Corner Picks: Best bets for Liverpool vs. Manchester City, Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona and more

Sometimes as a sports fan, you have to put real-life concerns away and just enjoy sports. I had a moment like that earlier this week. PSG was hosting Manchester City in a Champions League match. Two clubs with some possibly problematic backgrounds within their ownership groups have “ruined football” by spending more money than everyone else with the sole intent of trying to win the Champions League.

The starting lineups of both teams in the match featured players who cost over $2 billion to acquire. These are facts that might make you raise an eyebrow and turn to a stranger near you to tell them “game’s gone,” but you know what?

It was also awesome. It was an incredible collection of talent on the pitch, and once the game began, I put everything else to the side and just took it all in. Having Lionel Messi score to cap the whole thing off was just a wonderful cherry on top of it all.

I can’t wait to watch the return leg in Manchester, but we’ve got plenty of time to kill before then, so let’s bet on some games being played in the more immediate future. All lines and odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.

Liverpool vs. Manchester City, Sun. 11:30 a.m, NBCSN

This doesn’t have anything to do with Manchester City playing PSG and losing earlier this week, as Liverpool had their own Champions League match. No, this is more a play on the fact the market hasn’t caught onto Liverpool being really freaking good again. At some point, between Aston Villa beating Liverpool 7-2 early last season and the 50 injuries that followed, people forgot Liverpool were a damn juggernaut just a few months before. Now they’re healthy again and starting to resemble that juggernaut.

So, to catch Liverpool as an underdog at home is way too much value to pass up. Plus, it’s hard to ignore how different Man City have looked outside of Manchester this season. In all competitions, Manchester City have won four of five home matches and outscored opponents 22-4, including a scoreless draw against Southampton. When they’ve played on the road, City have won only two of five matches and been outscored 4-2. I think this match could be our last chance to take Liverpool before everybody catches on to how good they are again. The Pick: Liverpool (+180)

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Brighton vs. Arsenal, Sat. 12:30 p.m, NBC

Brighton hate math, yet are loved by those who love math. Last year, Brighton finished 16th in the Premier League despite having the fifth-best expected goal (xG) differential. This season, Brighton’s xG differential is 12th in the league, and the Gulls are 4-1-1 sitting in sixth place. It doesn’t make a lot of sense!

So, I’m going with a pick that might not make much sense given how these teams have played lately. Brighton have allowed only five goals in six matches, but their expected goals against of 7.3 suggests there’s been some luck there. Meanwhile, Arsenal looked incapable of scoring goals early in the season but put up three against Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup before putting three past Tottenham last weekend. As much fun as I’ve had fading Arsenal here over the last couple of seasons, I think this is a team that’s finally starting to figure things out, and this match could get a little loose. The Pick: Over 2.5 (+100)

Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona, Sat. 3 p.m, ESPN+

Barcelona are in bad shape right now, but still have a gigantic fan base that is skewing the market. There’s no way Atlético should be available at a price like this against this current iteration of Barcelona.

Barca enter the weekend having won just one of their last five matches, which was against a Levante side well within range of relegation right now. Barca were crushed by Bayern, played both Granada and Cadiz (two other relegation candidates) to a draw, and lost to Benfica 3-0 on Wednesday. There doesn’t seem to be any cohesion or plan on the field, and I just don’t see how they come away from this match with anything. The Pick: Atlético Madrid (-110)

Weekend Parlay

This week’s parlay pays +191.

  • Borussia Dortmund (-450)
  • Chelsea (-260)
  • RB Leipzig (-450)
  • Roma (-245)



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