So close, yet so far away…
That’s the way to best describe what went down with last weekend’s Global Underdog selections. Handicappers Anthony Dabbundo and Nick Hennion came out hot, delivering two upset winners in Bundesliga action that put our Action Network crew three-team parlay on high alert.
Dabbundo, who is sullen after seeing staff favorite Greuther Fürth relegated from the German top flight, found some consolation when Wolfsburg snagged a 1-0 victory over Köln. Not to be outdone, Hennion joined the party when Union Berlin stunned Freiburg in a 4- 1 shocker.
That left, Ian Quillenwho had already nailed a +475 moneyline winner via Major League Soccer outfit Montreal a few weeks back, with a shot at finishing off the parlay that would have paid a whopping $9,880 on a $100 wager. Sadly, his pick — MLS side Philadelphia — conceded a late equalizer and settled for a 2-2 draw at Los Angeles Football Club to end all hopes of the huge payout.
Putting last week’s fun aside, the squad is back in the mix this weekend with more sneaky underdogs. Fellow handicapper Jeremy Pond returns to the fold as well, so let’s see what the quartet has to offer.
If you’re a new or old friend to this preview, our experts look for live underdogs at +200 odds or longer playing on the weekend around the globe. Whether it’s a match in Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1 or maybe the English Championship, the goal is simple: Find a team that could deliver a winner.
That said, let’s take a look at their favorite sides on the exciting schedule.
|GAME||PICK | ODDS||DAY | TIME|
|Rennes vs. Marseille||Marseille (+250)||Saturday | 3 p.m. ET|
|LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas||FC Dallas (+360)||Saturday | 10:30 pm ET|
|AC Milan vs. Atalanta||Atalanta (+320)||Sunday | 12 pm ET|
|Atlanta vs. New England||New England (+275)||Sunday | 1:30 pm ET|
Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.
Nick Hennion: Marseille ML (+250) vs. Rennes
- Odds available at PointsBet
- Day | Time: Saturday | 3 pm ET
Rennes is chasing a Champions League spot, while Marseille (feels) saf. However, I believe these sides are closer than the odds indicate.
For the season, host Rennes has a +21 expected goal differential to Marseille’s +18.4, but the host side is simultaneously due for a healthy amount of negative regression. Following Wednesday’s fixture against Nantes, Rennes arrive at this match with a +40 goal differential .
Additionally, Marseille has proven a far superior side of late. Dating back to its meeting with Brest on March 13, Les Phocéens own a +9 goal differential on a +10 xGDiff overall. On the flip side, Rennes possess a +12 goal differential on a +2.5 xGDiff, per fbref.com.
The reverse fixture between these clubs also saw Marseille prove the superior side. It generated 2.18 xG to Rennes’ 2.04 and won the big scoring chances battle by a 3-1 margin. This is also a Marseille defense that has excelled of late. In it Its last seven fixtures, the French outfit has only conceded 0.87 xG/90 minutes, down from a season-long average of 1.05 xGA/90 minutes.
Add in that Rennes has proven a draw-adverse side this season — only five draws through 36 league matches — and I believe Marseille is a live road dog.
Ian Quillen: FC Dallas ML (+360) vs. LA Galaxy
- Odds available at DraftKings
- Day | Time: Saturday | 10:30 pm ET
Dallas has yet to put together a complete performance away from home, but ti has come close on a few occasions. A silly red card to Brandon Servania was the main thing that prevented Dallas from earning all three points in a 2-2 draw at Sporting Kansas City two weeks ago.
Dallas has only conceded three away goals, with one coming down a man and another from the penalty spot. And the Toros have shown an exceptional ability to score late goals at home, with half their haul of 14 total goals coming after the 75th minute at Toyota Stadium.
Meanwhile, Galaxy striker Javier Chicharito Hernandez is in the longest scoring drought of his MLS career. And unless fellow striker Dejan Joveljic supplants the team captain in the starting lineup or dresses alongside him in a two-striker lineup, there’s no one else showing themselves as a capable finisher.
If Dallas is still even late, its verticality could secure a smash-and-grab act against a Los Angeles side that isn’t the most athletic and will be sending numbers forward in search of three points at home. The Toros are worth a play on the moneyline at +340 odds and an implied 22.7% probability.
Anthony Dabbundo: Atalanta ML (+320) vs. AC Milan
- Odds available at BetMGM
- Day | Time: Sunday | 12 pm ET
AC Milan needs four points to secure its first Serie A title since the 2011 season. And for that reason, the club is inflated in the market because of its must-win situation in the Italian top flight.
Milan has been in excellent form of late, coming from behind to beat Verona and scoring late to defeat Fiorentina in its last two league matches. Milan also easily handled Atalanta in the reverse fixture. All of that would point toward a win for Milan here, but Atalanta is a very dangerous underdog and is underpriced at +330 odds.
La Dea haven’t been at their high level of recent seasons because of their aging squad and declining production. However, they’re due for some positive regression when you consider their underlying xG numbers have them as the fourth-best team in the league , yet Atalanta is in seventh at the moment.
Atalanta has produced at least 1.5 xG in each of its last seven matches in Italy and has more than enough to challenge a Milan defense that has over-performed considerably in the last two months.
Milan has only conceded two goals from six xGA in its last nine matches in league play and when it did play one of the top attacking sides — Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia — its defense was exposed a bit.
I’d play Atalanta at +280 or better.
Jeremy Pond: New England ML (+275) vs. Atlanta
- Odds available at DraftKings
- Day | Time: Sunday | 1:30 pm ET
With the Championship regular season completed, we have to find another place to uncover our underdogs. Yes, it’s time to put the likes of Preston North End, Peterborough United and Queens Park Rangers away until next season.
Fortunately, it didn’t take long to pinpoint our top play to close out the plays. And we’ve landed on the New England Revolution, which heads to south to the “Peach State” for a showdown with banged-up Atlanta United.
Oddsmakers have tabbed Atlanta as the -xxx moneyline favorite, but I just don’t see it. Not only did the hosts lose veteran goalkeeper Brad Guzan to an Achilles injury less than a month ago, they also lost defender — and United States Men’s National Team — Miles Robinson to the same injury in last weekend’s game against the Chicago Fire.
Now, Atlanta has to put together a sound defensive performance minus at least two defensive starters facing a New England side that’s 3-1-1 in its last five games overall. And if we’re being honest, New England players and team pundits alike agree the club should probably be in the middle of a five-match winning streak entering this affair.
Head coach Bruce Arena and the lads, who come in fresh off a 5-1 rout of FC Cincinnati in their midweek US Open Cup clash, have now scored 15 goals in their last six games. They’ve scored at least twice all of those fixtures as well. Carles Gil, the reigning MLS MVP, notched a hat trick against Cincinnati and continues to show why he’s still might be the best player in the league.
Bottom line, I have the Revolution closer to +230 on the moneyline in my projections, so I’m happy to back them at this lofty price ahead this matchup.
New England is known for its lobsters rolls, pristine beaches and summers at the Cape. On Sunday, it’s going to add “Global Underdog winner” to its résumé.