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European Soccer Odds & Betting Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Underdog Bets This Weekend (Jan. 23-24)

European Soccer Odds & Betting Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Underdog Bets This Weekend (Jan. 23-24) article feature image

Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Real Betis standout Andres Guardado.

  • Don't think shocking upsets happen in European soccer? Take a look at the box score from Thursday's Premier League match between Liverpool and longshot Burnley.
  • When you're finished, check out three more live underdogs our experts are backing this weekend below.

If you don’t think shocking upsets happen in European soccer, take a look at the box score from Thursday’s Premier League match between defending champion Liverpool and struggling Burnley.

Closing north of +1400 odds or higher at several sportsbooks, the longshot Clarets ended the Reds’ home unbeaten streak at 69 games with a 1-0 win at Anfield. Burnley, which sat in 17th place in England’s top flight entering the fixture, halted Liverpool’s insane tear dating back to April 2017.

Coincidentally, that stunning result gives us a perfect lead-in to our new guide at The Action Network.

Every Friday, our soccer analysts will look to uncover live underdogs playing on the weekend across the European landscape. Whether it’s a game in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A or even the Eredivisie in the Netherlands, the goal is simple: Find a team at decent odds that could deliver a victory.

Here are three games where we believe an upset could be in the cards.

Game Pick | Odds Day | Time
Leverkusen vs. Wolfsburg Wolfsburg | +250 Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
Inter Milan vs. Udinese Udinese | +500 Saturday | 12 p.m. ET
Real Sociedad vs. Real Betis Real Betis | +310 Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET

Anthony Dabbundo: Wolfsburg (+250) vs. Bayer Leverkusen

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET

Bayer Leverkusen stopped its four-match unbeaten run Tuesday with a 2-1 win at home against Borussia Dortmund. The German club now turns its attention to Wolfsburg, which it hosts Saturday in Bundesliga action.

Wolfsburg has given Bayer Leverkusen trouble in their last few meetings and could do so again in this week’s affair. The sides met opening weekend of league play, resulting in a  scoreless draw.

The visiting side ranks fourth-best in expected goals against, having already dealt with the pressing of Peter Bosz’s side well.

The teams are similar in terms of xG difference, with Bayer Leverkusen having a slight edge, but not enough to be as big a favorite as it stands.

Bayer Leverkusen is still the league’s most overrated team by expected goals, having massively overperformed when it comes to its attacking xG numbers. 

Matched up with the league’s best defenses — like Wolfsburg — it has struggled to create chances. When it played Bayern Munich, Union Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach and RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen scored two combined goals and never created more than 1 xG in those fixtures. 

I make Wolfsburg +200 here, and will take the value and back them to win at +240 or better.

[Bet Wolfsburg now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

BJ Cunningham: Udinese (+500) vs. Inter Milan

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Saturday | 12 p.m. ET

Udinese has been the unluckiest team by far in Serie A this season. The club somehow finds itself in 15th place on the table in Italy’s top flight, despite having a +8.61 expected goals differential that’s seventh-best in the league.

Yes, I understand The White and Blacks are winless in their last eight matches, but they’ve won the xG goals battle in six of those contests. So, it’s crazy they haven’t been able to pull out at least one win over the past month

In fact, if you look at understat’s expected-points metric, Udinese is only three points behind Inter Milan.

Speaking of the Nerazzurri, they’re the hottest team in the league over the past eight fixtures. However, Inter Milan has stumbled in its last two road games, losing to Sampdoria and drawing with Roma.

And if you look at the underlying metrics, Inter Milan’s offense has overperformed this season. The Nerazzurri have put 45 goals in the back of the net, but only created 38.20 xG. So, negative regression is coming offensively for this powerhouse club.

Udinese is way overdue for a proper result, given the performances it has been putting in over the course of its recent efforts. I have the Black and Whites projected at only +221 for this match, so I think there is plenty of value on the host side at +500 odds.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get $250 FREE.]

Jeremy Pond: Real Betis (+310) vs. Real Sociedad

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Saturday | 12:30 p.m.

This isn’t Burnley coming in hot at +1400 odds, but Real Betis has a solid chance at pulling off a big La Liga road upset Saturday against Real Sociedad.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini finally has The Green-and-Whites jelling, which has led to four consecutive wins across all competitions entering this affair.

In contrast, Real Sociedad has been anything but solid as of late. The host side has just two wins in its last eight games, including five defeats, entering this important fixture featuring top-8 sides in Spain’s top flight.

If you comb through Real Sociedad’s overall statistics, you will find a club with solid figures. The host side sits on 30.1 expected goals and 17.4 expected goals against, resulting in a +12.7 xGDiff and +0.67 xGDiff/90 minutes.

Real Sociedad is second overall in xG, xGDiff and xGDiff/90 on the table, trailing only Barcelona in all three categories.

In contrast, Real Betis trails in all common stats via its 23.1 expected goals and subpar 26.7 expected goals against, resulting in a poor -3.6 xGDiff and -0.19 for xGDiff/90 minutes.

So, if you follow the metrics, Real Sociedad is a deserving favorite. However, we’re not here to chase the chalk. That said, I am taking a swing on Real Betis at ripe odds to bag all three points at Anoeta Stadium.

Pellegrini’s outfit is clicking at the right time, plus it’s catching an opponent that’s been anything but impressive at the moment. Back the road underdog.

[Bet Real Betis at DraftKings and get an INSTANT $500 deposit match.]

Matthew Trebby: Real Betis (+310) vs. Real Sociedad

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET

The top six in Spain — Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Villarreal, Sevilla and Real Sociedad — have firmly separated themselves from the pack, based on performances this season. Yet, somehow they’re the only La Liga teams with a positive goal differential.

Real Sociedad looked like an early, surprise title contender, but has just one win in its last nine matches. The club’s expected goals data is fading a bit lately as well, compared to a sensational beginning to the season.

The Basque side has plenty of talent going forward, with a unit headlined by star winger Mikel Oyarzabal, winger Christian Portu and striker Alexander Isak. Real Sociedad also pulled off a coup in the offseason, with the signing David Silva from Manchester City, but injuries have limited him to 11 appearances.

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Meanwhile, Real Betis sits eighth on the table after a horrific start that saw it lose seven of its first 11 games. The club has at least 2.00 expected goals in three of its last four games, gaining 10 points from its previous five outings.

A victory Wednesday over Celta Vigo saw Real Betis fall behind in the 15th minute, only to be ahead at halftime through a pair of goals from Sergio Canales. The standout has been the side’s talisman this season, recording  six goals and four assists in 13 league appearances.

Real Betis has won four consecutive matches across all competitions, while Real Sociedad is struggling. There is enough value here for bettors to take a shot on a Betis team that has plenty of talent yet to hit its stride this season.

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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