UEFA Europa Conference League Predictions and Best Bets for Thursday, February 17

| February 16, 2022 10:05 am PDT

The inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League has reached its playoff phase. On Thursday, February 17, 2022, there are eight games on the program, and I will now analyze the most interesting ones.

The games I will focus on in this betting preview are the following:

  • Celtic vs. Bodo/Glimt
  • PSV vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv
  • Leicester City vs. Randers FC

Keep on reading to learn about the odds, team’s stats, injury news, and more. Plus, at the bottom of the post, you’ll find my top Europa Conference League picks.

Celtic to Beat Bodo/Glimt

Celtic is without a single loss since November, with nine straight wins in the past nine games. Are we going to see the Scottish team win the tenth game in a row? Oddsmakers sure think so. The odds of Celtic winning on Thursday are -227 at most soccer betting sites.

I agree that Celtic needs to be thought of as the favorite. However, I don’t think the Hoops are going to have an easy job. The thing is that Bodo/Glimt players are super-motivated to do well in the Europa Conference League.

This team hasn’t played a single competitive game since December 12, which means that its players are eager to get on the field. And when they’re in the mood for soccer, they tend to do well! Just think of the game with AS Roma last October and you’ll see what I mean.

Even though the Norwegian team was a +400 underdog ahead of the game, they went to demolish AS Roma, winning 6-1 in the end.

Can they do something similar against Celtic? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m pretty confident we will see Celtic win on Thursday. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Body/Glimt score at least once.

PSV to Beat Maccabi Tel Aviv

It’s been a while since PSV had so many stars on its roster as today. In 2022, this team has several players who used to play for major European clubs in the past.

The best example is Mario Gotze, the former Dortmund man, who scored the winning goal for the German national team in the final of the 2014 World Cup against Argentina.

Then, there’s also Eran Zahavi, one of PSV’s key strikers this season. Now a 34-year-old, the Israeli forward attacker used to play for Maccabi in his early days.

In addition, PSV also has plenty of amazing home-grown players, starting with this team’s top-scorer Cody Gakpo. The 22-year-old Dutchman has scored 12 goals for PSV this season in all competitions.

Unfortunately for PSV, a couple of first-team players will miss Thursday’s game, which could make their job much harder. Carlos Vinicius and Ibrahim Sangare are suspended, while Max Romero, Ryan Thomas, and Andre Ramalho are out with injuries.

Leicester to Beat Randers FC

Oddsmakers at Betway see Leicester as the #2 favorite to win the 2022 Europa Conference League with the odds of +700. That said, it’s only natural to assume the Foxes aren’t going to have any problems in their doubleheader with Randers FC in the first stage of the playoffs, right?

Well, there’s no doubt Leicester City has a much better roster than Randers FC. After all, the total value of Leicester’s squad is over $565 million according to Transfermarkt. In comparison, the roster of Randers FC has a value of only $15.6 million.

The only problem here is that Leicester players haven’t been doing great since the start of the year. This team has only one win in 2022 – it happened in the FA Cup game against Watford on January 8.

Since beating Watford, the Foxes went on to lose three games, while drawing two. To give them credit, they did face some really tough opponents during that period, including Tottenham, Liverpool, and West Ham. On top of that, they also had some serious injury problems in January.

Unfortunately for the Foxes, they will miss a couple of their key men in this game as well. One of those is their top-scorer Jamie Vardy, who’ll probably stay sidelined for another couple of weeks with a hamstring injury.

Nevertheless, this team does have a very long bench, so the absence of Vardy and others shouldn’t affect them much. At least not against such underdog as Randers FC.

Europa Conference League Predictions for the Other Five Games

  • Fenerbahce to Beat Slavia Prague
  • Midtjylland and PAOK to Draw
  • Rapid Vienna and Vitesse to Draw
  • Marseille to Beat Qarabag
  • Sparta Prague to Beat Partizan

I don’t think visitors will do much on the first day of the Europa Conference League action in 2022. The only two teams I can see getting a point are PAOK and Vitesse. The reason is that their opponents aren’t much better talent-wise.

Best Bets for Thursday’s Europa Conference League Action

Celtic vs. Bodo/Glimt Both Teams to Score-132
PSV vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv Over 2.5 Goals-167
Leicester City (-1) Against Randers FC-135

There you have it, my top picks for Europa Conference playoff games this Thursday. If you’re wondering why I went with those bets, let me elaborate.

Firstly, even though I think Celtic will beat Bodo/Glimt, I also think the visitors have the capacity to score at least once.

When it comes to the PSV vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv game, I’m sure the hosts will score a couple of goals, which is why “Over 2.5 Goals” looks like a fantastic choice. Finally, in the Leicester vs. Randers FC game, I think the Foxes will devour their opponents.

If you share my opinion, why not head to 10Bet and put your money where your mouth is? I sure plan to do so myself.

Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for GamblingSites.com in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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