I’m doing something a bit different with my column this week. Yes, as you can tell by the headline of this week’s betting picks, I’m going to be backing a trio of underdogs from this weekend’s board.
I wanted to mix things up a bit and when I was looking at the matchups in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany, I just didn’t see anything that I was really 100 percent sold on. What I did notice, however, was that some teams that I like were sizable underdogs.
Bear in mind that there is zero chance that all three of these hit so don’t just go to your shop and blindly tail what I have here. Use this as a jumping point to dig a bit deeper into the match or matches that you might want to play.
What we’ve noticed in these early days of domestic football is that there have been a lot of big upsets. So let’s try to capitalize on that and score a big win or two this weekend.
I’ve included the double chance odds for each game if you want to play it a bit more conservative.
Let’s get right into it. As always, lines courtesy of Bovada.
Watford vs Bournemouth: Bournemouth (+220)
Double Chance Odds (-140)
Let’s start the underdog edition in England with Bournemouth visiting last-placed Watford. The Cherries come in at +220 and look like a decent dog bet against a Watford team that has already had a managerial change and is still looking for its first win of the season.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side currently resides in a mid-table logjam with 12 points but is winless in its last three games. After posting nice wins at home against Everton and away to Southampton, draws against West Ham and Norwich and a loss away to Arsenal have the team eager for another one in the win column.
That’s why Watford could be the perfect opponent in Matchday 10. Bournemouth has never lost a Premier League match away to Watford (one win, three draws), including a dominant 4-0 win in this fixture last season.
There are plenty of players missing out for Watford as well with José Holebas serving a suspension and Danny Welbeck, Isaac Success, Sebastian Prödl and Troy Deeney all out and Roberto Pereyra, Daryl Janmaat and Etienne Capoue listed as doubtful.
Bournemouth has already cashed as dogs of +220 (at Aston Villa) and +230 (at Southampton) so far this season; let’s try it in that ballpark away to the cellar-dwellers.
Genoa vs Brescia: Brescia (+295)
Double Chance Odds (-110)
I’m heading to the boot for my second underdog play of the weekend and taking Brescia at just about 3/1 away to Genoa.
To call Genoa’s season a disaster would be an understatement. The club sits second-last in the table with just five points and has lost three games on the bounce entering Matchday 9. It’s been horrid enough that the club sacked manager Aurelio Andreazzoli and replaced him with Thiago Motta, who has zero coaching experience at this level.
To Genoa’s credit, the club did post a 2-1 home win over Fiorentina (its only win of the season), which was a strong performance. Since then it’s been downhill, obviously.
Promoted side Brescia boasts a very intriguing team on paper with the likes of Mario Balotelli, young phenom Sandro Tonali and Alfredo Donnarumma. There is some talent in this squad and they have recorded a couple of wins so far – away to Cagliari and away to Udinese – and are coming off a decent 0-0 draw at home to Fiorentina.
Nothing else to add, really. If you haven’t watched Sandro Tonali play, do yourself a favor and tune in to this game. Beyond that, this has the potential to be an ugly one but I’m adding Brescia to my list of dogs this weekend.
Granada vs Real Betis: Real Betis (+185)
Double Chance Odds (-185)
Ah, Real Betis. Talk about underachieving.
On paper, this team should be much higher than 17th place in the La Liga table with a measly nine points. But they don’t play the games on paper, do they?
This team couldn’t stop a starting XI of Odds Shark employees as they’ve conceded a league-high (by some margin) 19 goals in the usually defensively sound Spanish top flight. Their xGA of 16.14 is -2.86 of their actual 19 conceded so while they have been unlucky to a degree, when you watch them play, you can tell they are always on the brink of conceding.
So why back Betis here? Well, the only team in La Liga that has a luckier xG than Granada is Barcelona. Granada has scored 16 goals this season but their xG puts them at 10.33 (-5.67) so I’m gonna bank on a quiet game in attack for the newly promoted club that has been punching above its weight for some time this campaign.
Granada is incredibly in third place in La Liga entering the weekend with 17 points from nine games. Surely there has to be some regression, right?
Betis is undeniable in possession playing some pretty football with players like Nabil Fekir, Sergio Canales, Joaquin and La Liga leading scorer Loren Morón. The goals are there, they just need to sort it out in the back.
Manager Rubi will be coaching for his life after losing 3-1 to Real Sociedad last week. It’s underdog week, so yeah, let’s take Betis.
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