4/8 Recap: It has been an eventful week indeed. But being shacked up in a hotel in Secaucus made me more of a spectator than a betting participant. That is the perils of potato wi-fi. Nevertheless, my last picks before my little work sabbatical didn’t do half bad. For the amount of pressure Espanyol absorbed against Valencia, I feel a push was an acceptable result. In Italy, I was staring down a 0-0 draw which was perfect for an under bet. Then two late goals made me sweat out an eventual win. Now that the Champions League and Europa League have their semi-finals set, I’ll be heading the domestic league route again. But don’t we have a couple of doozies at our disposal this weekend?
My Picks: Valencia 1 Espanyol 1 (Espanyol +1 goals [-105])
AC Milan 1 Sassuolo 0 (Under 2.5 total goals [EVEN])
Actual Results: Valencia 1 Espanyol 0
AC Milan 1 Sassuolo 1
My return to Picks From Across The Pond starts in Italy, where the fourth spot in the table, now granting you automatic Champions League qualification, is still in flux.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Inter Milan @ Atalanta (2:45 PM ET/beIN Sports Connect, fuboTV, iGol, Rai Italia America)
Internazionale’s mid-year meltdown is something you can set your watch to. They start off scalding hot. Then that heat burns them for a miserable winter. Before their return to form can get going, the season is over and they’ve barely clung on to a European place. 2017-18 has been no different for the Nerazzurri.
Inter’s season isn’t a complete loss, but they do sit just out of the Champions League spots at the moment. They will be hoping that the team directly above them, Roma, has more pressing matters on their mind over the next month.
As for the hosts today, Atalanta, they still have work to do to get into Europe at all. As it stands, Milan will be granted a Europa League spot from making it to the Coppa Italia finals. Even if they lose to Juventus, Italy will get one more team in Europe’s secondary competition. That leaves four teams scrambling for that one spot. Atalanta is two points off the pace right now but has a favorable run of matches. Getting a chance to play the bottom clubs and potentially take points off direct competitors is ideal.
Inter has owned their color palette brethren in recent years, but have struggled away from the San Siro. I can’t see them doing much against an Atalanta side desperate for points, but Mauro Icardi, Inter’s lone source of offense, will do enough to get Inter a vital road win as a pick ’em (per Bovada).
PREDICTION: Inter Milan 1 Atalanta 0 (Inter PICK [-105])
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Manchester City @ Tottenham Hotspur (2:45 PM ET/NBC Sports Network, UNIVERSO, fuboTV, SiriusXM FC 157)
Now to the weekend’s main event. Apologies to Barcelona/Valencia, Schalke/Dortmund, and Porto/Benfica, but this weekend’s premier attraction is in the Premier League. Champions in waiting, Manchester City travel to Wembley to try to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.
There was a time where City losing was a shock. Hell, when Everton took points off them for the first time pundits made it seem like the sky was falling. But now the indomitable Sky Blues find themselves at a late-season crossroads after their Champions League exit. Two losses to Liverpool with an embarrassing gag job against Manchester United leave Pep Guardiola’s men looking for answers. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll find them at Spurs’ temporary home.
It has been duly noted that Tottenham is a better side on the road this season, but better doesn’t mean they’ve been bad at Wembley. They’ve won four straight at home and conceded just nine times there this year. They have Harry Kane back at full fitness and I expect him to (actually) score this week.
While the bookmakers moving this game all the way to a pick (per Bovada) gives me cause for pause, as soon as the final whistle blew Tuesday I knew what I was doing. City is ready to get crowned champions but wants to do so at home after losing their opportunity to rub it in Manchester United’s mug.
PREDICTION: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester City 1 (Spurs PICK [-105], Harry Kane to score in 2nd half [+1500])
If you have any picks you’d like to see made, you can contact me on Twitter @TREVORutley. In addition to the available media listed for each game, be sure to try out our Gameview service while watching as well. Also, here is a link for my results throughout and the points system. Cheers!