Soccer Preview 4/16
All times EST
Hi everyone! This article will hopefully help to provide you with an insight into tomorrow’s soccer games. With the help of Statsational’s model, we will analyze where there is value and which spots would be best to avoid. Soccer can be a fickle sport, so I typically stick to smaller (0.25-0.5) units. Also, please note that I am not a coach and thus these picks should always be considered unofficial and for fun. Good luck!
As always, if you have questions about any team or matchup, feel free to ask in the free public #soccer channel on the SBA Discord!
English Premier League
3:00pm: Tottenham Hotspur @ Everton
With only seven games to play, the Premier League is set for an exciting finish, with as many as eight teams still possessing a legitimate chance at a top-four spot. This game will go a long way to determining the fate of the two participants, as Everton (8th) takes on Tottenham Hotspur (7th). Only a single point separates these two in the standings, though Tottenham has the better goal differential by 14. These teams last met in the FA Cup on February 10th, with Everton winning a dramatic 5-4 game in extra time. Despite the loss, Tottenham outplayed Everton for much of that match yet was unable to secure the victory. Recently, neither team is in great form, with Everton going 0-3-2 and Tottenham going 1-3-1 over their last five matches.
Tottenham finds themselves a +116 favorite in this one, while Everton is the +245 underdog. At first glance, this line seems off for what looks to be a much closer game than the odds indicate. According to the model, the lines should indeed be tighter, with a fair value for Tottenham at +139 and Everton at +209. Generally speaking, when there is a close game like this, I prefer to take the team with higher odds. When the model also agrees with me, and that team happens to be the home side, I like this bet even more. I am going to put 0.25 units on Everton to win this game at +245 odds.
2:30pm: TSG Hoffenheim @ RB Leipzig
The sole Bundesliga match tomorrow has RB Leipzig (2nd place) hosting TSG Hoffenheim (12th place). With six games to play, Leipzig trails Bayern Munich by 5 points for the league championship. Hoffenheim, meanwhile, sits 5 points above relegation though they have a favorable goal differential so are unlikely to slip into the 2nd tier. These teams last met on December 16th, with Leipzig securing a 1-0 victory in what was a close-fought game. Over the last five matches, Hoffenheim is 1-3-1 while RB Leipzig is 2-2-1.
The betting lines on this game have RB Leipzig as the favorite, with odds of -275 compared to +700 for Hoffenheim. According to Statsational’s expert model, Leipzig should have a fair line of -166 while Hoffenheim should be +540. Although there is a slight, 4% EV value on Hoffenheim, I think this is a good game to avoid betting on. RB Leipzig has not been playing as well of late, but they will not want to waste this opportunity to pick up three points and keep the pressure on Bayern Munich. I think the home side wins this one quite easily but with a negative 41% EV they are certainly not worth betting on. I recommend avoiding this game from a gambling perspective.
French Ligue 1
3:00pm: Montpellier @ Lille
The lone French Ligue 1 game tomorrow sees 8th-place Montpellier travel to 1st-place Liller as we get into the final six games of the season. Lille holds a narrow three-point advantage over PSG for the league title, while Montpellier could theoretically slip into the Europa League, which they currently sit six points out of. The last time these two met, on December 23rd, Lille secured the 3-2 road victory despite Montpellier generating nearly twice as many shots. This time around, I expect Lille to put forth a better showing as they look to secure the top spot in Ligue 1.
The lines on this game have Lille as a -157 favorite, as would be expected. Montpellier, on the other hand, is a +430 underdog. The model has the fair lines for this one at -219 for Lille and +867 for Montpellier. This means we actually find quite a large value on Lille, with a 20% EV. With everything to play for, and being the home side, I definitely agree with the model on this one. I will be betting on Lille at -157 to win 0.5 units.
Portuguese Primeira Liga
1:45pm: Pacos de Ferreira @ Boavista
We have two games in the top Portuguese league tomorrow, and the first matchup sees Pacos de Ferreira (5th) travel to Boavista (15th). With the large gap in the standings, this may look like a mismatch at first glance. However, the last time these teams met on December 20th, Boavista almost secured the road victory but Ferreira scored in the final minutes to earn a 1-1 draw. Boavista appeared to be the better side in that game, though it was by a slim margin. In this game, Boavista has more to play for, since they sit only a single point above the relegation zone. Pacos de Ferreira, meanwhile, is solidly locked into 5th place.
Boavista, perhaps surprisingly, is the favorite in this one with a line of +148 compared to +195 for Pacos Ferreira. Looking at the expert model from Statsational, the fair lines for this game should be +113 for Boavista and +295 for Pacos de Ferreira. This means we have quite a bit of value on Boavista here with an 11% EV. Based on how the last game went, and with Boavista having a lot more to play for, I am comfortable laying 0.25 units on them to win this game at +148 odds.
4:00pm: Sporting CP @ SC Farense
The second game of the day in Portugal sees 17th-place SC Farense hosting 1st-place Sporting CP. This game looks to be a total mismatch on paper with Sporting CP dominating in just about every category. Despite being a much stronger side, Sporting CP only won the last match 1-0 on December 19th, though they probably should have won by a larger margin after dominating the game in almost every category. Over the last five games, Sporting CP is 3-0-2 while SC Farense is only 1-4-0.
As expected, Sporting CP is a big favorite in this one, with odds of -200. SC Farense sits at +540, a massive underdog. According to the model, there is a very small value on Farense here, who should have a fair line of +449. Sporting CP, meanwhile, should be at -123 according to the expert model. Personally, I have a really hard time backing a team as bad as Farense. Sporting CP has not yet locked up the league title, so they still have everything to play for and will certainly look to take three points from such a lowly opponent. With a negative 34% EV, however, I am not willing to put a bet on them either. This is a great game to avoid betting on, in my opinion.