Back by demand, it’s a handful of European football picks for the coming weekend from here in Sin City where Mother Nature dumped two inches of rain on our heads on Tuesday forcing Siegfried & Roy to start constructing a small ark for their collection of white tigers.
Over at the LVH SuperBook, the world’s largest sportsbook, the odds were released for this weekend’s matches and, although director Jay Kornegay and his crack staff are now offering odds on Danish Superliga, Norwegian Tippeligean and Swedish Allsvenskan matches, let’s stick to what we know best and see if we can’t make a couple bucks to buy some new shoes.
So let’s not waste any more time brother and get straight to the nitty-gritty with seven selections and three little bonus three-team parlays from the English Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga and the Russian Premier League.
Note: HOME clubs in all caps.
This match goes off on Friday (2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT) and will see the No. 5 club in France’s Ligue 1 table visiting the No. 9 club, Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG is 1-3-0 (W-L-D) this young season and has not quite lived up to the hype after acquiring Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marco Verratti in the summer transfer window and has scored just four goals in its first four matches while allowing three.
Toulouse (2-2-0, 5 goals for, 3 goals against) will be looking for the upset in Paris but PSG can’t afford its first loss here and should be able to hold off Le Téfécé in this one.
Last season, Les Parisiens won both matches by 3-1 scores and this game should play out very similarly to those two.
PREDICTION: Paris Saint-Germain 2 Toulouse 1
BET: Paris Saint-Germain -240
Let’s head to the land of wooden shoes and dikes for what I think is one the best plays of the weekend.
FC Twente (4-0-0, 9-2) sits atop the Dutch Eredivisie table while recently-promoted host Willem II (0-2-2, 2-7) is in 15th place so this pick ain’t exactly brain surgery, Bubba.
The visitors have two clean sheets and allowed just one goal in its other two matches and have three goals from Leroy Fer heading into this one at Willem II Stadion.
Willem II was relegated two years back after a woeful 3-6-25 mark (37-98 GF-GA) in 2010-11 and in that season, Twente outscored the Tricolores 7-1 in 3-1 and 4-0 victories.
Expect Twente to remain unbeaten, stay on top of the league and possibly register a shutout in this mismatch which will be played on Saturday (1:45 p.m. ET/10:45 a.m. PT).
PREDICTION: FC Twente 3 Willem II 0
BET: FC Twente -290 (BE$T BET$)
Back to France for this Ligue 1 match 15 minutes later on Saturday (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT) between host St. Etienne (2-0-2, 9-4) and winless Sochaux (0-0-4, 3-9).
St. Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has three goals to lead the home team in scoring and may get a couple more here.
Last season the two teams split, each winning at home by one goal, and expect form to hold again this time around.
PREDICTION: St. Etienne 2 Sochaux 1
BET: St. Etienne -185
Back to the Eredivisie for this mismatch between sixth-place Feyenoord (2-1-4, 4-3) and 16th-place newbies PEC Zwolle (0-2-2, 2-7) who are still seeking its first win in the Dutch league this season.
The odds are fairly high for Feyenoord so this pick may better be suited in a parlay and I expect PEC Zwolle to have trouble scoring against De club aan de Maas. Can I buy a consonant please?
This match goes off on Saturday (2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT) in Rotterdam.
PREDICTION: Feyenoord 4 PEC Zwolle 1
BET: Feyenoord -400
Always a powerhouse in Europe, AC Milan may have lost Ibrahimovic and Silva but still has plenty of scoring firepower in Robinho, Pato and Giampaolo Pazzini, who has all three goals for the Rossoneri so far this season.
AC Milan (1-0-1, 3-3) should still be motivated by its surprise defeat to Sampdoria earlier this season and will use the sting of that reality to motivate itself against visiting Atalanta (0-1-1, 1-2).
Kevin-Prince Boateng and AC Milan will be ready for this one and the Rossoneri held Atalanta scoreless last season in Serie A play, winning both matches 2-0.
This one also kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m on Saturday.
PREDICTION: AC Milan 3 Atalanta 0
BET: AC Milan -230
We’ll stay in Italy’s Serie A for this Sunday match (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT) between defending league champions Juventus (2-0-0, 6-1) and host Genoa (1-0-1, 4-3).
This one should be low-scoring and close but I expect Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon to continue their excellent form and Juventus to win by one goal.
Last season, both matches ended in draws (0-0 at Genoa, 2-2 at Turin), something Le Zebre was quite adept at (15) in its undefeated season in 2011/12 (23-15-0).
Juve is undefeated in its last six (3-3-0) against Genoa with their lost last to them coming on April 11, 2009 (3-2) and should find a way to win this one and stay atop of the table.
PREDICTION: Juventus 1 Genoa 0
BET: Juventus -170
Atlético Madrid (1-1-0, 5-1) must still be flying high from its UEFA Super Cup thrashing of European champions Chelsea and host fourth-place Rayo Vallecano (2-1-0) in Madrid on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT) in this La Liga match-up from Spain.
Los Rojiblancos are led by one of the top players in the world, striker Radamel Falcao who scored a hat trick against the Blues in the Super Cup and who has three of Atlético’s five goals this young season, and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, on loan to the club again from Chelsea.
Last season, Atlético swept Rayo Vallecano winning 3-1 at home and 1-0 on the road and, in a league with heavies like Real Madrid and Barcelona, winning matches like this one on home soil are paramount.
PREDICTION: Atlético Madrid 3 Rayo Vallecano 1
BET: Atlético Madrid -300
Because I care about you readers and gamblers so much, I also have three three-team parlays from the English Premier League, Bundesliga and the Russian Premier League worth considering.
Here they are:
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Chelsea -120 over QPR (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT)
MANCHESTER UNITED -400 over Wigan Athletic (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT)
Manchester City -140 over STOKE CITY (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT)
BAYERN MUNICH -600 over FSV Mainz 05 (Saturday, 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT)
BORUSSIA DORTMUND -230 over Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 6:30 ET/3:30 PT)
VFB Stuttgart -165 over Fortuna Dusseldorf (Saturday, 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT)
RUSSIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
ZENIT ST. PETERSBURG -300 over Terek Grozny (Friday, 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT)
ANZHI MAKHACHKALA -240 over FK Krasnodar (Sunday, 8 a.m./5 a.m. PT)
CSKA MOSCOW -285 over FC Alania (Sunday, 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT)
If you are interested in reading my write-up on the Chelsea-QPR match on Saturday (Fox Soccer Channel, 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT), here is the link to my Bleacher Report story published on Tuesday night.
As always, good luck to everyone and enjoy the games.
Follow me on Twitter: @KevinStott11