European Soccer Futures Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions & Expert Tips: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, More
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images. Pictured: Roma standout Paulo Dybala.
European soccer is back!
Yes, we have finally reached opening week in numerous leagues across the continent, thus kicking off what should be an exciting 2022-23 campaign for the marquee top flights.
And with that comes plenty of betting opportunities, featuring solid odds that can lead to some big payouts in the long run.
Action Network handicappers BJ Cunningham, Anthony Dabbundo and Nick Hennion have dropped their top futures wagers on the European market. There’s a little bit of everything in the selections, including picks for league champion, top-four finishes, clubs to get relegated and other wagers chock full of betting value.
So, let’s take a look at our crew’s prognostications and see where the experts are landing with their intriguing best bets ahead of the season openers.
|THE PICK||ODDS | BEST BOOK|
|Hertha Berlin — Relegated (Bundesliga)||+400 | BetMGM|
|Elche — Relegated (La Liga)||+150 | Caesars|
|Monza — Relegated (Serie A)||+500 | Caesars|
Hertha Berlin — Relegated in Bundesliga (+400): With Werder Bremen and Schalke coming up, I believe Hertha Berlin is the Bundesliga’s worst team.
Of the teams that stayed up a season ago, Hertha had the worst xGDiff (-21.3) and only averaged 1.02 xG per match. The club was last in Offensive PPDA in a league where everyone presses like crazy. Defensively, Hertha conceded the most big scoring chances in the German flight.
So, what has the side done to improve Nothing. It brought in a bunch of low-level players on free transfers.
That said, I’m not sure this team survives another season in the Bundesliga the way the squad is currently constructed.
Elche — Relegated in La Liga (+150):
It has now been two consecutive seasons where Elche has had the worst xGDiff in La Liga and somehow survived relegation. Needless to say, I don’t think that’s going to happen a third time.
Elche yielded the second-most expected goals at 61, but only allowed 52 actual goals. Its offense scored 40 goals off 34.8 xG and was last in shots per 90 minutes, per fbref.com.
The club, which plays ultra conservative out of a 4-4-2 formation, was one of the worst pressing team in the Spanish top flight and ranked last in high turnovers, 18th PPDA and 19th in pressure success rate.
I do not know how a team that won the xG battle in just nine of its 38 matches survives without making any significant moves in the transfer market. So, at +150, I like the price on Elche to finally go down.
Monza — Relegated in Serie A (+500):
Last season in Serie B, Monza only had a +0.06 xGDiff per 90 minutes (1.51 xG/match and 1.45 xGA/game) overall.
On average since 2017, teams coming up from Serie B to Serie A see a 30% decrease in their xG and 36.6% increase in their xGA per contest. So, doing some math, Monza is expected to have a -0.93 xGDiff in the Italian top flight, that would put them at the bottom of the table last campaign.
Now, with that being said, the club did make some loan moves and took players from bigger clubs, but we’re still getting +500 for a team that barely had a positive xGDiff in Serie B?
Bottom line, that’s tremendous value on Monza to get relegated.
|THE PICK||ODDS | BEST BOOK|
|Leverkusen — Bundesliga Winner Minus Bayern||+550 | BetMGM|
|Real Sociedad — Top 4 Finish (La Liga)||+400 | BetMGM|
|Roma — Top 4 Finish (Serie A)||+125 | PointsBet|
Bayer Leverkusen — Bundesliga Winner Minus Bayern Munich (+550): Bayer Leverkusen did over-perform its finishing numbers in attack considerably in 2021-22, but return its core talent for the new season. Moussa Diaby doesn’t appear to be leaving the club and Patrik Schick is set to build on his breakout performance last season. Leverkusen added Czech striker Adam Hlozek, who is an excellent partner to play alongside Schick.
In the second half of last season’s Bundesliga, Bayern Munich had the best xG difference at +1.16 per 90 minutes, but Leverkusen was right behind it at +1.15 overall. Both were a half goal per match better than RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund, which were the next closest competitors.
At these odds, Leverkusen is worth a shot to be Bayern’s closest competitor.
Real Sociedad — Top 4 Finish in La Liga: Real Madrid and Barcelona are the clear top two teams in Spain. Atlético Madrid and Sevilla had underwhelming xG numbers last season, especially in the second half of the campaign.
Sevilla, which was an average team in the Spanish top flight last season by xG, rode extremely favorable finishing variance into the Champions League. And now it has lost its top two centerbacks ahead of the latest season. Atlético Madrid wasn’t a top-5 team in the second half and has lost Luis Suarez.
That said, the door should be open for Sociedad, which was fifth in xGDiff but struggled to convert chances (53 xG) into 40 goals. As the club positively regresses, it’s poised to take Sevilla — or maybe even Atlético Madrid’s position — in the top 4 in the table. Alexander Isak is poised for a bounce back season as well.
Roma — Top 4 Finish in Serie A: Based on underlying numbers, Roma should have finished last season in the top 4, but striker Tammy Abraham had a poor season and led the league (and Europe) in shots off the post at one point. Roma had solidly better numbers than both Atalanta and Juventus and neither club has really taken much of a step forward in talent this summer.
Given that Napoli is also in a position to step back with the loss of Kalidou Kouliabaly, David Ospina and others, the door is open for manager Jose Mourinho’s side to claim its rightful place in the top 4 of the league. Zeki Çelik fills an important hole at right back, plus Paulo Dybala should thrive with the freedom in a Mourinho system and the rest of the team core returns.
So, I think Roma could even push for second or third place in the standings if everything breaks right for the Italian giant.
|THE PICK||ODDS | BEST BOOK|
|Inter Milan — Champion (Serie A)||+175 | BetMGM|
|Union Berlin — Top 4 Finish (Bundesliga)||+2500 | Caesars|
Inter Milan — Serie A Champion: Despite finishing in second last season, Inter had the best expected goal differential in Italy. The other element that gives me confidence with Inter – their home record. In the last two seasons, the Nerazzurri has won all three points in 82 percent of home matches.
Given last year marked the first time since 2015-16 the leading home points getter failed to lift the domestic crown, I’m prepared to buy in on Inter to win their second title in three years.
Union Berlin — Top 4 Finish in Bundesliga: Last season, Union conceded the second-fewest expected goals in the Bundesliga. It also accumulated the third-most home points in the German top flight.
If there’s one knock against Union, it’s that it can’t win a high percentage of matches against inferior sides. Across the last two seasons, Union has only won all three points in 46 percent of fixtures against non-top four sides. However, it won the xG battle in 69 percent.
Some positive regression in that department could see just enough points to vault Union into the Champions League spots.