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European Soccer Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Top Underdogs to Back This Weekend (Feb. 6-7)

European Soccer Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Top Underdogs to Back This Weekend (Feb. 6-7) article feature image

Molly Darlington/Pool/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Burnley standouts Chris Wood, left, and Matthew Lowton.

  • Burnley? Reading? Wolves? Valencia? Liverpool? According to our analysts, they're all live underdogs on the European soccer card.
  • Here are this week's potential upset specials below.

We are back at it again on the European soccer landscape, looking to uncover potential upsets across the continent.

Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion (+210) came through last week with a win over Tottenham Hotspur. It was the second time in as many weeks that analyst Anthony Dabbundo found a live underdog, with the first coming via Wolfsburg (+250) and its shutout of Bayer Leverkusen in Bundesliga play.

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

Now, our attention is turned to this weekend’s quintet of clubs we believe have a shot at recording an upset.

Burnley vs. Brighton Burnley | +265 Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
Stoke City vs. Reading Reading | +205 Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
Wolves vs. Leicester City Wolves | +255 Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
Athletic Club vs. Valencia Valencia | +240 Sunday | 10:15 a.m. ET
Liverpool vs. Manchester City Liverpool | +240 Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET

Matthew Trebby: Burnley (+265) vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Saturday | 10 a.m. ET

You’ll notice that there is a lot of love for Brighton & Hove Albion on this site in any game preview, largely due to their underlying data. The Seagulls create chances at a very strong rate, ranking eighth in the Premier League in non-penalty expected goals.

Burnley ranks 19th.

Defensively, the Seagulls are also quite stout. Their NPxGA is the fourth-lowest total in the league, ranking ahead of top-half clubs like Manchester United, Aston Villa, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Burnley ranks 14th.

On paper, this match brings a clear advantage to Brighton, which has also won three of its last four matches. Meanwhile, Burnley has lost four of its last six fixtures, although those defeats came against Manchester United, West Ham, Chelsea and league-leading Manchester City.

The two matches the Clarets didn’t lose in that span happened to be victories over Liverpool and Aston Villa.

So why am I backing Burnley if the data suggests it’s rightfully big underdogs?

It comes down to Brighton’s end product. The Seagulls’ last three wins have come via a 1-0 scoreline. And while the expected goals are impressive, that means nothing against Burnley’s defense. The Clarets will sit back and let the Seagulls’ creative players have as much of the ball as they want.

That’s how Burnley has played throughout its latest four-plus-year stint in England’s top flight.

Despite its stellar xG numbers since the beginning of December, Brighton has scored multiple goals just twice in 12 league fixtures.

I’ll back the frustrating hosts at very good odds to snatch three points from the visitors from the south coast.

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

Jeremy Pond: Stoke City vs. Reading (+205)

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Saturday | 10 a.m. ET

We make the journey to West Midlands for this potential upset, with Stoke City welcoming surging Reading to Britannia Stadium for their Championship affair.

The host Potters, who were relegated to the second division after their 2018 Premier League debacle, have been downright awful as of late. Stoke City, which enters this fixture winless in seven consecutive matches, has just one victory in its last 11 league contests.

You have to go all the way back to a Dec. 19 shutout win over Blackburn to find the last time the Potters bagged three points in a game.

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On the other side, Reading enters this affair with dreams of a return to England’s top flight in the midst of a six-match unbeaten run. Winners of three of their last four tilts and losers of just one of their last seven away from home, the Royals are fresh off a 3-1 shellacking of Bournemouth last time out.

Pretty much the only thing working in the Potters’ favor here is recent history. Stoke City is unbeaten in the last eight meetings between the sides, securing two wins and six draws during that stretch.

For me, something has got to give in this series. And if there was ever a ripe time for Reading to end that winless drought against Stoke City, this is the moment. The Royals, who are also seeking to avenge a 3-0 defeat back in November, are in better form and can taste a return to soccer glory.

Back the Royals to continue their ascension up the table and get their first win over the Potters for the first time in almost 15 years.

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

BJ Cunningham: Wolves (+255) vs. Leicester City

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

Wolves finally ended their terrible run of form Tuesday, earning a 2-1 victory over Arsenal. Even though it was just their first win in nine matches, they haven’t been as bad as their results have shown.

Over their last 11 contests, Wolves have a -3.43 xGD, which is far better than their actual -8 goal differential in those matches. The club also performs much better at Molineux Stadium than they do on the road. On home soil, Wolves have a +0.29 xGD compared to a -6.67 xGD in away fixtures.

Leicester City has been a big beneficiary of “penalty luck” this season. The Foxes has been awarded a total of nine kicks from the spot, which is the most in the entire Premier League. So, with all of that luck, the Foxes’ numbers are a tad inflated.

In fact, Leicester City is only creating 1.08 xG per match from open play, which is pretty much the same average as Brighton & Hove Albion, which sits in 16th place on the table.

That said, I think the Foxes will find a lot of difficulty in breaking down Wolves, who are likely going to sit back for most of the match and try and hit the visitors on the counter.

I only have Wolves projected at +193 odds, so I think there is plenty of value on them at +245 to get their second victory in five days.

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

Kieran Darcy: Athletic Bilbao vs. Valencia (+240)

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Sunday | 10:15 a.m. ET

It hasn’t been a good season for Valencia, which sits in 14th place in La Liga. Currently, it finds itself three spots behind Athletic Bilbao — its Sunday opponent — although only one point behind its foe. This match is also taking place at San Mames, which isn’t an easy place to play for any visiting side.

However, Athletic Bilbao just played a Copa del Rey quarterfinal Thursday — a match it won over Real Betis via penalties after playing 120 minutes. That should lead to some tired legs for Los Leones in this contest.

These teams played out a 2-2 draw at Mestalla back in mid-December, which was a fair result according to the game’s expected goals. Valencia came up just short in the 1.7-1.6 xG battle, with each team scoring on a penalty.

Valencia is coming off a 1-0 win over Elche last Saturday in a fixture it dominated, finishing with a whopping 2.5-0.8 xG edge. The Bats have two wins and two draws in their five league matches so far in 2021, with their only defeat coming against league leaders Atlético Madrid.

All that said, I like Valencia’s chances of a win at a price in this spot.

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

Anthony Dabbundo: Liverpool (+240) vs. Manchester City

  • Odds available at DraftKings
  • Day | Time: Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET

Pay close attention to the injury report before betting this match, but I like Liverpool’s chances of pulling off a win Sunday at Anfield against the title favorite at this price.

Liverpool will have goalkeeper Allison Becker, forward Sadio Mané and center back Fabinho are available for this fixture, which features two of the Premier League’s best teams.

Allison seems very likely to play, and manager Jurgen Klopp has suggested both Mané and Fabinho will return.

If all three play, the Reds are a good price here to upset the Cityzens. Manchester City’s attack has not been nearly as effective without Kevin De Bruyne, generating 5.9 xG in three matches against three of the EPL’s worst defenses in West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Sheffield United.

The Cityzens’ attack isn’t well built to take advantage of the issues that come with a Jordan Henderson and Fabinho back line, and the Reds will present danger on the counter.

Liverpool is struggling of late in terms of actual results when compared to expected-goal difference, and Manchester City is running a bit hot.Even though the visitor hasn’t lost since November or allowed a goal in its last six league affairs, Liverpool is worth a play if its key players return.

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

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