LESS LUSTROUS MATCHUP
A Liverpool-Manchester United showdown will always be must-see-TV for English Premier League fans – but it's hard to see Sunday's encounter being all that competitive. Table-leading Liverpool (-275) have run roughshod over the rest of the league so far this season, racking up 20 victories from their first 21 games to open up a 14-point lead atop the table; not surprisingly, they're a massive -2500 favorite to win it all.
While Man United are surging, with wins in three of their past four league games, they're still +700 underdogs as they sit 27 points off the lead and face a Liverpool side that has won 18 straight domestic tilts at home.
POISED TO STRIKE
Lazio are finally within shouting distance of a Top-2 spot in the Serie A standings as they carry a 10-match domestic winning streak into Saturday's showdown with visiting Sampdoria. Lazio (-250) have steamrolled their way to third place in the table and are now just four points back of Inter Milan after the Italian League runners-up settled for a 1-1 draw vs. Atalanta last time out.
Sampdoria (+700) are coming off a 5-1 home throttling of Brescia in their previous match but came into that game having scored just 14 goals in their first 18 league matches. Lazio have six wins and one draw in the last seven meetings.
Not only have Sevilla squandered a chance to challenge for top spot in the Spanish League – they're suddenly in danger of falling out of the Top-4 altogether as they visit Real Madrid on Saturday. Sevilla have just four points from their last four league games and have seen their lead over surging Valencia shrink to four points for the final automatic Champions League berth.
This weekend provides no help to Sevilla, with the visitors at +425 to beat a Real Madrid squad (-167) that moved back to level on points atop the table following a 3-0 win over Getafe in the last matchweek (coupled with Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Espanyol.)
HERE COME THE CHAMPS
You knew it would happen sooner or later. Bayern Munich are back in contention for top spot in the Bundesliga as they carry a three-game winning streak into Sunday's showdown with host Hertha Berlin. The defending champions are whopping -334 away favorites as they look to build on an impressive run that saw them outscore their league opponents 11-2 in three games leading into the lengthy holiday break.
While Hertha Berlin (+900) have gone without a defeat in their past four Bundesliga matches, they've scored just twice in their last three games and have just two goals in their past six visits to Allianz Arena.
• Watford and Tottenham have played their share of tight contests in recent history as they lock horns Saturday at Vicarage Road. The teams have split a pair of one-goal decisions with two draws over their last four encounters, with both teams scoring at least once in all four games. With Watford surging at the moment, we like both teams to hit the scoresheet again (-150).
• Burnley should make for an attractive betting target – and not in a good way – as they host Leicester on Sunday. The 15th-place club have dropped four straight overall and have been losing at half-time and full-time in five of their previous seven home games in league play. A Leicester-Leicester double is an intriguing play in this one; it's priced at +200.
• Was the last meeting between Napoli and Brescia an outlier? Bettors will be curious to find that out as the Serie A rivals lock horns Saturday at San Paolo Stadium. The teams combined for seven goals in their previous encounter on August 24 (a 4-3 Napoli victory) after scoring just four combined goals in their last four tilts. The U2.5 could be a decent profit option at +120.
• AC Milan have been largely uninspiring in recent home matches as they entertain Udinese on Sunday. The 10th-place Italian League unit has drawn each of its previous three games at San Siro Stadium, converting the Draw-Draw HT-FT double in all three. With these teams having gone below the total in four straight meetings, the Draw-Under is worth a look at +375.
• Osasuna haven't been the best at goal prevention this season, but they might get a reprieve Sunday as they welcome struggling Real Valladolid to El Sadar Stadium. The visitors have gone three away matches without a goal in league play, and rank fourth from the bottom in total goals in La Liga play. We like the home team clean sheet at favorable odds (+120).
• What a difference a venue can make – at least when Real Betis and Real Sociedad face off, as they will this Sunday at Benito Villamarín Stadium. The teams have scored 11 goals in their last three meetings at Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian, but just one in their previous three games in Seville, where Sunday's game takes place. We like the U2.5 a lot here at +130.
• Mainz and Freiburg might draw the most interest from Over bettors of any game on this weekend's German League slate as they face off Saturday. The teams have exceeded the 2.5-goal threshold in each of their last five meetings, averaging a combined four goals per game over that span. The O2.5 seems like a gimme at -150, while the O3.5 is also in play at +162.
• It could be an ugly one at Red Bull Arena as RB Leipzig host Union Berlin. Not only have Leipzig outscored Berlin by a 7-0 count over their previous two meetings, the hosts have also racked up 3 or more goals in each of their previous eight Bundesliga matches. The O2.5 on Leipzig's team total comes in at -120, while those of you feeling more adventurous will get +240 on the O3.5 play.
• Manchester United almost have their man – now, all they need to do is work out a transfer. Man United have agreed to terms with standout midfielder Bruno Fernandes, but United and his current team, Sporting Lisbon, are still hashing out how much it will cost to secure his services. Fernandes should significantly boost a United team sitting at +300 to finish top-4 in the EPL.
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