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

European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (Oct. 15-18) article feature image
Credit:

Ronny Hartmann/Pool/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Adi Hütter of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

  • Life on the European soccer landscape returns this week following a lively international break.
  • BJ Cunningham dissects the loaded card, dishing out his best bets and projected odds.
  • Check out his latest insight for several games, including angles from the Bundesliga, Serie A and more.

While there wasn’t much chaos in the Premier League before the international break, we had upsets galore in the other four main European leagues.

In Germany, Bayern Munich lost their first match of the season in a 2-1 home setback against Eintracht Frankfurt. In fact, it was the first loss for Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena in 30 matches in the German top flight.

An inch perfect drive from Filip #Kostic was the difference as @Eintracht_Eng claimed their first EVER win at the Allianz Arena 📐 🦅 #Bundesliga pic.twitter.com/EH4NR1BSPu

— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) October 5, 2021

In Spain, Atlético Madrid downed Barcelona, 2-0, sending the once great Spanish giant all the way to ninth place in the La Liga table. Additionally, newly promoted Espanyol pulled off a historic upset, beating Real Madrid in a 2-1 home triumph.

🌟 Esta jugada.
👊 Esta celebración.#RCDE pic.twitter.com/8wyJODGk4x

— RCD Espanyol de Barcelona (@RCDEspanyol) October 5, 2021

Over in France, Paris Saint-Germain suffered a shocking 2-0 loss at Rennes. What made it worse was the fact Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi were in the starting lineup.

[#SRFCPSG]

𝗨𝗻𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 💪 𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗥𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗲 𝗲𝘁 𝗡𝗼𝗶𝗿 🔴⚫

🎥 Retour en images sur le succès face au @PSG_insidepic.twitter.com/6E0onv7oM3

— Stade Rennais F.C. (@staderennais) October 5, 2021

This weekend, there are very few big-time matches, with Juventus vs. Roma, Lyon vs. Monaco, Lazio vs. Inter and Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich being the featured headliners.

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

Frankfurt vs. Hertha Berlin

Frankfurt Odds -130
Hertha Berlin Odds +370
Draw +280
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / +105)
Day | Time Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

This is going to be a battle between struggling offenses Saturday morning.

Eintracht Frankfurt has really had hard time generating offense ever since Andre Silva left for RB Leipzig, as the club has only created a total of 6.96 xG through their first seven matches. It’s also is in the bottom half of the league in shot-creating actions, shots per 90 minutes and touches inside the opponents’ final third.

However, maybe the most concerning stat is opponents have a 35.7% successful pressure rate against Frankfurt this season, which is the highest mark in the Bundesliga.

For all of Frankfurt’s offensive woes, their defense has been rock solid, allowing 9.39 expected goals through their first seven matches. They’ve played a very tough schedule so far that’s included matches against Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg.

If you remove those three matches, Frankfurt’s defense has allowed a total of 3.35 xG in their other four matches. Now, they’ll be facing potentially the worst offense in the Bundesliga this season.

🗣 "That is a save of near superhuman quality." 🦸 🧤

It was a truly inspired performance from Kevin #Trapp to secure the W for @Eintracht_Eng against the champions ⛔️ #Bundesliga pic.twitter.com/P1oPNJ08Yx

— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) October 7, 2021

Hertha Berlin has scored a total of eight goals in seven matches off of 6.55 non-penalty expected goals. They are also dead last in the Bundesliga in passes into the penalty area, crosses completed into the box, touches in the opponents final third, and touches in the opponents penalty area, per fbref.com.

So, it seems selling their top two strikers — Matheus Cuhna and Jhon Cordoba — who scored 14 of the club’s 40 goals last season has had a drastic effect.

Defensively, Hertha Berlin has allowed the most goals in the Bundesliga, but taking that at face value isn’t really fair considering they lost 5-0 to Bayern Munich and 6-0 to RB Leipzig. They also have the widest gap between goals allowed compared to xG allowed, as opponents have scored 18 non-penalty goals on only 12.61 npxG this season.

I only have 2.40 goals projected for this match, so I think there’s value on the total under 2.5 goals at +105 at FanDuel and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (+105)

Gladbach vs. Stuttgart 

Gladbach Odds -205
Stuttgart Odds +500
Draw +380
Over/Under 2.5 (-190 / +150)
Day | Time Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

Borussia Mönchengladbach finally picked up their first meaningful win of the season before the international break, beating Wolfsburg, 3-1, on the road. However, it hasn’t been a great start to the Adi Hütter era at Borussia Park, as Gladbach currently sits in ninth place in the Bundesliga table and have been very poor on the defensive side.

Gladbach has conceded 10.24 non-penalty expected goals through seven matches, which is the eighth-highest mark in the league. They’re also dealing with some injuries at the moment, with Christoph Kramer, Marcus Thuram and Stefan Lainer all likely to miss this match due to various injuries.

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Stuttgart hasn’t been that great at the start of their Bundesliga campaign either, sitting in 12th place. However, they do have a +1.46 NPxGDiff through their first seven matches. Offensively, they’re third in shots per 90 minutes; fifth in shot-creating actions; sixth in passes into the penalty area; and, fourth in carries into the final third, per fbref.com.

Defensively, Stuttgart has been solid at the back, only allowing 7.89 xG from open play so far and allowed less than 1.00 xG in four of their seven matches this campaign.

I think Gladbach is a tad overvalued in this spot, as I only have them projected at -108, so I think Stuttgart’s spread of +1 at +115 odds via DraftKings is a solid wager and would play it down to -110 odds.

Pick: Stuttgart +1 (+115)


Serie A Projections

Best Bets

Cagliari vs. Sampdoria

Cagliari Odds +170
Sampdoria Odds +165
Draw +235
Over/Under 2.5 (-130 / +110)
Day | Time Sunday | 6:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

Cagliari might be sitting in the Serie A basement  right now with only three points from their first seven matches, but they’ve been much better than the results have shown.

Defensively, the club has been really unlucky, as they’ve only allowed 14 non-penalty goals on 8.85 non-penalty expected goals. They’ve also played a very difficult schedule up until this point in the season facing off against AC Milan, Lazio and Napoli.

Even with those three tough matches on their schedule, Cagliari only has a -1.36 NPxGD, which is the 10th in the Italian top flight, so they’re really due for some positive regression.

In contrast, Sampdoria has been completely underwhelming this season, as they have the second-worst NPxGD in the league at -4.60 overall. The main reason for that is their offense has overperformed through their first seven matches, scoring 10 goals on only 7.30 xG created.

Their last match before the international break against Udinese was a perfect encapsulation of their season thus far, as they only created 0.97 non-penalty expected goals.

(Graphic via infogol.net)

I think Cagliari is undervalued in this home spot, as I have them projected at +122 odds. That said, I find plenty of value on their Draw No Bet line at -105 odds on DraftKings and would play it up to -122 odds.

Pick: Cagliari — Draw No Bet (-105)


Venezia vs. Fiorentina

Venezia Odds +300
Fiorentina Odds -105
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 / -110)
Day | Time Monday | 2:45 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

If you look at this game on paper, Fiorentina should be favored, right? They’re the visiting fifth-place side facing 17th-place newly promoted Venezia.

Well, not so fast.

Fiorentina has been wildly overrated this season. In fact, Venezia has a better xGDiff than Fiorentina, with the hosts at -2.7 and Fiorentina worse at-3.8 in the category. Venezia really struggled in their first two matches of the season, but they’ve been steadily improving. They’ve drawn their last two games against Torino and Cagliari, but was by far the better side both of them, out-creating their foes by a combined 2.26-1.50 xG margin. 

Fiorentina has one of the best young strikers in the world in Dusan Vlahovic, who’s being courted by some of the top clubs in world after his 21-goal season during the 2020-21 campaign.

However, Fiorentina is dead last in Serie A in non-penalty expected goals with only 5.8 on the season. In fact, they’ve only have 4.33 xG from open play. Half of their goals have come off of penalties or corners, so the club is way over due for some negative offensive regression.

I have this match projected close to a Pick’em, so I think there’s plenty of value on Venezia’s spread of +0.5 at -110 odds via DraftKings via and would play it up to -135 odds. 

Pick: Venezia +0.5 (-110)


La Liga Projections

Best Bets

Celta Vigo vs. Sevilla

Celta Vigo Odds +235
Sevilla Odds +130
Draw +225
Over/Under 2.5 (+115 / -140)
Day | Time Sunday | 10:15 a.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

Sevilla has been the best La Liga team in La Liga to start the season, boasting an +7.23 xGDiff in only seven matches and the main reason for that is because of their defense, which has allowed a total of 3.91 xG this season.

2021-2022 🇪🇸 La Liga xG Difference Leaders

Sevilla (6.4)
Real Sociedad (5.3)
Barcelona (4.1)
Athletic Club (3.7)
Betis (3.7)
Real Madrid (3.6)
Atlético Madrid (3.1)
Valencia (3.1)
Villarreal (2.8)
Osasuna (1.6)https://t.co/jK9vsIofI9

— ⚽️FBref.com⚽️ (@fbref) October 5, 2021

Defensively, they’ve allowed the second-fewest shots; second-fewest crosses completed into the box; fewest shot-creating actions; and, the fewest touches in their own final third, per fbref.com. So, it’s going to be very difficult for an offense like the one Celta Vigo has that only created 6.83 non-penalty expected goals in their first eight matches.

Bottom line, Celta Vigo is in a very bad spot heading into this match because at the time of writing they could to be without five starters, including its two starting center backs.

They’ve been really bad to start the season with a -4.98 xGDiff, plus they have a couple of concerning losses where they lost the game and xG battle against inferior opponents. The results were a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Cadiz and a 1-0 road setback at Elche before the international break.

I have Sevilla projected at -103, so I think there’s plenty of value on them at +130 on DraftKings and would play them down to +112 odds.

Pick: Sevilla ML (+130)

Alaves vs. Real Betis

Alaves Odds +225
Real Betis Odds +130
Draw +225
Over/Under 2.5 (+115 / -140)
Day | Time Monday | 10:15 a.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

Alaves has been dreadful to begin their La Liga campaign. They do have a historic win over Atlético Madrid, but have their other six matches and have a -4.45 NPxGDiff, which is the third-worst mark in the league.

The main reason for their struggles is because they haven’t been able to create anything on offense. Alaves has only scored two goals from 4.7 xG, so you could say they’re due for positive offensive regression. Yet, considering they’re in the bottom five in just about every offensive metric you look at, things are not looking good going forward.

Defensively, they haven’t been much better, allowing 9.08 non-penalty expected goals in seven matches and the fourth-lowest pressure success rate in the league and will be facing a Real Betis side that is fantastic against pressure.

Real Betis is highly underrated, as they’re currently sitting in 10th place, but have the third best NPxGDiff in La Liga at +4.84 overall. The main reason for that is because they’ve been really unlucky offensively, scoring 11 goals off of 13.06 xG. The club is second in La Liga in shots per 90 minutes, shot-creating action and touches inside the opponents’ penalty area.

I think Real Betis is a little undervalued on the road Monday, as I have them projected at +116 odds. So, I think there is some value on Betis at +130 odds via DraftKings or better.

Pick: Real Betis ML (+130)


Ligue 1 Projections

Best Bets

Clermont Foot vs. Lille

Clermont Foot Odds +225
Lille Odds +125
Draw +245
Over/Under 2.5 (+100 / -120)
Day | Time Saturday | 11 a.m. ET
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Everyone seemed to have written off last year’s Ligue 1 champion after a bad start to the season, but Lille was very quietly on fire domestically heading into the international break.

Lille has won three consecutive matches in the French top flight and has out-created Reims, Strasbourg and Marseille by a whopping 7.30-2.22 in the xG column. Lille is not a team that’s going to put up pretty offensive numbers, though, due to the fact that they play out of a very defensive 4-4-2 formation.

However, their defense has been just as good as they were last season when they had the best xGA per match average among Europe’s top five leagues. On paper, Les Dogues have allowed 13 goals on the season, but their opponents have scored those 13 goals off of only 6.84 NPxG, which is the second-best mark in the league behind Monaco.

On the other side, Clermont Foot’s matches have been chaotic, as they’ve created 12.16 xG, but allowed 15.12 xG, which is the third-highest league mark. Maybe the most concerning statistic for them is how bad their goalkeeping play has been.

Goalkeeper keeper Arthur Desmas has been by far the worst in Ligue 1, allowing 20 goals on only 14 post-shot expected goals and has allowed 0.55 more goals than he should be per match with Clermont Foot.

(Graphic via fbref.com)

That’s a recipe for disaster against a Lille offense that has been incredibly clinical in front of net, as they own the third best post-shot xG +/- in the league.

I have Lille projected at -115, so I think there’s some value on them at +125 on DraftKings and would play it down to +101 odds.

Pick: Lille ML (+125)

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