Cherry-Picking the Best Bets From the Major European Soccer Leagues This Weekend

Kevin Stott

Friday, August 18, 2017 2:56 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 2:56 PM UTC

Let’s look at three matches from these elite leagues where it seems backing the favorite will provide the best picks, especially at this infant stage of the season where nobody who think they can win the league will want to lost that first fixture.

French Ligue 1AS Monaco at FC Metz

Even with Summer Transfer rumors of Kylian Mbappé still swirling and Coach Leonardo Jardim reportedly saying he’ll likely (again) be keeping the 18-year-old French sensation on the bench for this French Ligue 1 opener on Friday, backing Radamel Falcao (4 goals) and visitors AS Monaco (2-0-0, 7 GF-3 GA) against FC Metz (0-0-2, 1 GF-5 GA) is the easy call here with Les Rouges et Blancs scoreless in their L5 league meetings with Les Grenats. Looking at those recent scores (ASM 5-0 METZ, METZ 0-7 ASM, ASM 2-0 METZ, METZ 0-1 ASM, METZ 0-2 ASM)—that last meeting when the two clubs still played in Ligue 2—we also see two easy Overs the L2 meetings (last season) and a deeper handicapping dive back reveals Monaco (41-24-24, 151 GF-88 GA all-time in all competitions) has W7 straight vs. Metz in Ligue 1, outscoring them by a hopping 21-1. So, backing ASM (10-14-19, 51 GS-56 GA at FC Metz) both in the Three-Way market (-303, Intertops) as well as on the Asian Handicap (-1 -114, Intertops) seems really wise here, as does playing the match Over 3½ goals (+110, Intertops) with Falcao, Mbappé, João Moutinho and Monaco (50/1 to win UEFA Champions League, Intertops) maybe going Over the Total themselves.

Final Score Prediction: FC Metz 1 AS Monaco 4Free Soccer Picks: ASM -303, ASM -1 -114, Over 3½ +110 Best Lines Offered: at Intertops

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Spanish La LigaSaturday, August 19, 2017RCD Espanyol at Sevilla FC

Steven N’Zonzi and Sevilla (21-9-8, 69 GF-49 GA, 4th place in 2016 La Liga) welcome Girard (13 goals in La Liga in 2016) and RCD Espanyol (15-11-12, 49 GF-50 GA, 8th place) to Andalusia on Saturday for this Matchweek 1 affair for both clubs coming off really nice 2016/17 seasons. A handicapping look at the L5 league meetings in this series (ESP 3-1 SEV, SEV 6-4 ESP, ESP 1-0 SEV, SEV 1-0 ESP, SEV 3-2 ESP) shows the Sevillistas (4-1-2, 9 GF-9 GA in Preseason) to be 3-0-2 in high-scoring affairs with the Home side a perfect 5-0 the L5 while a deeper handicapping dive shows Pablo Piatti (10 goals in 2016) Espanyol is 2-0-6 the L8 La Liga meetings. With Los Periquitos on the Road at Seville, a place where Sevilla (66/1 to win UEFA Champions League, Intertops) went 14-4-1 (39 GF GF-16 GA) at Home in a league with European giants Real Madrid (4/1 to win UEFA Champions League, Intertops), Barcelona (+550 to win UEFA Champions League, Intertops) and Atlético Madrid (16/1 to win UEFA Champions League, Intertops). And that’s really saying something. With UEFA Champions League play in its future and the club coming off as great of a season that could have been expected, GK Sergio Rico and Sevilla won’t want to lose the Home opener here and the recent and relevant Trends in Spain’s La Liga play support the proud Andalusian Home club here.

Final Score Prediction: FC Sevilla 2 Espanyol 1Free Soccer Pick: Sevilla -154 Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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Italian Serie ASaturday, August 19, 2017Hellas Verona at SSC Napoli

The Italian Serie A season also kicks off this weekend, with 2nd-place, Ligue 2 promoted side Hellas Verona FC heading to Verona to face talented Dries Mertens (28 goals in Series A in 2016) and Napoli (36-8-4, 94 GF-39 GA) on Saturday (BeIN) as the Gialloblu (Yellow-Blues) look for the big upset to start their season in Italy’s top flight of football. A look at the L5 meetings in this series (NAP 3-0 HEL, NAP 3-0 HEL, HeL 0-2 NAP, HEL 2-0 NAP, NAP 6-2 HEL) reveals Napoli is 4-0-1 (14 GF-4 GA) in four Serie A and one Coppa Italia fixtures with the L3 games at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi all seeing at least 3 goals and averaging a robust 4.67 gpg. With Lorenzo Insigne (14 goals; +150 Anytime Goalscorer, Bet365) and Napoli (13-4-2, 44 GF-19 GA at Home in 2016 in Serie A) still one of the most underrated sides on the continent and Hellas Verona being promoted this season, backing Marek Hamsik (12 goals; +200 Anytime Goalscorer, Bet365), Jorginho (+450 Anytime Goalscorer, Bet365) and the goal-happy visitors and the Over seems smart with Real Madrid Youth Academy graduate José María Callejón (15 goals), Arkadiusz Milik (-110 Anytime Goalscorer, Bet365) and Napoli -1 (+105, Intertops) on the Asian Handicap with Napoli (5/1 to win Serie A, Intertops) probably the best perceived value-oriented play in the pizza-inventing country that’s shaped like a boot.

With this absolutely loaded and attack-oriented Roster, Napoli (40/1 to win UEFA Champions League, Intertops) can really score and should fight Juventus (-143 to win 2017/18 Serie A), AC Milan (6/1 to win Serie A, Intertops) and AS Roma (9/1 to win Serie A, Intertops) for the league title and this is no club to sleep on and one which defeated mighty German Fußball-Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup.

Final Score Prediction: Hellas Verona 1 Napoli 4Free Soccer Picks: Napoli -250, Over 2½ -167 Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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