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European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (May 13-16)

European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (May 13-16) article feature image
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David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images. Pictured: Atlético Madrid standout João Félix celebrates with his teammates.

This is the final weekend where all five top European leagues will be in action for the 2021-22 season.

The Bundesliga concludes its 34-match campaign Saturday, with the entire league kicking off at 9:30 a.m. ET in simultaneous matches. The automatic relegation places and title are decided, but the race for the final Champions League place is on the line.

Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League conclude their seasons next weekend, making this the penultimate set of games across those leagues.

That said, here are my best bets from each league across the European continent as the season draws near a close.

Bundesliga Best Bet

Augsburg vs. Greuther Fürth

Augsburg Odds  -180
Fürth Odds +400
Draw +425
Over/Under 3.5 (+100 / -125)
Day | Time Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Two of the five worst teams in the Bundesliga will conclude their seasons against one another, with relegated Greuther Fürth traveling to Augsburg.

The host side is safe from any relegation worries, but the underlying metrics suggest it has been pretty fortunate to not be in more danger. If you go simply by the expected-goals table, Augsburg’s -0.65 xG difference per 90 minutes is the third worst in the German top flight.

Fürth had a brutal start to the Bundesliga season and had a -1.17 xG difference per 90 minutes in the first half. However, the club has actually made legitimate improvements at both ends of the pitch in the new year. It has the fourth-worst xG difference since Jan. 1, which is a 16-game sample and more than enough for me to trust it beyond just variance.

Augsburg has actually been below its foe in the xG tables since Jan. 1 and its defense has been especially fortunate during the stretch run. The side is conceding 1.8 xGA per match in its last 16 matches, but have only allowed 1.35 goals per match in the timeframe.

Simply put, Augsburg’s defense has been quite fortunate not to concede more goals and a meaningless game against Fürth could be the time for the defense to regress.

Either way, I can’t get to this number with Augsburg being a full-goal favorite. I show value on Fürth, as I project the host as a +102 favorite and that’s not close to the -180 currently being offered.

Pick: Greuther Fürth +1 (-130 or better)


Serie A Best Bet

Verona vs. Torino

Verona Odds  +130
Torino Odds +210
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / -100)
Day | Time Saturday | 12 p.m. ET
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Torino’s stellar run of league form came to an end last week in a 1-0 home defeat against Napoli, but it has been one of the more in-form teams in Italy as the season draws to a close.

The side, which had covered the spread in five and was unbeaten in six consecutive matches prior to that defeat, and finally showing the positive regression the underlying data had suggested was coming.

Although Verona finds itself a spot ahead of Torino in ninth place, the xG numbers and my power ratings have Torino as the stronger side. Verona has run well with its finishing in front of the opponents’ goals all season. It’s second in goals per shot and first in goals per shot on target. And given that its shot quality is only slightly above average, that’s a major regression indicator.

Verona struggled mightily in the reverse fixture, failing to score and creating just 0.4 xG in the match. It’s now facing a Torino defense that’s legitimately an elite Italian side. The club is third in NPxGA, second in box entries and crosses conceded, and first in passes per defensive action.

Torino is stellar at stopping the ball and should be able to stifle the Verona attack again. My projections line this match almost exactly as a Pick’em, thus I’d take Torino via the Draw No Bet wager at +110 or better.

Pick: Torino — Draw No Bet (+110 or better)


La Liga Best Bet

Atlético Madrid vs. Sevilla

Atlético Madrid Odds  +135
Sevilla Odds +245
Draw +205
Over/Under 2.5 (+150 / -175)
Day | Time Sunday | 1:30 p.m. ET
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Atlético Madrid clinched its place in La Liga’s top four and will be back playing Champions League soccer this fall.

Sevilla needs one more positive result — a draw in either match — to clinch its place in Europe’s elite competition as well. The club has been quite fortunate to be in this position, though, when you look at its underlying numbers.

Sevilla has just a +5.2 xG difference this season, meaning it has only been a slightly above average team in Spain. It has been entirely finishing variance that the club has outpaced its numbers for what seems like the entire season. Their +22 actual goal difference represents one of the biggest gaps between expected and actual performance across Europe.

The side has stumbled into the finish as well, as Sevilla has drawn three consecutive matches. And two of those results came two came as the betting favorite against Cadiz and Mallorca. Even as an underdog, it needed a last-second goal to draw Villarreal in a match it was thoroughly outplayed.

The first meeting between these clubs was way back in December, but Atlético outshot them by a 14-7 margin at Sevilla and should have won the match. However, the visitor conceded a 25-yard goal and set-piece finish to suffer a 2-1 defeat.

Atlético Madrid is the better side and playing at home, plus Sevilla’s built-in motivation edge is being overpriced in the market. This is a common phenomenon among teams who are in must-win situations facing against teams with nothing to play for at the end of the season.

My projection makes Atlético Madrid at +100 on the moneyline to win this match, so I’m backing the club at +110 or better to win this match outright.

Pick: Atlético Madrid ML (+110 or better)


Ligue 1 Best Bet

Saint-Étienne vs. Reims

Étienne Odds  -125
Reims Odds +330
Draw +290
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | Time Saturday | 3 p.m. ET
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Saint-Étienne sits three points above the automatic relegation zone in Ligue 1 at this point. And if the season ended Friday, the club would be in a relegation playoff as the 18th-place team. It’s increased motivation in this spot is clearly being priced into the line, as it’s the weaker team and should not be an odds-on favorite even on home soil.

Saint-Étienne has been fighting relegation for a while — most of the second half of the season to be exact— and it hasn’t inspired it to play at a better level. Even after taking a 2-0 lead at Nice last time out, Saint-Étienne conceded four consecutive goals and lost the match comfortably in the end.

So, why all of a sudden should we assume it’s going to improve its level? Saint-Étienne has a -0.54 xG difference per 90 minutes, which is third worst in the French top flight. Compare this to Reims, which sits in 12th with the 13th-best xG difference, and has actually produced impressive defensive numbers.

Reims has been especially excellent at preventing big scoring chances, which has been a major issue for Saint-Étienne going forward. The visiting side’s ball-progression numbers aren’t terrible when you look at box entries and crosses into the penalty area, but the individual defending and shot creation in attack is severely lacking.

Reims might be safely in the mid-table, but I can’t pass up this price with the club as a sizable underdog to one of the worst teams in the French top flight.

Pick: Reims +0.5 (-120 or better)

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