Saturday Soccer Odds, Expert Picks: Best Bets For Bournemouth-Leicester City & Bayer Leverkusen-Schalke (October 8)

Saturday Soccer Odds, Expert Picks: Best Bets For Bournemouth-Leicester City & Bayer Leverkusen-Schalke (October 8) article feature image

Steven Paston/Getty. Pictured: Neto.

Saturday is for college football, we know that, but with a full slate of soccer odds released and no American football kick off until 12 p.m. ET, why not dive into the other version of football for a few wagers before noon.

Below, Nick Hennion,Brett Pund,Anthony Dabbundo and BJ Cunningham and have identified their top bets to make, with a catch: Each game kicks off at 10 a.m. ET or earlier, meaning each will also end before a snap of college football is played.

Read on to see how our staff is playing the early morning slate of European soccer.

Our 4 Early Saturday Best Bets

Almeria vs. Rayo Vallecano

Almeria Odds+190
Rayo Vallecano Odds+145
Over/Under2.5 (+120/ -150)
Time8 a.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Pund: In the early kickoff in Spain, I think we should see goals in a match between two clubs who play distinct styles in their home and road splits.

Starting first with the hosts, Almería play a much more open style at home, and it shows. In the three games at the Power Horse Stadium, those fixtures have averaged 2.9 combined expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes, according to, with this same bet cashing in two of those matches.

There has also been an average of 5.7 big scoring chances created per game, which is more than double the 2.5 average on the road.

Meanwhile, the same patterns can be seen when Rayo Vallecano are the away side, where the combined xG average is 2.925 per road match. On the season, Vallecano have allowed 3.5 big scoring chances per 90 minutes away from home, which is towards the bottom of La Liga.

Scoring seems to have gone up across the league in Spain, and I think this is another great spot to see goals.

Pick: Over 2.25 (-115 via DraftKings) 

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Schalke

Leverkusen Odds-245
Schalke Odds+550
Over/Under3.5 (+125/ -155)
Day | Time9:30 a.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Hennion: I’m asking for pain for what feels like the umpteenth time on Leverkusen, but I can’t resist this spot.

Although the Leverkusen defense is quite bad, the attack could see some positive regression soon. So far this season, the Werkself have generated nine goals off 12.26 xG on target.

Just at home, Leverkusen have scored four goals on 6.03 xG on target and have surpassed two xGOT in half of those fixtures, per And look, I get that Leverkusen have conceded 8.64 xGOT in those same four home fixtures, but that has come against teams that currently average a table position of 6.25, almost nine spots ahead of Schalke.

Plus, this is a Schalke side that has created only 2.17 xGOT in four road fixtures this season against sides that average a table position of 13.33.

Treat this as a perfect get-right spot on Leverkusen and lay the number at +105 or better.

Pick:Leverkusen -1.5 (+110)

Mainz vs. RB Leipzig

Mainz Odds+195
Leipzig Odds+250
Over/Under2.5 (-138/ +112)
Day | Time9:30 a.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: RB Leipzig picked up a home win in the Champions League against Celtic in the midweek, but their defensive transitions remain an issue for them as they travel to Mainz on Saturday.

Leipzig have better underlying numbers than Mainz, but not significantly better to the point where Mainz should be this much of a home underdog on the draw no bet line. Leipzig ranks second in xG difference but a deeper look at their schedule provides some more skepticism in those numbers.

RBL haven't played well away from home with blowout losses to Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach — along with a close 2-1 loss to Union Berlin.

Leipzig’s expected threat differential — a measure of possession in dangerous areas — is +0.2 per 90, which ranks fourth in the Bundesliga. You take that on the road against a Mainz team with average xT differential overall and the result is a very even match between the two sides. Leipzig will have trouble creating big scoring chances in this match because Bo Svensson’s Mainz does not concede them often.

Given Leipzig’s defensive transition issues, I could see them ending this match with more shots, but taking a lot them from distance while Mainz creates one or two big transition chances to win this match. I have it lined as a true tossup and thus like Mainz on the draw no bet line at +115.

Pick: Mainz – Draw No Bet (+115)

Bournemouth vs. Leicester City

Bournemouth Odds+250
Leicester City Odds+105
Over/Under2.5 (-110 / -110)
Day | Time10 a.m. ET
How To WatchPeacock
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: Bournemouth still has yet to create to create more than one xGin a match this season and they’ve created just two big scoring chances, but against non-big six sides they have been good defensively.

Against non-big six sides, Leicester have also been playing some really low event style matches. In their four matches against Brentford, Southampton, Brighton and Nottingham Forest, games are only averaging 2.12 xG.

Bournemouth have created the fewest big scoring chances, but do you know who has the second fewest? It’s Leicester, as they’ve only created three on the season. In fact, in their last match against Nottingham Forest they scored four goals off of 1.2 xG.

Leicester’s matches this season have featured 36 goals off of 20.3 xG. It’s a mixture of James Madison finishing at a crazy rate  and Danny Ward being one of the worst keepers in the Premier League.

So, I think we see Bournemouth sit deep in their usual low block with Leicester not being able to break them down effectively.

I only have 2.3 goals projected, so I like the value on the under.

Pick:  Under 2.5 (-110)

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