European Soccer A La Carte: Best Bets

By: Joe Brunk (@_JoeyB23)

These articles have not started as well as I had hoped, but what more could I have expected. I was either going to turn into the world’s best tout or complete fade material. Slowly but surely, I am turning into the worst of both worlds, total and complete mediocrity. I took the midweek off to recoup and refocus. I feel confident about these plays, and no matter how I do I will at least keep an article a week coming. 

Aston Villa vs Wolverhampton (6/27 7:30am EST)

Bright and early Saturday morning, we kick off with an underrated derby matchup. As a Wolves fan, I can’t wait for this game. Villa and Wolves have developed a West Midlands rivalry through their histories, so I expect some extra tenacity in this game. A little heads up, this will be a homer pick, so I hope I don’t jinx them. The value here is too good for me to pass on this. 

Aston Villa have yet to record a win since the restart, earning two draws and a loss. I’d be surprised to see them get their first win here. They have played decent defense, only giving up three goals over three games. Their offense has struggled so far but they looked a little better against Newcastle. They are in the midst of a relegation battle but their current form does not give any Villa fan hopes for another year in the Premier League. 

On the other side, Wolves have come out hot with two wins in their first two games, winning 1-0 and 2-0. I think this streak continues. They have developed a bit of a reputation in being draw masters in the EPL this year, so there is always a little fear of that in backing this team on the moneyline. They are fighting with Manchester United in trying to move up to the fourth spot, so every point matters in these games. I expect them to grind out another low scoring victory here. We are getting great value here by adding in the under 4.5 goals.

The Pick: Wolves & U4.5 goals (+105) 1u; (via Bovada 6/25) 

Athletic Bilbao vs Mallorca (6/27 8am EST)

There are a lot of big mismatches in La Liga this weekend, and with so many games coming fast, value is getting harder and harder to find. I think this matchup presents a pretty good spot to hit. Bilbao doesn’t have a lot to play for and Mallorca is trying their best to stave off relegation, but I still think we can find a winner here.

I’ve been watching Bilbao pretty closely since the restart, and they have been playing pretty good soccer. They have had a pretty tough schedule, having to face both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid so far. Their results haven’t done them much justice and I feel as if they deserved more from the Barcelona game. Their offense has been fairly efficient since returning and their defense has been even better.

Mallorca is just a team that is worth fading at every turn, especially when they play away. Home field advantage is definitely worth less with no fans, but I still think it comes with some advantages. Mallorca has only scored one goal since the restart and it was against Leganes. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are held scoreless in this one again. I do think Bilbao will win this comfortably, but I don’t see a lot of goals coming. I do think there is some value in backing them to win with a clean sheet as well. 

Atletico Bilbao & U3.5 (-105) 1u & Bilbao win to nil (+110) .5u (via Bovada 6/25)  

Dortmund vs Hoffenheim 6/27 9:30am 

The last week of Bundesliga is always a little tricky when finding value. Some teams will be highly motivated, while other teams have absolutely nothing to play for. I think I found a good spot this week. Dortmund already has second place locked up but Hoffenheim still has a lot to play for here. 

Hoffenheim are tied with Wolfsburg on points but sit behind them on goal differential. Wolfsburg have to face Bayern, which will be a very tough game, even though Bayern already won the title. Hoffenheim will be pushing hard for a win here to help them move ahead Wolfsburg so they can qualify directly for the group stage of the Europa League. This would be huge for a smaller team, instead of having to go through all the extra games required of the qualification rounds. 

I know Dortmund doesn’t need anything from this game, but I still think they show some effort here. Also, they are the best counter-attacking team in Germany. With Hoffenheim needing something from this game, expect them to attack Dortmund. This will give the black and gold plenty of counter-attacking opportunities. Dortmund will score but also isn’t going to keep a clean sheet here, and they could possibly give up two or three goals easily. 

The Pick: O3.5 (-109) 1u; (via BetOnline 6/25)

AC Milan vs AS Roma (6/28 11:15am EST) 

I won’t lie, this play was definitely influenced by my guys on this week’s AR show on SportsCastr. Knowing these guys back this play, you better be locking this in right away. Both these teams head into this match wanting three points. Milan will want to keep the wins coming to see make it up to sixth for a Europa League spot. Roma wants to ensure their spot in fifth remains secure. 

Serie A is still only a few games into their restart, but I feel comfortable putting a full unit on this one. There were some electric games this weekend and midweek, and it seems these Italian teams came back ready to play. They looked much more prepared compared to how the Bundesliga and Premier League started. The quality in some of these games has been top notch, and must watch in my opinion.  

I don’t need to say much more, my guy Rex is taking the over in this game. When he was talking about it, he was sure both teams were going to find the back of the net. I scrolled some odds and saw this play was plus money and had to pounce all over it. Both teams will be looking for all three points here. Milan seems to have found their shooting boots, albeit against Lecce. Both teams are riding momentum offensively and I can’t help but see that continue. 

The Pick: Both Teams to Score & O2.5 (+110) 1u; (via Bovada 6/25) 

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