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European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Serie A, Ligue 1, More (Nov. 30-Dec. 2)

European Soccer Best Bets, Projected Odds & Forecast for Serie A, Ligue 1, More (Nov. 30-Dec. 2) article feature image
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Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images. Pictured: Real Madrid star Karim Benzema.

There wasn’t much drama outside of England this past weekend, with the biggest upset coming in one of the largest matches on the slate, as Atalanta earned a 1-0 road win against Juventus.

🗣 "𝗗𝘂-𝘃𝗮́𝗻 𝗗𝘂-𝘃𝗮́𝗻 𝗗𝘂-𝘃𝗮́𝗻" 💪🏾

E sono SETTE partite consecutive in gol! ⚽️#Zapata's now scored in SEVEN consecutive games! 🔥#JuveAtalanta #GoAtalantaGo ⚫️🔵 pic.twitter.com/3s6m9DMtWm

— Atalanta B.C. (@Atalanta_BC) November 28, 2021

This week, there’s a full slate of Serie A and Ligue 1 matches, along with a lone La Liga match between league leaders Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

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.

Serie A Projections

Best Bets

Fiorentina vs. Sampdoria

Fiorentina Odds -160
Sampdoria Odds +425
Draw +310
Over/Under 2.5 (-140 / +120)
Day | Time Tuesday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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The Fiorentina offense is one of the most overrated in Europe. Through 14 matches, Fiorentina has scored 21 goals, but only 12 have come from open play. In fact, they’ve only created 14.27 non-penalty expected goals, which is ninth in the Serie A action.

Now, the Sampdoria defense has not been great, ranking 17th in NPxG allowed, but they’re due for some positive regression from open play, as they’ve allowed 21 goals off of 17.68 xG, per understat.com.

Offensively, Sampdoria has been a nightmare, averaging only 1.05 xG per match, which is 17th in the Italian top flight. They’re also 13th in shots per 90 minutes, big scoring chances and box entries. In fact, in their last six matches, they’ve only created over one xG once and it was against Salernitana, who is one of the league’s worst defensive teams.

Defensively, Fiorentina has been rock soli, conceding only 1.09 NPxG per match, which is eighth in the league. They’re also No. 1 in box entries allowed and crosses completed into their own penalty area, per fbref.com. So, it’s going to be very difficult for Sampdoria to create anything going forward.

I only have 2.36 goals projected for this match, so I think there’s value on the total staying under 2.5 goals at +120 odds via DraftKings and will make int my top selection.

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (+120)

Torino vs. Empoli

Torino Odds -130
Empoli Odds +350
Draw +290
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / +100)
Day | Time Thursday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Torino is one of the more underrated teams on the continent. They’re sitting in 13th place in the Serie A table, but have a +7.30 NPxGDiff, which is fifth best in Italy. The reason for that is because they’re really good defensively, only allowing 0.81 NPxG per match, which is second best in the league behind Napoli. They’re second in shots yielded per 90 minutes, fourth in box entries allowed and second in crosses conceded into their own penalty area.

What I love most about this matchup, though, is Torino is the best pressing team in Italy, first in PPDA, Pressure success rate and Ball recoveries, while they’re facing an Empoli side that’s 17th in Offensive PPDA, per fbref.com

Torino is pretty good offensively, as well, ranking seventh in NPxG, eighth in shots per 90 and fifth in crosses completed into the penalty area, while Empoli is bottom three defensively in each of those metrics.

Torino open the scoring in style 🔥

The goalkeeper did not move pic.twitter.com/ZvgfUIrH4U

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 22, 2021

Torino is dealing with some injuries right now, with Andrea Belotti out, but he hasn’t done much of anything this season, accumulating only 0.91 xG in eight appearances. That said, his absence isn’t that big of a blow.

I have Torino projected at -153, so there’s value on the club at -130 odds.

Pick: Torino ML (-130)


Ligue 1 Projections

Best Bets

Troyes vs. Lorient

Troyes Odds +140
Lorient Odds +210
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (+105 / -125)
Day | Time Wednesday | 1 p.m. ET
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These are two of the worst defensive teams in Ligue 1. Troyes and Lorient have both scored only 13 goals in 15 matches, with both creating under one xG per game. Lorient is dead last in shots per 90 minutes and big scoring chances, plus they’re 19th in box entries and second to last in pressure success rate allowed, per fbref.com.

Troyes isn’t that great of a defensive team, but they did just hold Marseille to 1.15 xG this past Sunday and 57% of their matches have gone under 2.5 goals this season.

Defensively, Lorient has been a nightmare, but they’re only allowing 0.96 xG per match from open play. They’ve just been terrible on set pieces and have had some bad penalty luck. Troyes hasn’t been that great off set pieces, putting together only a 0.07 xG per set-piece average and they’ve also only scored 10 goals from open play.

So, it’s no surprise that Troyes is 15th in NPxG, 15th in shots per 90 minutes and 18th in box entries. 

I only have 2.07 goals projected for this contest, so there’s some value on the total under 2.5 goals at -120 odds. 

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-125)

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Clermont Foot vs. Lens

Troyes Odds +180
Lorient Odds +145
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-130 / +110)
Day | Time Wednesday | 1 p.m. ET
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Defensively, Clermont Foot is really struggling since being promoted, allowing 1.43 xG per match. They’re also 13th in big scoring chances conceded and 16th in box entries yielded. Needless to say, that’s going to be a big problem going up against a top-five offense in Ligue 1 play.

Lens is humming offensively, averaging 1.89 xG per game. They’ve also created 19.71 xG in their last nine matches. Lens is second behind only Paris Saint-Germain in shots per 90 minutes and big scoring chances. So, their 3-4-2-1 formation, which is averaging 1.67 xG per 90 minutes, should be able to create a ton of chances against a weaker defense.

Clermont Foot has been improving offensively and is currently ninth in NPxG and big scoring chances. However, Lens has been rock solid defensively, allowing only 1.02 NPxG per match and sits first in Ligue 1 in big scoring chances yielded, which is a main reason why their +10.83 NPxGD is third best in the French top flight.

I have Lens projected as a +105 favorite on the road, so I think there’s some value on their Draw No Bet line of -125 odds.

Pick: Lens — Draw No Bet (-125)


La Liga Projections

Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid Odds -235
Athletic Bilbao Odds +650
Draw +370
Over/Under 2.5 (-135 / +115)
Day | Time Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

What happened in Madrid on Sunday against Sevilla was astonishing. Sevilla should have at least earned a draw, but really should have won. Real Madrid was benefited by a Sevilla goalkeeper error, a missed penalty decision and the cross bar.

Of course, Vinicius Junior continued his crazy finishing rate, scoring on a world-class finish from outside the penalty area. He and Karim Benzema have now combined for 20 goals in La Liga play from 13.46 xG this season. In my opinion, Los Blancos are good, but they’re not that good.

VINI JR. TAKE A BOW 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/LxHO7WQOBI

— ESPN (@espn) November 28, 2021

Against Sevilla, Real Madrid created 1.28 xG, but if you take away the goalkeeping error on the first goal, they only created 0.62 xG off of 13 shots and that’s poor. Now, they’re facing an Athletic Bilbao side that’s just as organized and good defensively as Sevilla has been this season.

Athletic Bilbao is now second in La Liga in NPxG allowed, as they’ve conceded only 10.82 through 14 matches, per understat.com.

They’re going to play very defensive in their traditional 4-4-2 formation and look to hit Real Madrid on the counter and their style of play is very conducive to draws, as they’re unbeaten on the road with six ties and one victory.

However, they should be able to hit Real Madrid on the counter and create a few high-quality chance because the host is having some defensive issues. Real Madrid is 14th in NPxG allowed, 12th in shots allowed per 90 minutes and 12th in big scoring chances allowed, while Athletic Bilbao is top seven offensively in those three categories.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has also been struggling in net for Real Madrid, as he has a -1 post shot xG +/- this season.

I only have Real Madrid projected at -133, so I love Athletic Bilbao at +1 on the spread line at +125 odds and will make it my top pick.

Pick: Athletic Bilbao +1 (+125)

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