight, they only have Levante at 43 percent.

That said, I like the value on Elche getting +0.5 on the spread line at -120 odds.

Pick: Elche +0.5 (-120)

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Getafe vs. Alaves

Getafe Odds -105
Alaves Odds +360
Draw +220
Over/Under 1.5 (-155 / +130)
Day | Time Saturday | 10:15 a.m. ET
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Very rarely do I bet draws because if you’re someone like me that uses Poisson distribution, the percentage chance of a draw in a given match is usually well below what the books are offering.

However, this is the rare spot where I believe there’s value in these two teams drawing, which I have projected at +183 odds at 35.39% implied odds, whereas the current price of +220 is 31.25 percent. So, I’m showing 4.14% of value on this betting angle.

The reason I’m showing that is because these are two of the three worst offenses in Spain. Getafe is only averaging 0.78 xG per match, which isn’t only the lowest average in Spain, but the lowest across Europe’s top-five leagues. As for Alaves, they’re only producing 0.96 xG per match.

Now, Getafe is a very good defensive team and typically play these low-event type matches, because they’re very well organized in their 5-3-2 formation. So far this season, when playing out of the 5-3-2 setup, they’re only averaging 0.90 xG per minutes, but also only allowing 1.03 xG per 90 minutes, per understat.com. So, the formation is highly susceptible to draws.

Alaves has struggled defensively, but is due for some positive regression, as they’ve allowed 42 goals off 36.4 xG so far. Also, both clubs are averaging a little more than 41% possession in their La Liga matches, so neither is really used to have the ball a majority of the game.

That said, I like the price on these two clubs drawing at +220 odds in this spot.

Pick: Draw (+220)


Ligue 1 Projections 

Best Bets

Monaco vs. Reims

Monaco Odds -215
Reims Odds +650
Draw +340
Over/Under 2.5 (-105 / -115)
Day | Time Sunday | 7 a.m. ET
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Monaco has had a very interesting season. They’re currently sitting in sixth place with a +9.6 xGDiff, which is a little below where you would expect with a team of this talent to be at this point. They’ve already sacked Niko Kovač and replaced him with manager Philippe Clement of Club Brugge.

However, they have an elite defensive team only allowing 0.84 NPxG per match, which leads the French top flight.

The main reasons for that is because they don’t allow a lot of big scoring chances, having only 19 conceded on the season. Plus, they’re the No. 1 pressing team in France by PPDA, but aren’t turning opponents over at a high level in their own end. For example, Monaco has 208 high turnovers, but have 18 shots off those turnovers, which is the lowest in the French first division.

Reims is a pathetic offensive side sitting bottom five in NPxG, shots per 90 minutes and big scoring chances. They’re also the worst team against pressure in France, which would be a problem against Monaco if they were able to do anything with those turnovers.

However, Reims is a top-five defense in France. They’re only allowing 0.99 NPxG per match and have been rock solid as of late, allowing only two big scoring chances in their last eight games.

Monaco does have the league’s top goal scorer — Wissam Ben Yedder — who has 14 goals in 24 appearances, but the rest of the offense has been pretty poor, as the club is only averaging 1.23 NPxG per match, which is ninth overall.

I only have 1.92 goals projected for this match, so I like the price on the total staying under 2.5 goals at -115 odds and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-115)

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