Does winning the World Cup count if it was played in the fall and Italy wasn’t in the tournament? It’s an important question to ask! If you’re Argentina and Lionel Messi, and you finally win the World Cup this year, will there still be a void in your soul because deep down inside, you’ll know you can’t truly be the world champion without beating the European champion?
It makes you think! Oh, OK, it doesn’t. It’ll count the same. I’m just sad because I saw Federico Chiesa return to action for Juventus, which got me thinking about how incredible he was during the Euros, how great that Italian team was, and how annoyed I am with Roberto Mancini.
I understand why he stuck with that team in World Cup qualification, but if it was obvious to me in those matches that those players were exhausted, it should’ve been obvious to him too. All he had to do was infuse some of the younger, newer players, and they would’ve qualified. It’s no coincidence that the team has played so much better since “the rebuild.” Alas, it’s too late now. I only have one team to root for this fall, and, well, I suppose I’ll keep my thoughts on their chances to myself. Positive vibes only.
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
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Atalanta vs. Napoli
Date: Saturday, Nov. 5 | Time: 1 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+
It sounds overly simple, but sometimes betting isn’t as difficult as we think. I’ve had a lot of success betting on soccer simply by looking at the differences in how teams perform at home compared to the road. Unfortunately, in this matchup, it doesn’t matter. These teams have been the same everywhere they’ve gone. Napoli have been the best team in Italy and lost their first match of the season this week, but it was to Liverpool in the Champions League after they had already clinched their group. Atalanta are in second in Serie A, five points behind Napoli. This is a huge match. If Napoli win, they’ll have at least a six-point lead over everybody else in the league.
But you know what? As much as it pains me to say it, because I’m a Napoli supporter and love this team with all my heart, they aren’t going without a loss in Serie A. And while the Liverpool loss can be written off by lack of motivation and that Napoli didn’t put out its “full-strength” lineup, that doesn’t change the fact Napoli’s defensive numbers have been trending in the wrong direction lately. Everybody is playing a lot of matches right now, but this will be Napoli’s fifth match in 13 days. It’s going to catch up to them eventually. The Pick: Atalanta (+235)
Tottenham vs. Liverpool
Date: Sunday, Nov. 6 | Time: 11:30 a.m. ET | Watch: Peacock
Liverpool have played five road matches in the Premier League this season. They haven’t won any of them. There have been two draws (Fulham and Everton) and three losses (Manchester United, Arsenal, and Nottingham Forest). They’re on the road again this weekend against a Tottenham team that’s lost only once in nine home matches across the Premier and Champions League. It’s also a Tottenham team getting Dejan Kulusevski back, and he’s been an integral part of what Tottenham has done since Antonio Conte arrived. So, do you see where I’m going with this pick yet?
Well, surprise! I’m not picking Tottenham to win outright. I’m going to hedge a little because while Tottenham have lost only once in nine home matches, they won their first seven. The last two have been the Newcastle loss and a draw against Sporting in the Champions League. Kulusevski’s return is big, but some cracks have begun to form in the foundation. I fully expect Antonio Conte to fix things, but the repairs will likely be made over the World Cup break and in January. The Pick: Tottenham or Draw (-140)
Featured Game | Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool
Roma vs. Lazio
Date: Sunday, Nov. 6 | Time: 12 p.m. ET | Watch: CBS Sports Network/Paramount+
Another match in which home/road splits don’t matter because these teams call the same stadium home! The Derby Della Capitale is one of my favorite Italian rivalries, and this one has a bit more juice. Roma sit in fourth (the final Champions League qualification spot), one point ahead of Lazio in fifth. These matches always mean a lot, but adding in the difference between Champions League and Europa League money literally enhances the stakes (especially with both Inter and Juventus, who also face each other this weekend, looming right behind them in the table).
Unfortunately for Lazio, this isn’t the best timing. They’ve been stuck in a ditch for the last few weeks. Their 2-0 win over Atalanta two weeks ago felt like a big deal, but Lazio followed it up with a 3-1 loss to Salernitana Sunday and lost to Feyenoord 1-0, knocking them out of the Europa League. Meanwhile, Roma’s hot as could be, having won three straight by a combined score of 8-3 since a 1-0 loss to Napoli two weeks ago. We’re sticking with the team playing well. The Pick: Roma (+101)
Featured Game | Roma vs. Lazio
It’s not the juiciest weekend for our parlay, but it’s still paying (+111).
- Borussia Dortmund (-420)
- Manchester City (-850)
- AC Milan (-450)
- PSG (-400)