Brad’s Best Bets – Soccer Slate 7/4 - 7/5
The public are quick to bash Juventus, they use the lack of goal production as their main argument. But one thing we know about Italian soccer is goals are not abundant. They way the critics talk about Juvenutus and their lack of production that would lead you to believe they are a middle of the table team at best. In fact, the Bianconceri have won 8 straight scudettos (“small shield”) and are nestled at the top of the table. Maurizio Sarri’s side at one point of the season looked in danger of breaking that streak where they were tied at the top of the table with two teams only 1 point behind. Since their last defeat on February 8th, Juventus have won 6 straight Serie A matches. Since the restart they have outscored their Serie A opponents 9 to 1. One might make the argument that the opponents they have faced thus far have not been very tough (Bologna, Lecce, Genoa), but let’s be clear 15th placed Torino is not much better. Matches between the two sides have always been played close. But we cannot overlook the fact that since Ronaldo and Sarri had their meeting to produce more scoring, the Old Lady have scored 6 goals in two games. If I were to make a final prediction, I would have this game landing somewhere between 2-0 and 3-1 both of which are covers for Juventus.
If anyone watched the Reds match on Friday after being crowned Premier League Champions, it’s understandable if you want to fade this pick. Honestly, it’s hard for teams to be motivated right after they have been crowned champion. But Liverpool did not play unmotivated, nor did they sub out their stars. Jurgen Klopp’s team was looking for victory to sweeten an already glorious EPL campaign. After giving away a cheap penalty early in the game, Liverpool was up against the wall. Once they conceded a second goal, it was all but writing on the wall for them. Manchester City was smart, they sat back and waited for Liverpool to attack and countered them when they did. After getting decimated 4-0 the 2018 champs, Liverpool, find themselves in a great bounce back spot. The matchup between Liverpool and Ashton Villa is a matchup between the second best and the second worst goal differentials. One would assume if Liverpool had defeated Manchester City, Klopp would have given his stars a much-deserved weekend off. But that was not the case, I expect Klopp to make a statement as they close out the weekend. Let’s be honest here, Liverpool will be hungry for goals this game and will have plenty of opportunities to score. Aston Villa is not shy about conceding goals, having allowed 60 so far this season. Now the Reds are back on their home pitch, Liverpool will look to dominate their opponent. Feel free to wait to see the lineups before heading to the ticket window to make your bets. Personally, I am taking this game for 1.5 units regardless of how they line up.
I will be very clear here. At first I thought weekend’s slate isn’t to die for. I could reach and throw out some totals for us to bet, but I would prefer to do that live in our discord channel or on my Twitter account. Personally, when you are unsure of what lineups will be brought out, you must protect yourself from being on the wrong side of a total. One thing that is for certain, is Manchester City’s younger talent is the real deal. The league leaders in goals scored this season are in good hands as they look to replace David Silva. In all honesty, they are in a great place with the emergence of 20-year-old midfielder Phil Foden. The U-21 English player has already shown moments of brilliance finding the back of the net in 3 of his last 4 Premier League matches. Another bright light that will most likely get the nod is 19-year-old defender Eric Garcia. Regardless of how Manchester City lines up, they have the fire power to score goals vs the leaky defense of Southampton. From a pure numbers standpoint this game should land somewhere around 2.5 to 3.5 goals. In Manchester City’s 32 matches 24 of those have gone over the total of 2.5 and 16 of them going over 3.5. On the other side of the ball, Southampton’s numbers are similar. In 20 of their 32 matches the total has gone over 2.5 goals. Had this match been during the middle of the season, I would’ve gladly taken City -1.5. But if City comes out even just a bit unmotivated, they could find themselves letting in a cheap goal or two. Playing this one light but should be a fun game to watch.
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