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European Soccer Odds & Picks: Our Favorite Underdogs to Bet This Weekend (Feb. 20-21)

European Soccer Odds & Picks: Our Favorite Underdogs to Bet This Weekend (Feb. 20-21) article feature image

Jon Super/PA Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Everton star Dominic Calvert-Lewin takes a shot on goal.

  • Six Action Network soccer analysts. Six different picks in this weekend's European underdogs preview.
  • Here are our latest upset specials below.

If you tailed our favorite European soccer underdogs last week’s, you should have wound up a pretty happy camper.

Our group of Action Network soccer analysts came through with a 3-1-1 record via their selections, with Burnley (+215) hitting for Anthony Dabbundo and Matt Trebby. Fellow handicapper Kieran Darcy cashed with La Liga side Osasuna (+225) picking up a victory to round out the upsets.

Needless to say, the crew is back at it again, looking to uncover more potential surprise winners across the continent’s footballing landscape.

If you’re new to this preview, our experts search for live underdogs at +200 odds or longer playing on the weekend in Europe. Whether it’s a match in Ligue 1, Serie A or Premier League, the goal is simple: Find a team that could deliver an upset victory.

Now, our focus has switched to this weekend’s sextet of clubs we believe have a shot at an upset. As of publication, if you played a six-team parlay at +357683 odds via a $1 wager at DraftKings, it would pay out close to $3,600 if every team wins their match. A $5 wager would bring back just under $18,000.

Without further ado, let’s a look at the picks:

Freiburg vs. Union Berlin Union Berlin | +215 Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
Liverpool vs. Everton Everton | +600 Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
Montpellier vs. Rennes Montpellier | +205 Sunday | 7 a.m. ET
Aston Villa vs. Leicester City Aston Villa | +220 Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
Huesca vs. Granada Granada | +250 Sunday | 12:30 p.m. ET
PSG vs. Monaco Monaco | +375 Sunday | 3 p.m. ET

Odds as of Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET via DraftKings.

Matthew Trebby: Freiburg vs. Union Berlin (+215)

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

Freiburg enters this game as the favorite, having lost just twice since the start of the new year. Those defeats came against Bayern Munich and a red-hot Wolfsburg side, with nothing to be disappointed about in either case.

While Freiburg has taken seven points from its last four games, the performances have not matched the positive results. In a 2-1 win over Stuttgart back on Jan. 23, it allowed 3.03 expected goals. Then, in a 2-1 victory against Borussia Dortmund on Feb. 6, it registered just 0.17 expected goals.

Last weekend, Freiburg lost the xG battle by a 0.91-0.38 margin against Werder Bremen.

On the other side, Union Berlin has slowed down since looking like it was going to mount a surprise Champions League push. However, there are reasons to believe a strong result is right around the corner.

The Iron Ones have captured the xG battle in three of their last four games, picking up two draws and two defeats during that stretch. A draw against Schalke last weekend saw the chance-creation battle finish at 1.94-0.34 in Union Berlin’s favor.

For the season, Union Berlin is eighth in the Bundesliga with a non-penalty expected goal difference of 3.84. Meanwhile, Freiburg sits in 12th place at -4.34 in the same category.

This might be the longest Bundesliga road trip of the season for Union Berlin, but there’s plenty of reason to believe it can pull off the upset and take all three points in this meeting.

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

Michael Leboff: Liverpool vs. Everton (+600)

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

Everton hasn’t won a Merseyside Derby since Oct. 17, 2010. The Toffees haven’t won at Anfield since Sept. 27, 1999. That kind of history will naturally weigh on a team and its fanbase, but I think there’s reason to bet on this two-decade hoodoo coming to an end in this latest affair.

Neither side enters this match in great form, though Liverpool will be buoyed by its midweek Champions League win over RB Leipzig. That victory should do wonders for the Reds’ confidence, but they were gifted both goals in that match and were a tad fortunate to get the result.

Since Jan. 1, Liverpool is 2-1-5 with a -4 goal differential in the Premier League. The Reds’ xG suggests they’ve played better than those numbers suggest, but it doesn’t change the fact they have spent much of 2021 trying to find their game.

A +2.25 xG differential over an eight-game span isn’t what we’re used to seeing from Jürgen Klopp’s side.

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Everton, too, has slipped since New Year’s Day. The Toffees are just 2-2-4 with a -5 goal differential. Unlike Liverpool, the Blues’ xG numbers are basically in line with their actual results over the past six weeks. The good news is that Everton is coming off its best effort in a while.

The Toffees might have lost to Manchester City on Wednesday, but the 3-1 scoreline flattered the runaway champion since the xG differential ended up 1.3-0.8 in favor of the Cityzens.

At its best, Everton is a tough side to break down and clinical when it gets a chance to go the other way. I expect that kind of effort in this match, which will likely go a long way in determining how successful this season is for the Toffees.

At +600, Everton has an implied win probability of 14.3 percent. I think that’s too low considering what we’ve seen out of Liverpool over the past few months. The Toffees might be a bit overrated, but certainly have a puncher’s chance to pull one over on their rivals.

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

Jeremy Pond: Montpellier (+205) vs. Rennes

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Sunday | 7 a.m. ET

Things could get awfully interesting in this meeting between Ligue 1 foes on the southern coast of France just off the Mediterranean Sea.

Montpellier enters this showdown unbeaten in three consecutive contests, highlighted by its 2-1 upset victory over powerful Lyon last time out. La Paillade sits in ninth place on the table with 35 points in the French top flight.

On the other side, Rennes is in the midst of a collapse. The fifth-place Red and Blacks are winless in their last four games, highlighted by their disappointing 2-0 loss at the hands of 15th-place Saint-Étienne in their most recent league contest.

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Statistically, Montpellier continues to be one of the league’s more balanced outfits in the advanced metrics. La Paillade sits on a 31.7 expected goals, but brutal 44.7 expected goals against that generate a dismal -13.0 xGDiff and -0.52 xGDiff/90 minutes.

When comparing stats with its host, Rennes’ overall numbers are much better than Montpellier’s figures. The Red and Blacks are on 31.6 expected goals and a paltry 22.8 expected goals against, generating a stellar +8.8 xGDiff and +0.36 for xGDiff/90 minutes.

On paper, Rennes clearly has the more complete résumé. That fact is not being disputed. Adding to that is the fact the Red and Blacks are unbeaten in their last six away league fixtures. However, Rennes has absolutely stunk as of late, going winless in its last four affairs and scoring just one goal along the way.

That said, I am taking a swing with the hotter hand to bag all three points on home soil at Stade de la Mosson. The hosts looked fantastic in that victory over Lyon last out, which has me optimistic they will win their third consecutive match.

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

Anthony Dabbundo: Aston Villa (+220) vs. Leicester City

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

Leicester City played 15 incredible minutes against Liverpool last Sunday, earning a stunning, come-from-behind 3-1 victory. However, that shouldn’t take away from the fact the Reds dominated for the opening 70 minutes and easily could have been up two or three goals.

The Foxes had to make a midweek trip to the Czech Republic to play 90 minutes against Slavia Prague in Europa League action, while Aston Villa had off. Leicester City doesn’t have a ton of squad depth and might be caught looking ahead to the second leg with Slavia Prague in next week’s Europa fixtures.

From a numbers perspective, the table is lying about the overall performances of these teams. Leicester City’s season-long xG difference per 90 minutes is +0.31, while Aston Villa is at +0.26 per 90 minutes. Despite this, the Foxes sit third on the table and the Villans hold eighth place with a game in hand. The Foxes are deserved favorites, but the game should be lined closer than it is. 

Leicester City is at its best when the Foxes are able to get in behind, and Aston Villa’s defense forces you to build through the midfield. The Villans don’t get beat over the top very often and will look to counterattack the Foxes like the visitors typically counter others.

I project Aston Villa at +170 to win and will back them at +200 or better.

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

Kieran Darcy: Huesca vs. Granada (+250)

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

Granada isn’t a household names in La Liga, but it just beat one of the top clubs in Serie A — Napoli — by a 2-0 scoreline earlier this week in Europa League play.

It was a deserved victory, too. Granada finished with a 1.34-0.95 edge in the xG column, according to Infogol, with goals coming from Yangel Herrera (on loan from Manchester City) and Kenedy (on loan from Chelsea).

Yes, the club will be tired come Sunday and could rest players. However, this looks like a good price, with Granada currently eighth in the Spanish top flight and facing bottom-of-the-table Huesca.

It’s not quite as lopsided as it looks.  According to, Granada is 15th in -8.6 xGDiff and Huesca sits in 18th at -10.4 xGDiff on the season. However, Granada clearly has more momentum than Huesca, which has lost its last two matches and earned seven defeats (and two draws) in its past 10 games.

Put aside a 3-1 win over Real Valladolid on Jan. 29, and Huesca have scored just three goals total in the other nine matches during that stretch.

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

BJ Cunningham: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Monaco (+375)

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Sunday | 3 p.m. ET

Monaco has been on an absolute tear in Ligue 1 play, going unbeaten over its last 10 matches and winning eight of them in the process. The Monégasques have been incredibly impressive, putting up a +9.03 xGD in those matches.

Throughout the season, Monaco has featured one of the best offenses in the France, averaging 1.91 xG per match and showed that to Paris Saint-Germain in the first meeting back in November. The Monégasques trailed Les Parisiens by a 2-0 margin at the break, but exploded for three second-half goals and created 2.51 xG en route to a 3-2 victory.

Given the run Monaco is on at the moment, there is no reason why it can’t pull off a similar feat in Parc des Princes.

The host throttled Barcelona in Champions League action Tuesday, cruising to a 4-1 triumph without the services of Neymar or Angel Di Maria. This is a perfect letdown spot for the defending champion, who will be without both stars again in this contest.

Les Parisiens haven’t been anywhere close to dominant against the top teams in the French top flight, going 1-3-1 against the top six teams and putting up a -2.73 xGD in the process. They have also been incredibly fortunate defensively in domestic play, allowing only 15 goals while their opponents have created 26.40 xG on the season.

Bottom line: PSG is in a tough spot playing its third match in eight days, so I think Monaco has a perfect opportunity to pick off all three points against the defending league champion. Additionally, I have Monaco projected at +272, so I think there is some value on them at +375 odds.

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

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