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Corner Picks, best soccer bets, odds predictions: Are Napoli back ahead of Juventus match? Why Chelsea are ok

Earlier this week, the Premier League reduced the 10-point penalty it hit Everton with earlier this season to 6-points following an appeal. The penalty was originally assessed after it was ruled that Everton had broken “profitability and sustainability rules” that I do not understand, nor do I believe I ever will understand.

Whatever the reasoning was for reducing the penalty (or handing it out in the first place) doesn’t matter to me. I want to know who I can file an appeal with over my record in Champions League picks this season.

Seriously, Corner Picks had a big bounce-back weekend last week to get back on the right side of the ledger in our league picks, but that 2-6 mark in the Champions League is weighing us down considerably. Who do I need to talk to that has the power to say we should only pay 60% of our losses instead of the full price? 

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Brentford vs. Chelsea

Date: Saturday, March 2 | Time: 10 a.m. ET | Watch: Peacock

Listen, it was hilarious when Chelsea were called “billion-dollar bottle jobs” by Gary Neville earlier this week after they lost to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final. I can’t deny that. Sure, it’s a bit unfair to hit Chelsea with something that mean considering they lost to Liverpool, but sometimes you just have to get the joke off. Regardless, while Chelsea’s overall play has earned the insult, they have been playing much better overall of late. This week, they face a Brentford team dealing with a lot of injuries with center back Ben Mee as the latest.

While Brentford are an excellent example of what can happen if you build a team intelligently, injuries can derail good process. Brentford are incredible at finding cheap players who fit their style of play, but the Bees do not have the kind of depth needed to withstand losing so many key players. With Chelsea playing well and Brentford banged up, there’s only one logical play here. The Pick: Chelsea (+120)

Torino vs. Fiorentina

Date: Saturday, March 2 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+

Location, location, location! Fiorentina enter the weekend in seventh place in Serie A, but they’ve been much better at home than on the road. They’ve picked up 26 points in 13 home matches with an xG (expected goal) differential of +5.8. On the road, they have 15 points in 13 matches with an xG differential of -5.4. Torino are similar! The Bulls have picked up 23 points in 13 home matches with an xG differential of +7.3 compared to 13 points in 13 away matches with an xG differential of -4.6.

Torino are home in this match, and Fiorentina are on the road. So add up the xG differentials, carry the one, and it sure looks like Torino are a good bet to win this match! Torino have lost their last two matches, but they were against Lazio and Roma, and they’ve lost only two at home all year. Fiorentina have one win in their last eight away matches and have been outscored 10-5 in the process. The Pick: Torino (+160)

Napoli vs. Juventus

Date: Sunday, March 3 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+

As a Napoli fan, watching this team blow Sassuolo out of the water in a 6-1 win earlier this week made me feel like a sailor lost at sea for three months finally sighting land. Victor Osimhen had a hat trick, and even Kvicha Kvaratskhelia found the back of the net twice to break out of a two-month-long funk. But I’m not an idiot. I don’t think one great match suddenly fixes all the team’s problems, particularly when the six goals came against a Sassuolo team that’s allowed more goals than any team outside Frosinone. Outside of a win against Atalanta in November, all of Napoli’s wins have come against bottom-half teams.

Juventus are not a bottom-half team. Having said that, it’s not as if Juventus are playing their best soccer of the year. They’ve managed only five points in their last five matches, including draws to Empoli and Verona, which have destroyed their chance of winning the league. But while I can understand why Juve wouldn’t be a favorite in Naples this weekend, putting a number this large on Juve is placing way too much faith in a Napoli team that hasn’t earned it. The Pick: Juventus (+230)

Weekend Parlay

We’re changing things up a bit this week. There isn’t a traditional bet in the Manchester Derby I like, but I still want to make a play on the match, so I’m going with a same game parlay instead of the moneyline parlay I go with. It pays +164.

  • Manchester City to win
  • Erling Haaland to score a goal
  • Kevin de Bruyne to get an assist
Record Units

League Play

42-42

+1.42

Champions League

2-6

-6.05

Overall 44-48 -4.63

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