Doubling down on the Canes in another great spot.
Carolina Hurricanes v. Detroit Red Wings (@PNC Arena; Raleigh, NC)
There has not been a team that has played 3 games in 3 nights in the past 14 YEARS of the NHL, and this is the exact situation we see the Red Wings in tonight. This write up is going to be brief because a-lot of the reasons to take the Canes tonight are the same as last night. Re-touching on last nights game the red wings wound up potting 3 of their 4 goals on breakaways and the other one came on the powerplay. The overly eager Canes will tighten it up on D tonight and not allow that, they were lucky to move closer to playoff contention with that point but will not allow another 2 to slip away tonight. They were able to outshoot the Wings 42-27 last night and will absolutely lay it on an even more tired Red Wings team tonight, as previously mentioned they are playing their 3rd game in 3 nights but this will also be their 4th game in 5 nights. Wings looked sluggish last night but ran into some luck, double down on this canes side tonight.
PICK: Carolina Hurricanes to win in regulation. (-120)
USA v. Panama (Estadio Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama)
After watching the USA romp a Honduras team 6-0 in new coach Bruce Arena’s first competition of his second stint as head coach of the US side it is apparent that the US has gained some momentum in the change. With Dempsey back and putting up a break out 3 goal game since the heart issue we have a ton of attacking power to look forward to with the accompanying magic of Christian Pulisic. Pulisic has been a wizard in the midfield linking perfectly timed and touched passes. With Dempsey and Altidore up front as a perfect balance of power and finesse backed by the extremely solid midfield of Nagbe, Pulisic, Jones and Bradley there should be no reason why the USA’s talents can shine here in what will be a statement game for the American side. Feel great about the Red, White and Blue here as they are much more solid than this Panama side and backed by the great Tim Howard.
PICK: USA to win. (+130)
Atletico Madrid v. Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@Vicente Calderón Stadium; Madrid, Spain)
After a 4-2 away victory for Atletico Madrid in the first leg in Germany the pressure is on Leverkusen to produce in this one. However Leverkusen has been riding the struggle bus hard lately, Sacking manager Roger Schmidt for Tayfun Korkut leading to a 1-1 home draw v. a much weaker Werber Bremen side. All the tides are turned here for the German side and I think the fire power of Atletico will be way too fierce on home turf for Bayer (proving that way in the first leg when Bayer was actually the home team). With what seems to be all of their significant defenders out for the match, there will be immense problems on the back-end for Leverkusen which will ultimately lead to a dominating performance by this Madrid side. Even though Atletico will advance with a draw, I do not think they will be satisfied going into the next round in that form and will also want to perform for the home crowd. Look for Leverkusen to be over-run by the strong Spanish side.
PICK: Atletico Madrid to win. (-190)
Since the Hockey space has been absolute shit lately, teams getting blown out left and right at home, teams that shouldn’t have a prayer actually pulling off wins, lets get back to the hot soccer space.
Juventus v. FC Porto (@Juventus Stadium; Turin, Italy)
Coming into this second leg of competition between the two sides, we know a couple of things. Juventus has taken the first match on the road (2-0 victory) leaving the task of scoring 2 away goals up to Porto to even have a shot at advancing. In Juventus stadium this is near impossible. Juve has won all 15 of their home games in the Calcio A this season and during that run has scored a whopping 38G while only allowing 8G. Knowing Juve’s incredible ability to attack at home, I see no reason as to why they won’t push to get at least one goal in this ficture, therefore REALLY putting the pressure on Porto to score 3 on the road and leaving them incredibly vulnerable to these great Juve forwards on counter attacks. 73% of Juve’s home games have seen over 2.5 goals. Since the 2-0 loss to Juve, Porto has been on a tear scoring a total of 12 goals in their last 3 matches. It will be incredibly tough to keep both sides out of the back of the net in this match-up given Juventus’ amazing attack and Porto’s urgency. I believe a late goal will aid the over in this one and the match finishes 2-1 Juve.
PICK: Juventus v. FC Porto (over 2.5 Goals)
Lets start Monday strong.
Chelsea v. Manchester United (@Stamford Bridge; Fulham, London)
Let’s not get caught up on names in this one, Chelsea is a far better side and has proven so over this past year as they lead the EPL table while Man U. sits in a dismal 6th place. Chelsea has had the whole week to prepare while Man U. will be traveling back from their competition in Russia on the 9th against FC Rostov in the Europa. The interesting part about this match-up is it seems that this United side will have no set striker. Martial and Rooney are both injured, Ibrahimovic is suspended due to red card AND their last hope Marcus Rashford is listed as ill and did not make the trip with the team. With the big ? at the striker spot for a team that’s been in poor form (drawing 1-1 in their last 2 competitions to far worse sides), this seems like a real scary situation for Man U. here especially when the contest takes place at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea has been undefeated in their last 11 v. Man U. and the last time these two faced at the Bridge, Chelsea motored to a 4-0 victory. A well rested and fully healthy Blues side should assert dominance in this one.
PICK: Chelsea to Win. (-135)
New York Islanders v. Carolina Hurricanes (@Barclays Center; Brooklyn, NY)
Nothing too fancy here, just a solid line for what should be an easy win. The Hurricanes just plain old suck away from home. Their home record is a solid (19-10-3) while their away record is a trash (8-17-8), in their last 10 they’ve been (3-4-3) and one of those 3 wins they were lucky to run into a Rangers team that was playing their 3rd game in 4 days. As far as the Isles go, the season has turned around for them, they are in serious contention for the second wild card spot (1 point out behind Toronto) and they’re killers at Barclays. They have been (19-10-3) at home and (6-3-1) in last 10, love targeting this team at home because they play like a different team when in Brooklyn (away record of 12-16-5). A -150 money line isn’t a high asking price for such a match-up.
PICK: Islanders to Win. (-125)
What a fucking awful night… Rangers only started playing when they were down, should have avoided a team that was playing in their 3rd game in 4 nights. Also, Minnesota getting SHUT OUT at home? Get your shit together Minnesota, you’re better than that. Fluke of a night, lets get the ball rolling today.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v. SV Werder Bremen (@BayArena; Leverkusen, Germany) 2:45PM EST start.
Kicking it off here, Leverkusen’s home goal differential is ONLY 20GF-18GA. Werder have scored 3 goals v. Leverkusen in their last 3 away matches against Leverkusen. Werder has actually won their last 3 away matches in the Bundesliga and have scored at least 2 goals in those competitions. Werder has the potential of being without their top scorer Serge Gnabry but should still be able to keep within 1 goal to draw this competition at worst, which I believe won’t be the case. Leverkusen is coming off a 6-2 loss to Dortmund last weekend and immediately gave the boot to manager Roger Schmidt. New manager Tayfun Korkut has the potential to switch formations and ruin some familiarity/chemistry (if they had any to begin with)before this weeks match-up with Werder. Leverkusen have been in shit form and Werder are now further away from relegation, looking great defensively and countering well. Although Leverkusen is expected to dominate possession here, Werder should be able to counter them and catch someone slipping on the back end with a new formation in place.
PICK: Werder Bremen (+1).
– P.S. Take a shot on Bremen today to win (+525), this is a solid spot for them and it could very likely be the case that they come out of this one with a 4th straight win.
After a solid start to the week with Chelsea and The Rags, we can target one likely winner on this Tuesday.
Napoli v. Real Madrid (@Stadio San Paolo; Naples, Campania) 2:45 EST start
Since Napoli has been hot lately, taking down a strong Roma side in a recent fixture, this play won’t be one where we target a specific result, yet the first targeting of a soccer over/under I have done so far. Napoli at home this year has seen 2.5+ goals in 50% of their matches and Real Madrid have seen 2.5+ in 83% of their away matches. Real Madrid does an amazing job of creating chances while not hoarding possession (they have only held over 60% possession one time this year). On top of this, in the first fixture of the Champion’s League 2 leg series – as the home team v. Napoli – Real Madrid was able to produce 20 shots on only 50.2% of possession. As said this is the second leg of the series (1st competition finished Real Madrid 3 – 1 v. Napoli as the home team). What this tells us that if Real Madrid is able to net one on the road here, Napoli will have to push heavily to gain ground on the goal differential (that weights away goals heavier than home ones) and this could leave Napoli exposed to the quick striking counter attack of Real Madrid. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Real Madrid’s last 7 Champion’s League games and they have been able to net AT LEAST 2 in each one of those contests. Now with Gareth Bale back, look for a high scoring contest that at worst will land us a push with the 3 goal over/under.
PICK: Real Madrid v. Napoli Over 3 Goals (-140)
After a nice 42′ minute goal by Sergio Aguero, we look to keep the streak alive with another soccer game this afternoon and touch on a good match-up with a great line for a little puck action later. First up –
Chelsea v. West Ham United (@London Stadium; London, U.K.)
In a 3pm EST game we have a strong and in great form Chelsea side (winners in 17 of their last 20 EPL matches). Chelsea had lost this game last year on the road to West Ham and I believe they will try to seek some revenge as their play has shown them to be a better team than the previous season. Hazard and Costa will look to exploit Jose Fonte on West Ham’s back line with Michail Antonio suspended for the match because of a red card. With Tottenham winning yesterday and cutting Chelsea’s lead to 7 points for the top spot in the EPL look at any games v. bottom 10 teams as “must wins” for Chelsea. Chelsea’s 19GF – 11GA away goal differential is well matched against West Ham’s 14GF – 22GA Home goal differential. Despite my love for home teams in soccer, West Ham has actually been a better team on the road, they rank 15th/20 in the EPL in home contests (5-3-5) while Chelsea is 2nd/20 in the EPL in away contests (8-3-2). I like Antonio Conte and The Blues to put this one away with a second half goal.
PICK: Chelsea to win full time (-180)
New York Rangers v. Tampa Bay Lightning (@Amalie Arena; Tampa, Florida)
As much as I’m not confident with the match-up, I just don’t see anything wrong with throwing down on the Rangers here with this great line. The Rags come into this competition as the #1 road team in the NHL (22-8-0 road record), which is actually better than their home record of (19-14-2). For some reason the Rangers just love playing on the road, they look sharper and seem to feel a lot less pressure away from MSG. As for this Tampa side they have actually been pretty good lately (6-2-2 in last 10) but when you dig a bit deeper, the strength of schedule for those last 10 has been shit. After the dealing of Bishop, there is nothing to be scared about facing Vasilevsky, and with Stamkos out for the year their offense has taken a hit. As the season is coming to an end the Rangers see themselves basically locked into the top wild card spot but looking to jump into the top 3 in the Metropolitan division (0nly 4 points out). The Rangers 2.30 GA/G on the road is a leagues best while their 3.20 GF/G on the road is second to only Montreal. Tampa is an average home team/ average team in general, I think their hot streak comes to an end tonight.
PICK: Rangers to win. (Pick’em)