The two best non-Premier League futures bets with value
Less than a month separates football bettors from the launch of the 2022-23 domestic league schedule.
The Premier League and Bundesliga will start their respective campaigns on August 5, while the Bundesliga and Serie A will follow a week later. And, although most betting is going to the English top flight, I have identified futures markets in other domestic competitions that show good value.
One comes in Serie A, where I choose to back a league winner, with another in the Bundesliga, where I choose to take a chance on a top four.
With that in mind, let’s move on to my top non-EPL futures bets for the upcoming campaign.
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Best bet #1 – Inter Milan win Serie A (+175)
Odds via BetMGM
Inter finished just two points behind intra-city rivals AC Milan last year but bring a huge advantage in the new season.
Despite finishing second last year, Inter held the league’s best goal differential (+52) and best expected goal differential (+42.2), according to fbref.com. The next closest challenger in the latter category (AC Milan) finished the 2021-22 season with an expected goal differential of +28.3.
Expand the sample to include all of Inter’s last four seasons and would-be punters will find the Nerazzurri have racked up an expected goal differential of +135.6. During that same period, Juventus – the second favorite in the Serie A futures table and the only other team to finish fourth or better in all four seasons – posted a +98.4 xGDiff.
Moreover, Inter made – in my opinion – the best squad updates in the summer transfer window. They added former striker Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea and made Joaquin Correa’s loan deal permanent to bolster their attack. Manager Simone Inzaghi’s side have also added Roma winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, which will give their overall depth a boost.
Moreover, there is one more outside shot, Inter could add Juventus attacking midfielder Paolo Dybala to the fold which would undoubtedly give Inzaghi the best attack in Serie A.
But what gives me the most confidence in Inter is their ability to accumulate points at home. Over the past four seasons, Inter have only dropped all three points eight times, or 10.5% of their games. In the past two seasons alone, Inter have won all three points in 82% of home games and have led the league in home points every year.
Given that last year marked the first time since 2015-16 that the top scorer at home failed to win the domestic crown, I’m ready to buy Inter to win their second title in three year.
Best Bet #2 – Union Berlin Top Four (+2500)
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
Historically, the fourth and final Champions League spot in the German top flight has proven to be quite volatile.
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Over the past three seasons, a new team have come out on top in Europe’s top competition before falling the following season. In 2019-20, Leverkusen fell to fifth after finishing fourth the season before. In 2020-21, Borussia Mönchengladbach fell to eighth place after finishing fourth. Then, in 2021-22, Wolfsburg fell all the way to 12th a year after snatching fourth place on the table.
This leads me to believe that Leverkusen, who overperformed a bit last year (+33 goal differential on a +20.2 xGDiff), might be disappointed. So I’m trying my luck with teams that I think could fill that void.
That brings me to Union, who finished fifth last season and were just one point away from the Champions League places. The hallmark of the Union side is their defence, which allowed the second-fewest goals expected in the Bundesliga last season. Additionally, he is tied for the third-most home points in the league.
The path to the top four is clear for Union: pick up more points against inferior teams. Lady luck has not been on Union’s side in matches against teams that have finished outside the top four – in the last two seasons Union have won all three points in 46% of games against such opposition . However, he won the expected goals battle in 69% of those matches.
If Union experiences a positive regression based on this trend, he could easily pick up the points needed to move into the top four. Additionally, it should be noted that the last three teams to secure a top four spot in the following campaign finished fifth-seventh in the previous season.
Does it worry me that the Union have sold their top scorer? I would be lying if I said no. However, the addition of Jordan Pefok should help make up for that loss. Ultimately, though, I think that price is way too high for a team that was up there last season.