Global Soccer Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions, Best Bets: Our Staff’s 5 Favorite Underdogs, Including Torino, LA Galaxy, More (April 16)
Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Galaxy star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
If you’re not familiar with Montreal, it’s known for many things. The Canadian gem hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics. It’s also where Expo 67, regarded by many as the most successful world’s fair of the 20th century, was held.
And of course, it’s home to the city’s beloved Canadiens, who have won the Stanley Cup a record 24 times in the National Hockey League.
Well, Action Network soccer analyst Ian Quillen would like to make the city’s Major League Soccer franchise an honorary member after it pulled off a massive road upset victory against the New York Red Bulls on last weekend’s slate. And that win, which came at a whopping +475 odds, helped Montreal and our team hit a winning pick on the return of our Global Underdogs feature.
That said, we have a busy Saturday on the soccer landscape, which means our crew has a shot to unleash its favorite moneyline gems. Handicappers Anthony Dabbundo, Nick Hennion, Brett Pund, Ian Quillen and Jeremy Pond are back it again, looking to uncover some tasty 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 Ligue 1, Premier League, Major League Soccer or even a less popular league, the goal is simple: Find a team that could deliver a winner.
That said, let’s take a look at their favorite clubs on the exciting slate.
|GAME||PICK | ODDS||DAY | TIME|
|Augsburg vs. Hertha Berlin||Hertha ML (+310)||Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET|
|Lazio vs. Torino||Torino ML (+450)||Saturday | 2:45 p.m. ET|
|Getafe vs. Villarreal||Getafe ML (+210)||Saturday | 3 p.m. ET|
|Atlanta United vs. Cincinnati||Cincinnati ML (+430)||Saturday | 6 p.m. ET|
|Chicago vs. LA Galaxy||LA Galaxy ML (+215)||Saturday | 8 p.m. ET|
Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.
Anthony Dabbundo: Hertha Berlin ML (+310) vs. Augsburg
- Odds available at DraftKings
- Day | Time: Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
Hertha Berlin hits the road for a relegation six-pointer against Augsburg and I’m buying low on the visiting side following its embarrassing 4-1 defeat to rival Union Berlin in last week’s Bundesliga action.
Augsburg has produced less than one expected goal in six of its last eight contests in German top flight and its inability to consistently generate scoring chances makes it difficult for the side to get back in a game if it falls behind. Augsburg relies heavily on a counterattacking style and the onus will be on it to attack and possess the ball as the home side in this match.
Hertha Berlin’s underlying numbers aren’t impressive at all, but it has also been quite a bit unlucky defensively with how well teams have shot against the club. The side has only conceded roughly 51 xG this season and, yet, have allowed 66 goals overall and some positive regression is coming for them.
Compare this to an Augsburg defense that has run really well, especially lately, and Hertha is quite undervalued this weekend. I’d play Hertha Berlin at +280 or better on the moneyline.
Nick Hennion: Torino ML (+450) vs. Lazio
- Odds available at BetMGM
- Day | Time: Saturday | 2:45 p.m. ET
Combine the fact that positive regression could be on the way with Torino’s defensive record and I believe the club is primed for an upset.
Across its last five Serie A fixtures, Torino owns a zero goal differential against a +2.0 xGDiff overall. Additionally, further positive regression could be on the way based on its road performances this season. Entering Saturday’s game against Lazio, Il Toro owns a -6 road goal differential, which is ninth worst in the league. However, it also owns a +1.6 xGDiff based on those 15 fixtures, good for seventh best in the Italian top flight, per fbref.com.
Torino has also played marvelous defensive soccer of late. In its last 10 Serie A outings, only three sides have created more than one xG, while a further three sides have generated under 0.5 xG, according to fbref.com.
Perhaps of greater importance in this fixture, though, is how the Torino offense is performing. In those same 10 matches, manager Ivan Juric’s side has scored only six goals, but that has come on 12.3 xG overall.
Given Lazio is creating only 1.12 xG/90 minutes against the current nine-best Serie A defenses and has generated less than 1.0 xG in four of its last seven such games, expect a good showing from the Torino defense as it gets past an over-performing Lazio side.
Brett Pund: Getafe ML (+210) vs. Villarreal
- Odds available at BetMGM
- Day | Time: Saturday | 3 p.m. ET
Situational spots can provide great opportunities and value to back an underdog, and that’s exactly what we have here with Getafe hosting Villarreal.
The Yellow Submarine is fresh off one of its biggest results in club history this past Tuesday, securing a place in the semifinal round of the Champions League by defeating German giant Bayern Munich over two legs.
It was a physically draining match that also included a dramatic winner, which makes this the perfect letdown spot for Villarreal.
This is also the same side that rotated with a full new starting 11 in its last La Liga match to fully focus on the European competition, so I wouldn’t rule out heavy rotation in this fixture.
Meanwhile, the hosts are desperate for a win to strengthen their survival hopes and have been difficult to beat at home of late. Getafe is unbeaten in its last 10 games at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, which includes a victory over league leader Real Madrid during that span.
In those games, Getafe has posted a +4.5 xGDiff and held opponents to an average of just 0.58 expected goals per 90 minutes, according to fbref.com.
This doesn’t bode well for a Villarreal team that has failed to score in its last three road fixtures and has only picked up three road wins on the campaign.
When a great scheduling spot matches up with advanced metrics, it makes it a great opportunity to back a big home underdog on the moneyline.
Ian Quillen: FC Cincinnati ML (+430) vs. Atlanta United
- Odds available at Caesars
- Day | Time: Saturday | 6 p.m. ET
FC Cincinnati still isn’t earning results on a regular basis. However, the MLS side is clearly a qualitatively improving side under the new regime of manager Pat Noonan and technical director Chris Albright.
The club also has the most in-form goal scorer in Saturday’s clash against Atlanta United in Brandon Vazquez. The American enters the game tied for the MLS lead with five goals and fits the mold of Brian White, the little-heralded Vancouver Whitecaps striker who helped lift his team from the basement into the playoffs last season.
Meanwhile, Atlanta is adjusting to three big blows: the injury losses of striker Josef Martinez (6-to-8 weeks) and midfielder Ozzie Alonso (season ending); and, the first competitive defeat to new rival Charlotte FC last weekend. Martinez has scored six of Atlanta’s 14 all-time goals against Cincinnati.
United’s run of scoring stoppage-time, outcome-changing goals came to an end after three matches in the Charlotte defeat. And even though Atlanta has taken seven points from three home games, none felt dominant.
Based on past seasons, Atlanta is getting too much love and Cincinnati too little. The xG totals actually suggest the underdogs have been the slightly better side.
Home field matters a great deal in MLS, but I like the visitors here at anything longer than +350 odds or so.
Jeremy Pond: LA Galaxy ML (+215) vs. Chicago
- Odds available at PointsBet
- Day | Time: Saturday | 8 p.m. ET
So, I led off last weekend’s selections with a lovely loser (thanks, Queens Park Rangers), so let’s see if we can close with a winner. And with the Championship playing its matches Friday, we’re making a visit to MLS and jumping on Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Fresh off a 2-1 victory over city rival Los Angeles Football Club in the latest edition of “El Tráfico” last time out, the Galaxy jet to the “Windy City” to face a Chicago side that has only won two of its first six matches this season.
Sure, three of those results were draws, but they were all scoreless stalemates and came against Inter Miami, Orlando City and FC Dallas. So, yeah… that’s not exactly a murderer’s row of opponents.
In contrast, the Galaxy have won four of six games to kick off their campaign under manager Greg Vanney. Along with LAFC, they’ve taken out defending MLS Cup winner New York City FC and 2021 runner-up Portland this season.
And unlike Chicago (five goals in six fixtures; shut out four times), Los Angeles isn’t having any issues finding the back of the net, as its scoring at close to two goals per outing.
My projections have Chicharito and the lads closer to +195 on the moneyline, so getting anything north of +200 provides plenty of value in the nightcap.
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