Soccer

European Soccer Futures Update: Best Bets for Premier League, Bundesliga, More

A number of leagues are up for grabs — it's a good time to get better odds on your favorite picks.

February 27, 2024

We’re headed into the homestretch of European club soccer seasons, with most domestic leagues having somewhere between 11-13 games remaining before year’s end. Several of those leagues are fairly well determined at this point, though there are some compelling races in others. We’ll take a tour, looking at some of the most compelling action on the pitch while offering up some best bets.

Premier League

The Premier League is not only the most popular international soccer league in the United States, but it’s also offering quite a compelling stretch run to the 2023-24 season. Manchester City have won three straight Premier League titles and five of the last six. If they win their fourth straight, it won’t come easily, as they’re currently one point behind Liverpool. They’re also being challenged from behind, as they have only a one-point advantage over Arsenal. That trio is the class of the league and one will be crowned champion come mid-May.

Interestingly, both Liverpool and Arsenal have outperformed Manchester City in goal differential. Manchester City remains the favorite (+111) and has a key fixture on March 10 against Liverpool (+200), which could go a long way to deciding the champion. However, don’t sleep on Arsenal (+300). They have the best goal differential, having conceded the fewest goals (23) and also racking up the second-most goals scored. They have also banked seven points in three games against the combination of Man City and Liverpool.

In addition to the team futures, a player prop for the top goalscorer is also available on the Tipico Sportsbook. Unsurprisingly, the top candidates come from the top clubs in the league, highlighted by Erling Haaland (-490) of Manchester City as well as Mohammed Salah of Liverpool (+500). Despite the significant difference in odds, Haaland has only a two-goal advantage (17-15) over Salah with 12 games to go.

A longshot could be Ollie Watkins (+1200) of Aston Villa, a club that has taken another step forward this season. Watkins is second in the league with 80 shots and has found the back of the net 14 times.

Best Bet: Arsenal (+300), Arsenal winner w/o Manchester City (+127)

Bundesliga

Manchester City’s run in the Premier League is impressive, though it pales in comparison to the dominance of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. They’ve been champion for 11 consecutive years, though that looks likely to change this season.

Bayern Leverkusen is instead sitting eight points clear of Munich for first place in the league, thanks in large part to their stout backline (16 goals conceded in 23 matches). While that’s a comfortable lead, one reflected by their -700 odds to win the league, Bayern (+460) still has a ton of firepower, as they’ve piled up an impressive 63 goals in the same number of contests. While they can’t be counted out, there are 11 games remaining in the 2023-2024 campaign and no head-to-head matchups between the top two clubs. To maintain their dominance, Munich will have to go on a run, but Leverkusen will also have to stumble considerably.

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Serie A

No team has put together a more thorough domination of their respective league than Inter Milan. After finishing third in Serie A in the 2022-23 campaign, they have a nine-point lead over Juventes with a game in hand. With 13 games remaining, anything theoretically could happen, but digging a bit deeper suggests a different story. They boast a ridiculous plus-51 goal differential and have lost only one match. They are the runaway favorites (-10000) to take home the trophy this season, and rightfully so.

La Liga

The top league in Spain is quite interesting, primarily because of the team in second place. That title currently belongs to Girona, a team that has spent only four seasons of its 88-year history in La Liga. While we certainly wouldn’t bet on them to repeat their results again in 2024, they have earned their 59 points and 18-5-3 record with a plus-25 goal differential – also second best in the league. They sit six points behind Real Madrid, but have stumbled of late with just a 2-1-2 record in their last five matches.

As for the top of the table, Real Madrid is pretty comfortable with 65 points, six points clear of Girona and eight clear of Barcelona. They don’t have to face either of their top rivals for the rest of the season and have a relatively clear path (-4000) to their second La Liga title in the last three years.

There are also player props available for the top Spanish domestic league. Jude Bellingham is tied for the lead with 16 goals scored but has been sidelined with an ankle sprain for much of February. He’s expected to return in the coming days, though it’s unclear if he’ll be at top form. That leaves the door open for some of his competitors to claim the title of top goalscorer. From a pace perspective, Artem Dovbyk (+400) is a top contender. He has 26 shots on goal and 14 goals scored (third in the league) despite also missing some time.

Champions League

The Champions League is unique compared to the rest of the leagues we’ve covered to this point. For those unaware, it includes many of Europe’s best clubs in a World Cup style tournament and is currently headed into the second leg of the Round of 16 (first knockout stage).

Considering that a high finish in a club’s domestic league is required to qualify for the Champions League, we see many of the same teams we’ve already discussed as the favorites in this format. Before we jump into an overview of what we’ve seen so far, it’s worth noting that one unique thing about the Champions League is that the matchups are drawn immediately before each round. Therefore, there is no bracket set until the quarterfinal teams are determined.

Manchester City are the defending champs and have the shortest odds to win again this year (+155). They ripped through the group stage by racking up six wins in as many games while maintaining a plus-11 goal differential. That hasn’t changed in the Round of 16, as they are up on Copenhagen 3-1 after the first leg, making them a near lock for the quarterfinals.

Real Madrid (+440) and Arsenal (+650) were on par with Manchester City in the group stage, though the Gunners have gone down 1-0 to Porto in the first leg of the Round of 16. They’ll need a 1-0 win to force extra time and will face a significant uphill battle if they concede a goal to the away side (away goals are tiebreaker). They could be an upset departure from the first knockout round.

One of the more fascinating matchups is Inter Milan (+1000) against Atletico Madrid (+4500). Atletico was one of the more impressive sides in the group stage (4-2-0, 17 goals forced, six conceded). Inter holds a 1-0 edge after Leg 1, with the win coming at home. Atletico is in a similar position to Arsenal as a result, but their odds are far more intriguing if they can escape the Round of 16.

A final team worth checking in on is Paris Saint-Germain (+1200). After a lackluster group stage performance, they beat Real Sociedad 2-0 in the first leg of the knockout stage. That should lock them fairly safely into the quarterfinals. Given their odds and the talent on the roster, they offer potential value.

Best Bets:

Winning Country – Spain (+250)
Winning Club – Real Madrid (+440)
Longshot Winning Club – Athletic Madrid (+4500)
PSG to go further than Bayern Munich in the tournament (+100)
Real Madrid to go further than Bayern Munich in the tournament (-125)

Finally, player props are also available. It makes sense to correlate the top goalscorer with the teams expected to advance due to the advantage in games played. Erling Haaland of Manchester City (+110) is tied for the lead in the tournament with five goals and is a fairly straightforward choice.

For those willing to take on a bit more risk, Alvaro Morata (+1400) and Antoine Griezmann (+3000) have five goals apiece. If Athletico Madrid can go on a run, those two are in a good position to provide nice value. No individual player from Real Madrid has stood out atop the individual leaderboards, but Jude Bellingham (+1400), Vinicius Junior (+3500) and Rodrygo (+7000) have the potential to provide quite a return. As noted, Bellingham has been injured, but is expected to return for the second leg of the team’s matchup against RB Leipzig.

Dale Weber
Dale began working at RotoWire in 2017 writing MLB game wraps. He now covers primarily MLB, NFL and racing, but also has experience writing in a wide range of sports, including MMA, golf and soccer.
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