Wednesday, Thursday Serie A, La Liga Odds & Picks: Cunningham’s Projected Lines & Best Bets

Wednesday, Thursday Serie A, La Liga Odds & Picks: Cunningham’s Projected Lines & Best Bets article feature image
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Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Marseille standout Dimitri Payet.

  • Midweek domestic soccer is back on Wednesday, with matches in La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1, among others.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down his model projections and a few of his favorite bets.
  • Get all his projected lines below.

Midweek European soccer is back, with La Liga, Serie A and a lone Ligue 1 match running Tuesday through Thursday. There aren’t any big matches on the card outside a showdown between Nice and Marseille in France on Wednesday’s slate.

So, this set of games was made for bettors like us.

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

Venezia vs. Salernitana

Venezia Odds +105
Salernitana Odds +275
Draw +245
Over/Under 2.5 (+105 / -125)
Day | Time Tuesday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Venezia had a really bad start since their promotion, but they’ve been steadily improving, as they’ve won the expected-goals battle in three of their last four matches.

They haven’t been great going forward, as they’re bottom five in pretty much every offensive category, but they’re going up against the worst defense in the Italian top flight.

Salernitana has been leaking goals, allowing 1.89 npxG per match, which is most in the league. They’re also dead last in shots allowed and big scoring chances, so I think Venezia should be able to create a couple of solid opportunities.

Defensively, Venezia has been really good. They’re only allowing 1.03 npxG per match, which is fifth in Serie A. They’re 10th in shots allowed per 90 minutes and sixth in big scoring chances allowed, per fbref.com, while Salernitana is bottom five in about every offensive metric, including only 0.98 npxG per match.

I have Venezia projected at -124, so I think there’s some value on them at +105 odds via DraftKings and would play it down to -110 as my top selection.

Pick: Venezia ML (+105)

Udinese vs. Verona

Udinese Odds +150
Verona Odds +190
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-105 / -115)
Day | Time Wednesday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Udinese is a very interesting club right now, because last season they had the biggest gap between their actual goal differential and xG differential.

However, during the summer transfer window, they sold their best midfielder in Rodrigo De Paul to Atletico Madrid and starting goalkeeper Juan Musso to Atalanta.

Yet, they’ve still been pretty good, especially offensively, as they’re creating 1.42 xG per match, which is seventh in Serie A. Now, I know Verona just pasted Lazio this past Sunday, but overall they’ve been really bad defensively this season.

Verona is allowing 1.58 xG per match and 14.75 shots per 90 minutes, plus 13 big scoring chances, all of which are in the bottom five in the league, per fbref.com

Offensively, Verona hasn’t been great either, as they’re creating 1.00 NPxG per match, plus they’re 19th in shots per 90 minutes. They’re also one of the worst teams in the league against pressure.

Defensively, Udinese has been middle of the road. They did just hold Atalanta to 0.58 xG total this past Sunday and sit in the top half of the table in NPxG allowed per match and big scoring chances allowed. 

I have Udinese projected at +114, so I like their Draw no Bet line at -125 on DraftKings and would play it up to -130 odds.

Pick: Udinese — Draw No Bet (-125)


La Liga Projections

Best Bets

Villarreal vs. Cadiz

Villarreal Odds -265
Cadiz Odds +800
Draw +400
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / +100)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3:30 p.m. ET
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Manager Unai Emery has his team playing really well in the Champions League, but it’s a different story in the Spanish top flight. The Yellow Submarine is currently in 13th place, averaging only 1.12 xG per match.

In fact, their last two matches against Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, they only created a total of 1.19 xG combined. Villarreal plays out of a 4-4-2 formation for the majority of the time, but they’re really bad in it to the tune of -3.08 xGDiff and only averages 0.88 xG/90 minutes, per understat.com.

Now, they’ll be going up against a Cadiz side that also plays out of a 4-4-2 tactical approach and Villarreal has faced that same formation five times this season, but only created 4.69 xG combined in those matches.

If you haven’t seen Cadiz play before, don’t worry because you haven’t missed anything. They play one of the more defensive 4-4-2 setups I have seen and they’re really struggling to create chances.

They’re averaging just 0.84 NPxG per match; nine shots/90 minutes; and, 7.90 box entries per game, per fbref.comNow, they’re going up against a Villarreal defense that’s allowing only 1.06 NPxG per outing.

I only have 2.38 goals projected for this match, so I like the total under 2.5 goals at +100 on DraftKings or better.

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (+100)

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Rayo Vallecano vs. Barcelona

Rayo Vallecano Odds +370
Barcelona Odds -135
Draw +290
Over/Under 2.5 (-145 / +125)
Day | Time Wednesday | 1 p.m. ET
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Rayo Vallecano has been a fantastic story in La Liga, as they sit in seventh place with 16 points in their first 10 matches. Their advanced metrics have been really impressive as well.

The club is ninth in NPxG so far, third in big scoring chances and fourth in crosses completed into the 18-yard box.

Barcelona obviously just lost the latest El Clasico to Real Madrid, but didn’t play that bad, as they won the xG battle. However, the scoring has dipped considerably since Lionel Messi left, as Blaugrana is averaging 1.75 xG per match in La Liga when last season they averaged 2.21 xG per contest. 

Barcelona has been really good defensively, allowing less than 1 .00 xG per outing, but so has their latest opponent. Rayo Vallecano is top eight in non-penalty xG allowed, big scoring chances allowed, shots allowed/90 minutes and box entries allowed, so it’s not going to be easy for Barcelona to create a bunch of chances. 

I have Rayo Vallecano projected at +333, so I think there’s some value on them to pull off the huge upset at +380 odds via DraftKings and will make them my top pick.

Pick: Rayo Vallecano ML (+380)


Ligue 1 Projections

Nice vs. Marseille

Nice Odds +150
Marseille Odds +195
Draw +235
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -105)
Day | Time Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET
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This is a rematch of the game that had to be abandoned in late August due Nice fans not acting so nice toward the Marseille players.

Nice is currently sitting in third place in the French top flight and has massively improved from last season. That’s mainly due to the fact that new manager Christophe Galtier, who guided Lille to the Ligue 1 title, switched to a 4-4-2 formation he employed at Lille from the 4-3-3 the club played last season.

Now, not all 4-4-2 tactical setups have to be defensive, because Nice is the best offensive team in France by xG, as they’ve created 22.58 in 10 matches. They’re also the No. 1 French club in big scoring chances.

Galtier also has Nice playing at the defensive level Lille was displaying last season, as Nice is second in France in NPxG allowed per match, third in shots allowed per 90 minutes and fourth in big scoring chances conceded.

Marseille is once again over-performing on xG, just like they did last season. They only have a +1.47 NPxGD through 10 matches. Despite being in fourth place, they’re eight in NPxG allowed per match; ninth in shots allowed/90 minutes; and, 12th in big scoring chances, per fbref.com.

Offensively, they’ve also scored 18 goals off of 15.60 xG, so there will be some offensive regression coming. Also, in their last three matches against Lille, Lorient and Paris Saint-Germain, they’ve lost the xG goals battle by a combined 7.66-3.56 margin.

I have Nice projected at +104, so I think there’s some value on their Draw No Bet line at -125 on DraftKings and would play it up to -130 odds.

Pick: Nice — Draw No Bet (-125)

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