A bit of an odd weekend here as we only have five Premier League matches but it does redeem itself with the FA Cup Quarterfinals and a special Milan Derby. I’m going to mix it up here and pick matches that I like across Europe instead of sticking to England so let’s see how it goes…
This Season’s Record: 163-142-38 (+0.0 Units)
UCL Round of 16 3/12-3/13: 2-2 (-0.2 Units)
All those picks and I sit at even on units. Ohhh the irony!
Saturday, March 16th
English Premier League
11:00 am EST
Leicester City @ Burnley (NBCSN) – Burnley come into this match after losing three straight in the league while Leicester seem to be somewhat rejuvenated under new manager Brendan Rodgers after they got their first win last weekend. But it’s their recent home form compared to Leicester’s away form that has me liking Burnley. Leicester haven’t won a league match in their last four tries while Burnley have only lost once in their last six home matches. They’re also in a relegation fight right now and are playing for points not necessarily outright wins just yet, giving them value on the pickem line especially with positive odds. I’ll take the stingy Burnley boys. Burnley (Pick, +115).
Huddersfield @ West Ham United – Vegas is putting a one-goal spread in this match and rightly so as Huddersfield are basically already relegated and West Ham have been brilliant at home this season, especially recently. Huddersfield have gotten points four times this season in their fourteen away matches, giving me zero appeal to them as underdogs here. It could likely push but I think West Ham at home against a finished Huddersfield side is easy money at home. West Ham (-1, +105).
English FA Cup Quarterfinals
8:15 am EST
Crystal Palace @ Watford (ESPN+) – In my opinion this could be the best match to watch in England this week. These two clubs play a physical and grinding style of football and it couldn’t be a better matchup in an FA Cup Quarterfinal. I was expecting this to be a pickem but once I saw that Watford were being offered at (+125) I couldn’t pass them up. Watford have have had five losses in their last nineteen matches and they came against City twice, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea. I love them on those odds at home here in what should be a brilliant match. Watford (-0.5, +125).
Manchester United @ Wolves (ESPN+) – This, in terms of actual quality, is the best draw in the FA Cup this weekend. We know how good Wolves can be against top six sides especially after drawing at Chelsea over the weekend and Manchester United are looking to bounce back after their first loss in the Solskjaer era. Wolves just give me more confidence in this match especially as underdogs at home where they haven’t lost in over two months. Wolves (+0.5, -140).
1:30 pm EST
Borussia Dortmund @ Hertha Berlin (FS2) – Borussia Dortmund will now only be playing for one title this season, the Bundesliga, where they sit behind Bayern only due to a lesser goal differential of two goals. They know that since they will be playing in two less competitions than Bayern that every point matters in the Bundesliga week in and week out. I think they bounce back here from their recent poor form (two wins in last nine matches) and when they win there tends to be goals. The Bundesliga is the highest scoring league in Europe’s top five with Dortmund’s matches averaging 3.6 goals per game and Hertha’s matches averaging 3.0 goals per game. I’ll take Dortmund and the over here in what will likely be a very fun match to watch. Borussia Dortmund (-0.5, -105) and Over 2.5 goals (-115).
Sunday, March 17th
8:30 am EST
Werder Bremen @ Bayer Leverkusen (FS1) – I saw this line and immediately became puzzled as to why Werder would be one-goal underdogs. Their last loss came in late December, they haven’t lost by more than one goal since November and they have been far above average away from home recently. Yes Leverkusen are the better side but I think this is an odd overcompensation from Vegas here and I love Werder here. Werder Bremen (+1, -110).
English Premier League
10:15 am EST
Liverpool @ Fulham (NBCSN) – Liverpool will look to take advantage of City not playing in the league this weekend at Fulham on Sunday. The spread is too big so I didn’t want to bite but I did notice that the over/under sat at 3. It doesn’t seem to pop out too much but Liverpool’s matches in the league have averaged 3.8 goals per game while Fulham’s matches have averaged 3.2. Even if this likely pushes, I’ll lean on the side of the over hitting with one of the league’s second best offense facing off against the league’s worst defense. Over 3 goals (-120).
Italian Serie A
3:30 pm EST
Inter Milan @ AC Milan (ESPN+) – Ahhh not much better than a Milan Derby at the San Siro. It’s a match that has been played 293 times over the last 110 years and it completely dominates Italian football when it graces the calendar. This one is extra special though as AC Milan have the chance to move four points above their rivals and increase their chances at playing in the Champions League next season for the first time in six years. What better time to do it than against Inter towards the end of the season? They’ve been in flying form as they’ve been undefeated in the league since December and are 9-4-1 in their last fourteen matches in all competitions. They also lost the last Milan Derby and have not lost back to back Derbies since 2012 (seventeen matches). Adding to that, Milan have had loads of rest over the last few weeks compared to Inter who have played three more matches since the start of February. I love AC Milan on the pickem line here even with the juice. AC Milan (Pick, -135).
That’s all for the preview for this weekend!
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.