European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (Oct. 22-25)

European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, More (Oct. 22-25) article feature image
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Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images. Pictured: Barcelona standout Memphis Depay.

There wasn’t much chaos around Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A or Ligue 1 last weekend. However, this weekend’s lineup has a number of fantastic clashes, headlined by El Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Addtionally, there are two massive matches in Italy, with Inter Milan hosting Juventus and Roma taking on undefeated Napoli. On top of all of that, we also have Le Classique in France, with Marseille hosting Paris Saint-Germain.

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

Köln vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Köln Odds +215
Bayer Leverkusen Odds +110
Draw +300
Over/Under 3.5 (+125 / -150)
Day | Time Sunday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

Offensively, Köln has been really good this season in the Bundesliga, averaging 1.43 expected goals per match. They also have the fourth-most shots per 90 minutes, fourth-most box entries and fifth-most big scoring chances, per fbref.com.

Now, the last time they were on the field, the club didn’t look good. The Billy Goats got annihilated by Hoffenheim in a 5-0 rout last Friday in league action. And in regard to xG goals, their defense has not been very good, allowing 1.76 per outing.

That’s pretty much due to the fact they’re allowing one or two big scoring chances per match, because they’re seventh in shot allowed per 90 minutes and fifth in box entires allowed, plus they have the third-best pressure success rate. 

On the other side, Bayer Leverkusen has been incredibly lucky on the offensive side of the pitch. The club has scored 21 goals off 12.07 xG this campaign. Leverkusen is 13th in shots per 90 minutes, ninth in big scoring chances and 15th in box entries. Its match against Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday was a perfect snapshot of just how lucky they’ve been.

Real Betis (2.29) 1-1 (0.60) Bayer Leverkusen. #UEL

— XG Stats (@stats_xg) October 21, 2021

Defensively, Leverkusen has been pretty shaky, allowing 1.54 xG per match. Plus, they’ve conceded 13 big scoring chances in only eight matches. So, I think Köln has a great chance of grabbing at least a home point.

I have Leverkusen at +151 odds, so I think there’s plenty of value on Köln getting +0.5 on the spread line at -125 via DraftKings and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Koln +0.5 (-125)

Bochum vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Bochum Odds +210
Frankfurt Odds +130
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +105)
Day | Time Sunday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Bochum has really been struggling in their first Bundesliga season since promotion. In eight matches, they’re creating only 1.06 xG per match; 10.75 shot per 90 minutes; and, 8.13 box entries per game, all of which are in the bottom five of the German top flight.

The defense hasn’t been much better, though, as they’ve allowed the most non-penalty expected goals at 16.17 through only eight matches. They’re also allowing the fourth-most big scoring chances in the league, so even a struggling offense like Frankfurt should be able to create some chances.

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 8.66 xG through their first eight matches. It’s also in the bottom half of the league in shot-creating actions, shots per 90 minutes and touches inside the opponents’ final third.

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For all of Frankfurt’s offensive woes, their defense has been rock solid, allowing 9.39 xG 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.

Frankfurt also looked much better in their Europa League match this past Thursday, beating Greek side Olympiacos, 3-1, and won the xG battle by a 2.94-1.04 margin. So, I think we’ll see a much improved offense going up against the Bundesliga’s worst defense.

I have Frankfurt projected at +101, so I think there’s some value on them to grab all three points on the road at +130 via DraftKings and will make it my top picks.

Pick: Frankfurt ML (+130)


Serie A Projections 

Best Bets

Fiorentina vs. Cagliari

Fiorentina Odds -145
Cagliari Odds +400
Draw +300
Over/Under 2.5 (-135 / +115)
Day | Time Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
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Cagliari is sitting in 19th right now with only six points from their eight seven matches, but they’ve been much better than the results have shown.

Defensively, they’ve been really unlucky, as they’ve only allowed 17 goals on 12.6 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.

However, this is more of a bet against Fiorentina, which is so unbelievably undeserving to be in the top half of the table. They have the second-worst xG goal differential in the league at -4.4 in the category. The club is dead last in NPxG per match at 0.78, mainly due to the fact that half of their goals have come off of penalties or corners, which has led them to ranking 18th in shots per 90 and 18th in big scoring chances.

Yes, they have one of the best young strikers in Dusan Vlahovic, who is everything to their offense because he alone has created 40% of their xG this season, but outside of him, nobody has created anything for Fiorentina. 

Even defensively they haven’t been that good, 13th in NPxG allowed; 16th in big scoring chances allowed; and, 13th in pressure success rate, per fbref.com

So, I think it’s crazy that they’re -145 right now. I only have them projected at +129, so I love Cagliari +0.5 at +125 on DraftKings on and would play it down to +100 odds. 

Pick: Cagliari +0.5 (+125)


La Liga Projections

Best Bets

Valencia vs. Mallorca

Valencia Odds -145
Mallorca Odds +400
Draw +300
Over/Under 2.5 (+105 / -125)
Day | Time Saturday | 8 a.m. ET
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Valencia should not be this big of favorite even though they are at home. They’re only averaging 0.98 npxG per match, rank 11th in shots per 90 minutes and 11th in box entries, per fbref.com.

A lot of Valencia success this season has come against an easy schedule early on and they’ve fallen off as things have gotten more difficult, pickup only three points in their last five matches and only putting up 0.36 xG against Barcelona last weekend.

In contrast, Mallorca has run into some horrible luck. If you go through their results, you’ll see a 6-1 loss to Real Madrid (they only allowed 2.37 xG in that match) and 3-2 loss to Osasuna, where they won the xG battle by a 4.03-1.33 margin. And they’ve played Real Sociedad tough on the road this past weekend, but suffered a 1-0 loss despite a tight xG battle of 0.49-0.43 in the advanced metric.

Also, Valencia had one of the worst xGDiff in La Liga last season, so I’m not convinced they’ve completely turned a corner. 

I only have Valencia projected at +112, so I think there’s some value on Mallorca +0.5 at +125 on DraftKings and will make it my top choice.

Pick: Mallorca +0.5 (+125)

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid 

Barcelona Odds +175
Real Madrid Odds +150
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-155 / +130)
Day | Time Sunday | 10:15 a.m. ET
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Obviously, Barcelona isn’t scoring at the rate they did last season when Lionel Messi was leadings the way, as their xG per match has dipped by 22 percent. 

However, defensively, Barcelona has been really good, only allowing 0.89 NPxG per match. Blaugrana has allowed the third-fewest shot creating actions; the best pressure success rate; and, allowed the fewest touches in their own final third.

However, they’re running into a Real Madrid side that has been running incredibly hot offensively, racking up 22 goals off of 15.17 xG so far. And this is by far the best defense they’ve played this season, as their schedule has been relatively easy. They haven’t faced Atlético Madrid, Real Sociedad or Sevilla.

Also, Real Madrid has not been elite defensively by any stretch of the imagination, sitting in 17th in NPxG allowed; 10th in big scoring chances allowed; and, 13th in pressure success rate, per fbref.com.

I have Barcelona projected at +133, so I actually do like they’re Draw No Bet line of +105 odds. Also, this will be first full capacity crowd at Camp Nou since the pandemic, so it’s going to be great atmosphere. 

Pick: Barcelona — Draw No Bet (+105)


Ligue 1 Projections

Best Bets

Lens vs. Metz

Lens Odds -160
Metz Odds +475
Draw +295
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / +100)
Day | Time Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
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I love this Lens team, because they’re so good at both ends of the pitch. They play out of a 3-4-2-1 formation, which is the same formation manager Thomas Tuchel runs at Chelsea and they play it really effectively in France, as they have a +6.59 xGDiff when playing out of it and allow 0.88 xG per 90 minutes. 

The reason they’re currently in second place behind PSG is because they’re fourth in NPxG; first in shots per 90 minutes; and, third in big scoring chances. At the opposite end of the pitch, they’ve allowed the second-fewest big scoring chances and fourth-fewest box entries. So, I have a hard time seeing how 18th-place Metz is going to create anything on offense. 

Metz has regressed badly after finishing in 10th place last year. They have a -8.15 NPxGD through their first 10 matches, which is 19th in the French top flight. Their problems have existed at both ends, as they’re 18th in NPxG; 20th in big scoring chances; and, 20th in box entries, per fbref.com. Defensively, they’re 19th in NPxG allowed per match; 20th in box entries allowed; and, 16th in shots allowed per 90 minutes.

So, I think there’s value on Lens spread of -1 at +115 odds.

Pick: Lens -1 (+115)

Reims vs. Troyes

Reims Odds +120
Troyes Odds +250
Draw +225
Over/Under 2.5 (+125 / -150)
Day | Time Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
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Stade de Reims has been better than they were last season, but that’s not saying much. During the 2020-21 campaign, the club finished in 14th place with a -8 goal differential, but had the second-fewest xG and the second-most xGA. Honestly, they really should have been relegated.

This season, they’re only averaging 0.84 npxG per match, created a paltry six big scoring chances and average just 10.13 shots per 90 minutes, all of which are in the bottom five in the French top flight.

Troyes is having a difficult start to their Ligue 1 campaign since promotion, but they’ve been much better in their last six matches. Since Sept. 12, Troyes has a +1.14 NPxGD, which is seventh best in Ligue 1. They’ve also allowed only 5.49 NPxG in those six games, so I think Reims is going to have difficulty creating chances.

I have this match projected closer to Pick’em rather than Reims being favored, so I like Troyes +0.5 at -140 odds via DraftKings as my top selection.

Pick: Troyes +0.5 (-140)

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