WATFORD V LIVERPOOL
THIS COULD GET UGLY
Liverpool bring an incredible 18-match domestic winning streak and a 22-point English Premier League lead into weekend action – and they aren't expected to face much of a test as they visit 19th-place Watford. The visitors (-250) have a lone draw on an otherwise unblemished EPL record and have all but secured the league championship with 11 matchweeks remaining on the schedule. They'll likely move closer to securing the title Saturday against a Watford side (+700) that is winless in five straight matches and has just five victories to its credit. Liverpool have won each of the previous four meetings between the teams.
JUVENTUS V INTER MILAN
CLASH OF ITALIAN TITANS
Italian League fans will be treated to an all-star encounter Sunday as Serie A leaders Juventus welcome third-place Inter Milan to Allianz Stadium. Juve (+120) have claimed their rightful spot atop the standings on the strength of back-to-back victories, though their margin of victory remains slim with Lazio just one point off the lead. Inter (+250) fell last matchweek to drop six points back of top spot, and have scored just one goal in their previous six visits to Allianz. Juventus have been impressive on the offensive end at home, having scored two or more goals in six consecutive games on friendly soil.
REAL MADRID V BARCELONA
TIME TO TANGO
You would be hard-pressed to find a more intriguing game on the European domestic calendar than Sunday's El Clasico clash between Barcelona and host Real Madrid. While Barca (+210) jumped back on top of the La Liga table with a win last week, they have to deal with the absence of all-world defenders Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba. And that could be just what second-place Real Madrid (+120) need to shake their offensive doldrums; they've been shut out eight times this season, and only have one player with more than three goals this season aside from penalties. The teams played to a scoreless draw in their previous tilt Dec. 18.
RB LEIPZIG V BAYER LEVERKUSEN
Bayer Leverkusen aren't ready to give up on their Bundesliga title hopes, however slim they might be. Fifth-place Leverkusen bring a three-game winning streak into Sunday's German League encounter with an RB Leipzig side that stands in the visitors' path to top spot. Leipzig (-225) have won two in a row to remain one point behind league-leading Bayern Munich, and are considerable favorites for Sunday's meeting with a Leverkusen club (+550) that continues to lurk just six points back of Bayern. These teams battled to an entertaining 1-1 draw in their last meeting Oct. 5; RB Leipzig had won the previous two encounters.
* It might be hard to find a compelling value bet for Saturday's Liverpool-Watford mismatch – but if you're looking for a good play with a somewhat decent payoff, the visitor clean sheet could be worth your while. Liverpool have kept Watford off the scoresheet in each of their last four meetings, and are a strong option at +120 to extend that streak of stinginess this weekend.
* Manchester United have done well to keep opposing teams at bay on the road as they prepare for an away encounter with Everton. The fifth-place EPL club have played to the Under in each of their last five games away from Old Trafford – and while both clubs have shown solid offensive prowess to date, we like the U2.5 in this one at a reasonable -125.
* Recent Napoli-Torino matches have been, shall we say, offensively lacking – and bettors could reap some major rewards if that trend continues Sunday at San Paolo Stadium. The teams have played to a scoreless draw in each of their previous two head-to-head meetings; we're not brave enough to expect another nil-nil result, but the U1.5 is a solid value play at +300.
* As prolific as Juventus have been at home of late, we still see the Under as the superior play for Sunday's showdown. Not only have the teams finished below the number in five consecutive meetings at Allianz (combining for just six total goals in that span), they also rank first and third in goals against in Serie A. The U2.5 for this one is -125, and it's one of our top plays on the slate.
* The ball must feel like lead whenever Real Betis travel to Mestalla Stadium, as they'll do for Saturday's Spanish League battle with Valencia. Real Betis have been blanked in six of their previous seven visits, with a three-goal outburst back in September 2016 accounting for their only offense in that span. Conditions are favorable for a Valencia clean sheet at +240.
* Real Madrid enter Sunday's El Clasico with identical odds for the U1.5 and O1.5 on their goal tally – and we know which way we're leaning. Not only have they struggled on offense as a whole, Barcelona have kept them out of the goal column in each of their last three meetings at the Bernabeu. A Barca clean sheet is in play, but we prefer a one-goal cushion and favor the U1.5 (-120).
* Do you like goals? Sure! Who doesn't? And if you do, you're probably going to love what goes down Saturday at Rhein-Neckar-Arena as Hoffenheim welcome Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. The teams are 5-0 to the Over in their last five games while averaging a combined five goals per game over that span; the O3.5 is a safe play here at -125.
* Expect Sunday's German League tilt between host Union Berlin and Wolfsburg to be a tame affair. Union Berlin come in ranked ninth in the league in yellow cards with 45, while Wolfsburg sit 14th in the league with just 38. These teams combined for four yellow cards in their previous meeting, and we like them to be even tamer this time out; we recommend the U3.5 play at +120.
* Manchester City will be without defender Aymeric Laporte for up to four weeks after he suffered a hamstring injury in this week's stirring Champions League victory over Real Madrid. It's a major blow for Manchester City, who saw this weekend's English Premier League game against Arsenal postponed; they remain +275 favorites to win the Champions League title.