Global soccer odds, predictions: Our best bets outside the English Premier League
The Action Network's Nick Hennion shares his best bets for all leagues outside the English Premier League
Although most eyes will be trained on the English Premier League, all four of the remaining Big Five European soccer leagues take the stage this weekend.
The Bundesliga and Ligue 1 have their second round of matches while Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga return for their first matchday of the 2022-23 campaign. Featured matches include Mainz-Union Berlin in Germany, Monaco-Rennes in France and Barcelona-Rayo Vallecano in Spain.
Where should bettors look on the board this weekend? Here are my three best bets for this weekend’s action outside the English Premier League. All odds come courtesy of BetMGM and are reflective at time of writing.
Best Bet #1 - Bayer Leverkusen Goal-Line (-1.5) vs. Augsburg (-125), Bundesliga
Leverkusen dropped all three points last week at Signal Iduna Park against Dortmund, but now are on the receiving end of a more favorable matchup.
Last season, Leverkusen absolutely throttled Augsburg in both matches, winning 9-2 on aggregate in the home-and-home series. Although they generally overperformed their underlying metrics — nine goals on 5.3 expected — they still managed to create 2.65 xG per 90 minutes, per fbref.com.
Further, Leverkusen dominated last season against the six-worst teams in the Bundesliga. In 12 such fixtures, they finished the year 10-0-2 (W-L-D) and covered this spread in eight of 10 victories. At home, Leverkusen was 6-0-0 (W-L-D) against those sides and created 2.5 expected goals per 90 minutes while simultaneously posting a +1.65 expected goal differential per 90 minutes, per fbref.com.
On the flip-side, Augsburg struggled mightily last season on the road. They allowed the fourth-most road expected goals while recording the third-fewest road expected goals. Those struggles extended to road fixtures against the league’s best, too. In six matches against sides 2 to 7 in the final table, Augsburg allowed 2.46 expected goals per 90 minutes and allowed four of six teams to create 3.0+ expected goals.
Lastly, in four losses against such teams, Augsburg lost by multiple goals in three and by 1.5+ expected goals in all four. Based on those trends, back Leverkusen up to -140 for their spread.
Best Bet #2 - Borussia Monchengladbach Team Total Over 1.5 (-125) , Bundesliga
Gladbach came out firing on all cylinders last week, generating two expected goals and three big scoring chances in Matchday One against Hoffenheim.
Manager Daniel Farke’s side will continue to demonstrate its offensive prowess away from home. This week, they go up against a Schalke defense that conceded 3.4 expected goals last week against Koln, who were aided slightly by a red card against Schalke in the 35th minute. But, trends from last season suggest Gladbach could once again bag multiple goals.
When playing against sides below them in the final table last season, Gladbach’s offense couldn’t be stopped. In 16 such fixtures last season, Die Fohlen generated 1.84 expected goals per 90 minutes and failed to generate at least 1.5 expected goals in only four fixtures. They cleared this benchmark in all but five games and failed to score in only two games.
Lastly, in their last eight head-to-head meetings with Schalke, Gladbach combined to average 1.76 expected goals per 90 minutes and have produced at least 1.5 xG’s in four of the last five. Based on those numbers, I’ll back Gladbach’s team total up to -135 this week.
Best Bet #3 - Salernitana Team Total Under 0.5 (+110) vs. Roma, Serie A
Put simply, Roma’s defense was a juggernaut last season against the league’s worst sides.
In 10 matches against Serie A’s bottom-five, manager Jose Mourinho’s squad kept six clean sheets and allowed more than 0.75 combined expected goals to only two teams. In their two matches against Salernitana, Roma conceded only 0.9 expected goals across both legs.
On the flip-side, Salernitana’s attack left a lot to be desired against quality defenses. In 12 matches against the league’s six best defenses based on total xGA’s, manager Davide Nicola’s side generated one or more expected goals exactly once despite scoring in three of those 12 matches.
Additionally, all three of those efforts in which Salernitana scored came in the second-half of the season when defenses were presumably more prone to concessions. The first time they saw each of those six defenses, they scored in zero games and generated only 0.41 expected goals per 90 minutes.
I recognize Salernitana is at home and that probably gives them a boost, but I can’t pass this up in plus-money. Back the under at +100 or better.
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