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Global Soccer Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions, Best Bets: Our Staff’s 3 Favorite Underdogs, Featuring MLS Side Philadelphia (May 7)

Global Soccer Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions, Best Bets: Our Staff’s 3 Favorite Underdogs, Featuring MLS Side Philadelphia (May 7) article feature image
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Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake.

  • Our Action Network soccer crew came out hot Saturday, hitting two winners.
  • Bundesliga sides Wolfsburg and Union Berlin cashed, leaving one pick to go on the docket.
  • Handicapper Ian Quillen explains why he’s backing MLS side Philadelphia to stun LAFC tonight on the west coast.

There are just a few weeks left in the European soccer season, so there is plenty to play when it comes to club competitions across the continent. And we also have a whole lot of insanity on the promotion/relegation fronts.

Plus, things are just starting to heat up in Major League Soccer as we hit the 10th week of the campaign.

That said, we have a busy weekend ahead of us, which means our crew has another shot to deliver its favorite moneyline gems. Handicappers Anthony Dabbundo, Nick Hennion and Ian Quillen are back again, taking their latest jabs at uncovering some monster longshots around the world.

If you’re a new or old friend to this preview, our experts look for live underdogs at +200 odds or longer playing on the weekend around the globe. Whether it’s a match in Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga or maybe the English Championship, the goal is simple: Find a team that could deliver a winner.

That said, let’s take a look at their favorite sides on the exciting schedule.


GAME PICK | ODDS DAY | TIME
Köln vs. Wolfsburg Wolfsburg (+400) Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
Freiburg vs. Union Berlin Union Berlin (+280) Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
LAFC vs. Philadelphia Philadelphia (+420) Saturday | 11 p.m. ET

Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.


Anthony Dabbundo: Wolfsburg ML (+400) vs. Köln

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

When you get to the end of the season, the market tends to overreact to certain “must-win” spots and that’s exactly the case ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga match pitting Wolfsburg against Köln.

The latter needs the win to try and make the European places and Wolfsburg is languishing in 13th place, but safe from relegation. Köln’s number is also inflated because of its excellent recent form with four consecutive league victories.

However, when you look at the underlying numbers, there’s not much that separates these sides. Wolfsburg has a positive expected goal difference despite its poor standing. And even though there’s not much at stake, its last two results (5-0 win and 1-1 draw) suggest it’s still plenty motivated to have a strong finish to a bad season.

According to fbref.com, Wolfsburg and Köln have the exact same xG difference per match. One team has underperformed, while the other has underperformed based on finishing variance and that creates a perception that Köln is the much better team.

My projections make Köln a slightly better team and it’s at home, but I can’t get anywhere close to the +400 monyeline number on Wolfsburg. My numbers also make Wolfsburg +230 ML, so I’m happy to bet against the sportsbooks over-adjusting for the spot.

Nick Hennion: Union Berlin ML (+280) vs. Freiburg

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

Both clubs arrive in great form, but I believe Union Berlin is overpriced.

Union is unbeaten in its last five games, while Freiburg arrive unbeaten in four contests. However, Union has looked the better side in that span. Across those five fixtures, Union has created at least 1.2 xG in all five matches and kept four of five opponents under 0.6 xG, per fbref.com.

On the flip side, Freiburg’s defense has looked flimsy as of late. It has kept only one of its last four opponents at less than one xG and allowed its last two foes to create 1.65 xG per 90 minutes.

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Further, since the start of February, Union has proved the better side. Manager Urs Fischer’s side owns a +4.7 xGDiff across its last 11 games against teams not named Bayern Munich, while Freiburg holds a +3.7 xGDiff in its last 11 against non-Bayern opponents.

Lastly, Union has shown it is capable of keeping up with quality opposition away from home. In three road fixtures against Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, it owns a +2 xGDiff and has created north of 1.75 xG/90 minutes.

Add in that Union won on xG in the reverse fixture (1.8-1.4) that finished in a 0-0 draw and I like it to pull the upset as it chases a Champions League spot.

Ian Quillen: Philadelphia ML (+420) vs. LAFC

  • Odds available at PointsBet
  • Day | Time: Saturday | 11 p.m. ET

The Philadelphia Union have earned the most points in MLS since the start of the 2019 season and yet they’re +420 underdogs in their trip to the West Coast to face Los Angeles FC in this matchup.

You have to factor in how teams play at home and away when handicapping MLS games. And while LAFC has been very good on home soil, Philadelphia has been otherworldly away, thanks to a style that relies heavily on transition and not possession.

Just look at the non-penalty expected goals data. Philadelphia is averaging a +0.80 NPxG difference/90 minutes against LAFC’s +0.75 NPxG per 90 minutes at home. That’s happening in a league where home teams win roughly 50% of the time. And that’s astounding, considering the Union’s strength of schedule in those respective schedules is actually harder.

Additionally, Mikael Uhre might just be finding his form for the Union after arriving following a blistering-hot season and a half in the Danish top flight.

Carlos Vela looked worn down for LAFC last time out, and the club has often been able to out-depth teams late in games. It’s harder to see that working against an equally well-rounded Philadelphia squad.

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