Football is back underway, albeit a little later than usual, across Europe, and punters will be looking forward to a new season of elite football in Europe. Let’s be honest about it, though, it’s not very alluring for a punter to bet on outright markets across Europe’s top leagues. After all, what’s the point in placing a bet on, say, Paris Saint Germain to win Ligue 1 at 1/100. You would literally be better off putting the money in the bank for nine months.
Even an outright accumulator consisting of teams like PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich has limited returns, and you always run the risk of one leg letting you down (Juventus look particularly vulnerable this season, see below). But if you do some research, you can find some decent value in outright markets across Europe.
An interesting place to start is with Serie A. The Italian top division has evolved in recent years from being a defensively-minded bore-fest to the most entertaining league in Europe. Few teams epitomise that change more than Atalanta B.C. The Champions League quarter-finalists finished third last season, and have largely kept the assets like Papu Gomez (one of the most underrated midfielders in world football) and Duvan Zapata that helped them get there.
Atalanta can continue superb run
Most expect Serie A to be a straight fight between Juventus (evens) and Inter (9/4), and it’s hard to argue with that. But we prefer the market from sports betting site 888sport that goes 5/2 on Atalanta to win Serie A w/o Inter and Juventus. Competition comes from Napoli (a declining force), AC Milan (not yet ready to challenge) and Lazio (too erratic). Of that quartet, Atalanta is best-placed to finish third, or better. Holding on to Zapata is arguably key, though, so perhaps hold back a bet until the transfer window shuts.
Having a look at Ligue 1, we would, of course, advise anyone to stay clear of backing PSG for minimal returns. It’s just not worth it, and placing a large bet runs the risk of an upset as happened with Monaco in the 206/17 season. What we do like, though, is the 8/1 cited by 888sport for Memphis Depay to be top scorer. He’s already off to a three-goal head start on players like Kylian Mbappé (4/5) and Neymar (9/2). The Lyon man is the main conduit for his side, whereas PSG – for obvious reasons – tend to share goals across the forward line. Mbappé is a worthy favourite, but the value is found with the Dutchman.
In Germany, there’s clearly not going to much value in backing Bayern Munich (1/6), so the options tend to lie either in betting w/o the Bavarians or the Top 4 market. For the former, 5/1 on RB Leipzig getting closest looks much better to us than the 1/2 for Borussia Dortmund. There really isn’t a lot between the sides, and Julian Naglesmann looks to be building something at Leipzig. Elsewhere, you can get 8/5 on Leverkusen finishing in the Top 4. The high-profile departure of Kai Havertz will give punters pause for thought, but it’s worth noting that the club boasted more talent than that provided by Chelsea’s new signing. Leverkusen can easily gazump Borussia Monchengladbach this season.
Sevilla can overtake Atlético as best of the rest
In Spain, it’s a bit more difficult to find value. Real Madrid are the 3/4 favourites for the title, with Barcelona at 6/4. You could make a case for either side, and few would look beyond either. The team we believe most vulnerable, though, is Atlético Madrid, who might just be leapfrogged by Sevilla this season. The Europa League winners are 5/1 in the betting w/o Real Madrid and Barcelona with 888, and that seems a generous price to us.
Serie A: Atlanta w/o Juventus and Inter @5/2
Ligue 1: Memphis Depay top scorer @8/1
Bundesliga: RB Leipzig w/o Bayern Munich @5/1
Bundesliga: Bayer Leverkusen Top 4 finish @8/5
La Liga:Sevilla w/o Real Madrid and Barcelona @5/1