We’ve reached the second-to-last weekend of corner picks of the season, and the good news is that we’ve done so well in the column this year that no matter what happens this week, we’ve made a lot of money. The bad news is that it’s the end of the season, so it’s hard to imagine how motivated many teams will be this weekend.
Title races are decided in England, Spain, Italy and, for the most part, France. While the relegation battles are still raging, betting on teams fighting for survival is unreliable. Yes, you know they are motivated, but they are also in a relegation battle for a reason. They stink. No matter how much I want to, I can’t dunk a basketball through a 10-foot hoop. Just because Leicester City, Leeds United or Hellas Verona want to win doesn’t mean they can.
All of this makes it harder to find great value this weekend, but like I said, no matter what, we make money this year. And I found some value. All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
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Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz
Date: Saturday, May 27th | Time: 9:30 am ET | To attend: ESPN+
It’s all so simple for Borussia Dortmund. Beat Mainz on Saturday and you’re Bundesliga champions, ending Bayern Munich’s 10-year run. A draw probably won’t do it, because it’s hard to imagine Bayern losing to Cologne knowing they have to win. But can Dortmund do it? You would think so, but Dortmund have been one of the hardest teams in the world to figure out this year. Fortunately, they come into this match playing well in the last month. Dortmund lost to Bayern 4-2 in early April and followed that up with a 2-0 loss to Leipzig in the DFB Pokal. That’s when I assumed they were ready for the year.
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They haven’t lost since then. They won five games and drew two, outscoring their opponents 24-7 during that span. Although this run of games was not against great teams, Mainz is not a great team at the moment! Mainz defeated Bayern Munich 3-1 last month and had a chance to clinch one of Germany’s European berths. Instead they decided to lose the next four matches and allowed at least three goals in each as they were beaten 13–3. Compounding matters for Mainz, they have been much worse away from home all year, and Dortmund have been much better at home. I think this one ended quickly, but I also fear that Dortmund will close it down once they take control, so I’m doing something I’ve never done in this column. I bet on Dortmund in the first half (must be winning at half-time), as there is more value there than in the full game. The Pick: Borussia Dortmund 1st Half (-240)
Aston Villa vs Brighton
Date: Sunday, May 28 | Time: 11:30 am ET | To attend: Peacock
Although Manchester City won the Premier League again, there was more parity in the league than usual. Newcastle United finished in the top four and Brighton – the small club from a resort town on England’s south coast – clinched a Europa League place earlier this week. And it is from this achievement that we are taking advantage here. Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi admitted there would be a bit of celebration rather than practice after Wednesday’s match, which makes you wonder how seriously Brighton will take the season finale against Aston Villa.
Meanwhile, Villa has plenty of motivation. A win here guarantees a place in the Europa Conference League, and playing in Europe would be a big deal for a club that has struggled to establish itself in the league since coming back from its own relegation. Furthermore, although they haven’t received much attention since the calendar shifted to 2023, Manchester City are the only Premier League team to average more points per game than Aston Villa’s 1.85. The Pick: Aston Villa (+102)
featured game | Aston Villa vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Juventus vs Milan
Date: Sunday, May 28 | Time: 2:45 pm ET | To attend: Paramount+
I don’t have children, but I imagine this Juventus team is what it’s like to have a teenager. They are the baddest team on the planet. Last week, Juventus were handed a 10-point penalty after originally having a 15-point penalty that was rescinded. So they reacted like a teenager would react to their parents telling them they’re grounded and can’t go to the Taylor Swift concert (are teenagers Swifties or are all Swifties old now?): they lost to Empoli 4-1. But while it’s hard to know which Juve team will show up, I don’t imagine they’ll be in a bad mood in a match against AC Milan, especially when Juventus can still reach the Europa League. While that may seem “below” for the club, the money that comes with it is not, and Juve are in no position to turn down money right now.
But are they in a position to beat AC Milan? I’m not so sure about that! Although they have been stronger at home all year defensively, Juve have been a mess for most of the past two months. That’s what I prefer to lean on here, because Milan were also worse defensively away from home all year. Also, Milan are basically one win away from securing a spot in the Champions League, so they will have that added motivation. The Pick: Over 2.5 (+115)
featured game | Juventus vs Milan
Trust me, this is not the weekend to get greedy with a parlay. this three legged pays +103.
- Bayern Munich (-335)
- Lazio (-475)
- Barcelona (-340)