The LVH SuperBook here in Las Vegas has most odds (English Premier League numbers not out at press time) out for all this weekend’s matches, and here are my six favorite bets that don’t involve any clubs favored by minus-210 or more.
Last week’s five picks finished 2-3 (now 5-4-1 overall) with the high-odds selections going 4-2. Just not good enough for me or you, the reader, so let’s get back in the saddle and try and get this horse headed in the right direction this weekend.
I’ll write a similar story for Tuesday and Wednesday UEFA Champions league matches between Barcelona-Chelsea and Bayern Munich-Real Madrid later this weekend.
Note: HOME teams in all caps.
This game on Saturday morning (9:30 am EDT/6:30 am PDT) here in Sin City starts out the picks and sees sixth-place Bayer Leverkusen (12-8-10, wins-draws-losses) hosting 17th-place Hertha Berlin (6-9-15).
Hertha Berlin is 3-6-6 on the road and has been outscored by its opponents 54-31 in all of its Bundesliga matches.
Bayer Leverkusen is 12-8-10 overall and 7-3-5 at home, outscoring opponents by a slim 24-21 margin on its home turf.
In the season’s first meeting at Berlin, the two teams played to a 3-3 tie.
With Hertha Berlin hanging in relegation territory in the league and having a 23-goal deficit in all games, the logic is to side with the better team at home and just lay the minus-175 in what should be a one-goal win for Bayer Leverkusen.
PREDICTION: Bayer Leverkusen 2, Hertha Berlin 1
BET: Bayer Leverkusen -175
A Sunday morning (10:00 am ET/7:00am PT) match, this one in La Liga, sees two struggling teams going at it in Spain with the No. 17 place team Villarreal hosting No. 20, and worst team in the league, Racing Santander.
Villarreal is up four points from relegation territory heading into this match and is 5-8-2 at home, with just two losses in its 15 home games. Racing Santander (4-13-14) is an anemic 1-6-8 on the road and has been outscored by 25 goals (48-23) this season to date.
The home team is led by Marco Ruben (nine goals) and lost 1-0 at Racing Santander in the first meeting, meaning it will have revenge, as well as plans to get seven points away from relegation, on its mind.
PREDICTION: Villarreal 2, Racing Santander 0
BET: Villarreal -190
FC Dallas has had a lackluster start (2-2-1) but has the talent and pride in Big D to right the ship in MLS this season.
In its last five home games , FC Dallas has scored an average of 1.55 while goalkeeper Kevin Hartman has allowed an average of just 0.67 goals per game. The club is 2-1 (4-2 goals) on home turf.
The expansion Montreal Impact are weak on the road, going 0-4 so far and being outscored 10-2, so betting on a strong team due to bounce back against a team without a road win is the Rx here.
This game kicks off on Saturday at 8:30 pm EDT/5:30 pm PDT.
PREDICTION: FC Dallas 2, Montreal 0
BET: FC Dallas -210
Another MLS team due to improve, the LA Galaxy (1-0-3 overall, 1-0-2 at home) host Portland Saturday night (10:30 pm EDT/7:30 pm PDT) at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.
The Galaxy have a talented cast including Irish national Robbie Keane (four goals), David Beckham, Landon Donovan and goalkeeper Josh Saunders (eight goals allowed) and will be focused to get its second win and try and climb from the cellar in the Western Conference.
Portland (1-1-3, 7-8 GF-GA) is fairly impressive but is 1-1-2 away from home and has only scored one road goal to date.
PREDICTION: LA Galaxy 2, Portland 1
BET: LA Galaxy -185
This match goes off Sunday morning in the United States (9:30 am EDT/6:30 am PDT) and sees the No. 4 team in the Bundesliga table hosting the No. 16 club.
Borussia Monchengladbach (15-8-7) is 8-6-1 at home this season (26-10 goals) and is led offensively by Marco Reus (15 goals), Mike Hanke (eight) and Juan Arango (11 assists).
Cologne is 8-15-17 overall, meaning it has won just 20 percent of its games and is just 3-2-10 away from home, getting outscored by 21 goals (39-18) in the process.
When these two met earlier this season, Monchengladbach registered a clean sheet (3-0), so this bet seems like a pretty good one to make considering all the data.
PREDICTION: Monchengladbach 4 Cologne 1
BET: Monchengladbach -190 [BEST BET]
This match will also be played on Sunday (3:00 pm EDT/12:00 pm PDT) and sees the No. 2 team in the French Ligue 1 standings visiting the No. 20 and last place team in the league.
PSG (18-9-4) is 7-6-2 on the road season (25-18 goals) and is still chasing Ligue 1 leader Marseilles (66-63 points), which is off this weekend.
AJ Auxerre is 5-12-14 overall and 5-5-5 at home (22-21 goals) and faces a class difference here against a team I have ranked in Europe’s top 30 clubs.
In their Dec. 4 meeting at PSG, the home team won 3-2, and I see another one-goal win for PSG this weekend.
PREDICTION: Paris St.-Germain 2, AJ Auxerre 1
BET: Paris St.-Germain Even
I have six other sides I feel will win with odds of minus-425 and up, which might be good to link together in a six-team parlay:
AC MILAN -425 over Genoa (FSC, Saturday, 12:00 pm EDT)
BAYERN MUNICH -425 over FSV Mainz 05 (Saturday, 12:30 pm EDT)
FEYENOORD -600 over Excelsior (Saturday, 1:45 pm EDT)
FC TWENTE -430 over NAC Breda (Saturday, 2:45 pm EDT)
REAL MADRID -2000 over Sporting Gijon (ESPND, Sunday, 2:00 pm EDT)
Barcelona -550 over LEVANTE (ESPND, Sunday 4:00 pm EDT)
Good luck, and may the force be with you.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinStott11