Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Corner Picks, best soccer bets, odds, predictions: Bayern Munich to win Der Klassiker, goals for Aston Villa

Are we sure Harry Kane isn’t cursed? Sure, he’s one of the greatest goalscorers of his generation, but the results raise an eyebrow. Kane spent 11 seasons playing for Tottenham in the Premier League and scored 270 goals across all competitions. He’s a legend at Tottenham and always will be.

However, while Tottenham reached a Champions League final with Kane, they never won anything with him. Not the league or a cup competition, foreign or domestic. For years, Tottenham took the heat from fans and pundits alike for failing to put the team around Kane that could win something, but now that Kane has moved on, fortunes have reversed.

Kane is with Bayern Munich now and playing well. He has 14 goals and 7 assists in 13 matches, but Bayern enter the weekend in second place in the Bundesliga and were just knocked out of the DFB Pokal by German third-division side Saarbrücken. Sure, Kane didn’t play, but he was there!

Meanwhile, back on the other side of the English Channel, Tottenham sit in first place in the Premier League, ahead of Manchester City and Arsenal. They’ve been one of the most entertaining teams in Europe this season and have found new life under Ange Postecoglou.

So, I ask you once again: are we sure Harry Kane isn’t cursed?

Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich

Date: Saturday, Nov. 4 | Time: 1:30 p.m. ET | Watch: ESPN+

OK, so I should probably mention that Bayern might be in second place, but the underlying metrics suggest they won’t be there for long. Bayern’s expected goal differential of +20.8 is nearly twice the xGD of the next closest team in the league (Stuttgart at +10.9), and they’ve scored 34 goals in nine matches. They’re going to be fine. Also, I suspect this match had something to do with Bayern’s loss in the DFB Pokal as it’s easy to imagine they took it for granted and were more focused on Der Klassiker.

It’s easy to understand why, considering how important this match has been in the Bundesliga in recent years. It’s also one of the most entertaining matches, because there’s never a shortage of goals scored. Any time I see these two are playing I’m firing on the over without much thought. The last six meetings, and 12 of the last 13 have featured at least four goals. The Pick: Over 3.5 (-108)

Nottingham Forest vs. Aston Villa

Date: Sunday, Nov. 5 | Time: 9 a.m. ET | Watch: USA

I mentioned how overs have been cashing in Aston Villa matches all season in last week’s column, and it cashed again for us last week, even with the total between Villa and Luton Town at 3.5. Now that it’s back to the standard 2.5 we can’t not fire on it again.

To recap, Aston Villa have played 10 Premier League matches this year, and they’ve averaged 4.0 goals apiece. Only a 1-0 win over Chelsea and a 1-1 draw to Wolverhampton finished with fewer than three goals. It’s been the same story outside the Premier League too, with Villa’s six Europa Conference League and cup matches averaging 3.7 goals. While not the worst in the league, Nottingham Forest’s defense has not been impressive. Villa may get three on its own, and it always allows at least one. The Pick: Over 2.5 (-135)

Fiorentina vs. Juventus

Date: Sunday, Nov. 5 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET | Watch: CBS Sports Network

Fiorentina is off to an excellent start in Serie A, as they sit in sixth place on 17 points, only two points out of a Champions League spot. Unfortunately, based on the underlying metrics, it’s not likely to be a start that lasts. Of the top 10 teams in Serie A, Fiorentina are the only one with a negative xGD (-3.3). None of the five teams ahead of them have an xGD worse than +4.2 (Milan).

That doesn’t mean Fiorentina are bad, but it’s a strong indicator that the results have been better than their play, and that usually means a team will struggle against a better side. Perhaps a side like Juventus, which is in second in Serie A with an xGD of 10.4. Now, I haven’t had any luck at all when it comes to betting Juventus this season, but my underlying metrics suggest the scales should balance out eventually. Hopefully this weekend! The Pick: Juventus (+150)

Weekend Parlay

It’s only three legs this week, but not a bad payout at +121.

  • AC Milan (-230)
  • Liverpool (-425)
  • Real Madrid (-400)

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