European Soccer Forecast: Favorite Bets, Projected Odds for Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga & Ligue 1 Matches (August 27-29)

European Soccer Forecast: Favorite Bets, Projected Odds for Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga & Ligue 1 Matches (August 27-29) article feature image
Credit:

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images. Pictured: Barcelona standout Memphis Depay.

  • We have another busy schedule this weekend on the European soccer landscape.
  • Analyst BJ Cunningham takes a look at the matches, plus delivers his projected odds, picks and totals.
  • Check out below his latest angles and insight on the slate.

While there wasn’t much drama in the Premier League this past weekend, there were a handful of stunning results across the rest of Europe.

In Serie A, Juventus blew a 2-0 lead late to draw with Udinese with one of the more puzzling errors you will ever see.

OH NO 😳😳

Udinese ties it up with Juventus late in the game 👀

(via @CBSSportsGolazo)

pic.twitter.com/ZurA0aNwqG

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 22, 2021

In Bundesliga action, Bayern Munich got a big time scare from Cologne before getting a go-ahead goal late in the second half to earn a 3-2 victory. Bayer Leverkusen thrashed Borussia Mönchengladbach via a 4-0 shutout in the Saturday headliner.

Then, more importantly, Borussia Dortmund suffered a 2-1 road loss as sizable favorites to Freiburg, which featured one of the more stunning free kicks you’ll ever see. Check it out below.

Come for Vincenzo Grifo's sensational free-kick, stay for a fine @SCFreiburg display in their 2-1 #Bundesliga win over Borussia Dortmund! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/lVHqINk5FJ

— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) August 21, 2021

In La Liga, Barcelona was held to a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid played one of the craziest matches so far this season, drawing 3-3 with Levante on the road.

In France, Paris Saint-Germain was their usual dominant selves in a 4-2 road win at Stade de Brest, but some of the top teams struggled with lesser opponents. Lyon blew a 3-1 second-half lead to draw with newly promoted Clearmont Foot and Monaco was dealt a 2-0 home loss against Lens.

This weekend doesn’t have to many big-time matchups, so we could see some more crazy upsets as we head into the international break.

If you’re new to our soccer coverage, I will be providing my projections for every match from the Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1, plus Champions League and Europa League action when they kick off in September.

If you’d like to see my Premier League projections, you can read them here. Also, 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

Augsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Augsburg Odds +340
Bayer Leverkusen Odds -125
Draw +285
Over/Under 2.5 (-135 / +115)
Day | Time Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Despite playing in the highest-scoring league in Europe’s top five, Augsburg and Bayer Leverkusen are under teams.

Offensively, Augsburg is completely anemic. Through their first two matches against Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt, they created a total of 0.88 expected goals, 12 shot-creating actions and had just three carries into the opponents’ penalty area. That really isn’t a change from last season when Augsburg averaged 1.06 xG per match, ranking 19th in shot-creating actions.

Leverkusen’s offense last season was not up to par with the rest of the Bundesliga, averaging only 1.39 xG per match. Now, their offense is likely going to regress after selling one of their best attacking players in Leon Bailey to Aston Villa. Also, even though Leverkusen has scored five goals through their first two matches, they’ve created just 2.57 xG so far.

I only have 2.34 goals projected for this match, so I think there’s some value on under 2.5 goals at +115 via DraftKings and would play it down to +105 odds.

Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (+115)

Bayern Munich vs. Hertha Berlin

Bayern Munich Odds 550
Hertha Berlin Odds +1300
Draw +750
Over/Under 3.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | Time Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Bayern Munich has not looked to good starting their Bundesliga campaign after opening drawing against Gladbach, then and needing a late goal to beat Cologne on home soil.

It’s a bit of a transition period for the Bavarians, so these results aren’t out of the ordinary. They have a new manager in Julian Naglesmann, who came over from league rival RB Leipzig. They have a new center-back pairing in Dayot Upamecano and Niklas Süle, who are still trying to figure out how to play together.

Bayern Munich also finished in front of net at an incredibly — and frankly — unsustainable rate last season with 99 goals, but only created 75.93 xG in the process. Also, they somewhat struggled against Hertha Berlin, needing a 92nd-minute penalty to beat them, 4-3, at home. And when these two met in Berlin, the Bavarians squeaked by with a 1-0 victory, only out-creating Hertha by a 1.80-1.25 xG margin.

Hertha Berlin is the definition of a mid-table side, and even though they’ve lost their first two matches, I think this is a perfect buy-low spot on them against a Bayern squad still trying to figure things out under a new manager.

Also, Bayern Munich played a DFB-Pokal Cup match Wednesday and used a lot of their starters, so they may be a little fatigued entering this meeting.

I have Bayern’s spread projected at -1.25, so I think there’s plenty of value on Hertha spread of +2.5 at -130 at DraftKings and would play it down to +125 or their spread of +2 at +125 odds.

Pick: Hertha Berlin +2.5 (-130)

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Serie A Projections

Best Bets

Salernitana vs. Roma

Salernitana Odds +450
Roma Odds -165
Draw +330
Over/Under 2.5 (-175 / -140)
Day | Time Sunday | 2:45 p.m. ET
How To Watch Paramount+
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Salernitana played a chaotic match against Bologna to open up their Serie A campaign that featured five goals, which all came in the second half. However, they did end up getting dealt a 3-2 defeat. Their defense looked especially horrible after getting the red card in the first half, plus they allowed three goals in the span of 18 minutes.

In Serie B last season, Salernitana had a -14.29 xGDiff, which is almost impossible for a team that gained automatic promotion, so I don’t know how they’re going to cope in the Italian top flight.

Their top striker from last season was Gennaro Tutino, who was on loan from Napoli. Tutino scored 13 of their 46 goals, with their next closest goal scorer finishing with just five goals. Tutino is not on their squad this season and they haven’t found a capable replacement. Also according to transfermarkt.com their total squad value is not just the lowest in Serie A, but it’s lowest in all of Europe’s top five leagues.

Roma destroys teams below them in the table. Last season, they went 17-4-5 and had a +1.1 xGDiff per match against clubs behind them in the standings. They just brought in a big-time upgrade at striker in the form of Tammy Abraham from Chelsea. He had two assists and drew a red card in Roma’s 3-1 win over Fiorentina in this past Sunday’s match.

I have Roma projected at -338, so I think there’s massive value on manager Jose Mourinho’s side at -165 at DraftKings in this spot.

Pick: Roma ML (-165)


La Liga Projections

Best Bets

Mallorca vs. Espanyol

Mallorca Odds +155
Espanyol Odds +215
Draw +200
Over/Under 2.5 (+145/ -185)
Day | Time Friday | 2 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Newly promoted teams facing off this early in the season means were able to use to data from their time in last year’s Segunda Division.

Espanyol and Mallorca both finished in automatic promotion spots, mainly due to their prolific offenses. Espanyol led the league with 1.66 xG per match, while Mallorca wasn’t far behind with their 1.44 xG per outing. Also, both made some nice additions that should improve their offenses and help avoid relegation.

Espanyol brought in talented players like midfielder Manu Morlanes from Villarreal and striker Loren Moron from Real Betis on loan for the season, which is an upgrade over the players they had at those positions last season.

Mallorca made a big loan move when it signed back Takefuso Kubo from Real Madrid, who’s a really exciting talent that spent the 2019-20 season at Mallorca. He will be the main creator in an attack they lacked last season.

Matches involving either of these clubs averaged more than 2.50 xG last season, so I think the total is a little too low. I have 2.60 goals projected, giving me value on over 2 goals at -110 and would play it up to -121 odds.

Pick: Over 2 Goals (-110)

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Barcelona vs. Getafe

Barcelona Odds -250
Getafe Odds +650
Draw +390
Over/Under 2.5 (-134 / +110)
Day | Time Sunday | 11 a.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Barcelona are going to have to adapt very quickly to life without Lionel Messi, due to the fact he was basically their entire offense last season, scoring 37.5 percent of their goals in the Spanish top flight.

They have brought in a couple of reinforcements, most notably Memphis Depay from French side Lyon, who is Messi’s replacement up top in Barcelona’s patented 4-3-3 formation.

While he won’t totally fill Messi’s production, he was one of the best players in Ligue 1 last season, scoring 21 goals and dishing out 12 assists. However, Barcelona didn’t look good playing against a very defensive Athletic Bilbao squad last weekend, creating only 1.01 xG on nine total shots.

Getafe is a very interesting team, given where it finished the 2019-20 season compared to how much they’ve fallen down the table. Getafe was battling for a Europa League spot two years ago, finishing eighth in the table with a +2.17 xGDiff. However, last season its offense cratered, resulting in only 28 goals, which was the lowest mark in the first division.

Getafe plays out of a 4-4-2 formation, which is exact setup Barcelona struggled against last weekend at Athletic Bilbao. When playing from that formation last season, the club averaged just 0.89 xG per 90 minutes, but only allowed 0.99 xG per 90 minutes. Also, only 32% of Getafe’s matches last season went over 2.5 goals.

I only have 2.35 goals projected here, so I think there’s some value on under 2.5 goals at +110 via DraftKings, but would play it only down to +106 odds.

Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (+110)


Ligue 1 Projections

Best Bets

Marseille vs. Saint-Étienne

Marseille Odds -130
Saint-Étienne Odds +360
Draw +290
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | Time Saturday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch beIN Sports
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Marseille was one of the most overrated teams in all France last season. They finished in fifth place with +2.80 xGDiff, but they’re being priced in this match like they’re one of the top four teams in France.

So far, they needed a furious three-goal comeback to beat Montpellier; drew 2-2 with bottom-of-the-table side Bordeaux; and, essentially suffered a 1-0 loss to Nice, as the match had to be stopped and eventually called off in the 76th minute of play.

Last season, their offense was actually kind of abysmal. They ranked in the bottom half of Ligue 1 in shot-creating actions, touches inside the opponents’ penalty area and passes that led to a shot, per FBref.com. All that led to them only averaging 1.30 xG per match, so they shouldn’t even be considered as one of the country’s top four clubs.

Saint-Étienne might have finished in 11th place in Ligue 1, but based on expected points, they should have finished inside the top 10. The club is due for positive regression both offensively and defensively this season. So far, they’ve just been average with three draws and -0.1 xGDiff through their first three matches.

However, in their last outing against Lille, they finally switched their formation out of a 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 setup. The 4-4-2 was not leading to much success, as they had a -2.24 xGDiff when playing out of it a season ago. So with the formation change, Saint-Étienne should start to look more lively going forward and create more chances in front of net.

I only have Marseille projected at +101, which would mean the projected odds on Saint-Étienne’s spread of +0.5 is at -101 odds. That said, I think there’s some value on Saint-Étienne +0.5 at +115 at DraftKings or better.

Pick: Saint-Étienne +0.5 (+115)

Lens vs. Lorient

Lens Odds -125
Lorient Odds +260
Draw +275
Over/Under 2.5 (-110/ -115)
Day | Time Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
How To Watch beIN Sports
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Lens, which has risen up the Ligue 1 ranks after promotion, is now a top-seven club in the league. The biggest reason for their success has been a prolific offense that averaged 1.53 xG per match last season, which is the fourth-best mark in Ligue 1. This season they have gotten off to a flying start, creating 3.70 xG against three top-half  clubs in Rennes, Saint-Étienne and Monaco.

Lens typically line up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, which is not a common formation, but they play it very effectively, accumulating a +0.47 xGDiff per 90 minutes when playing out of it last season.

Lorient is a club that will be battling relegation and were one of the worst defensive clubs in Ligue 1 last season, allowing a whopping 68 goals in 38 matches. That defense has regressed even more through their first three games, because they’ve allowed their opponents to create 6.37 xG, which is the most in the first division thus far.

Lens destroyed Lorient in both matches season ago, beating them by a combined score of 7-3; out-creating them by a 5.47-2.96 xG margin; and, outshooting them, 26-18 in the process. Lorient was also the worst team in Ligue 1 away from home last season, picking up just 10 points in 19 matches.

I have Lens projected at -129, so I think there’s some slight value on them at -125 odds on DraftKings and have it as my top selection.

Pick: Lens ML (-125)

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