4/16 Recap: If only I could just flip-flop yesterday’s scorelines for my picks. The battle of those who cannot score ended with two goals in Germany. The first one is the talking point though. VAR took its nuttiest turn yet when a penalty was called AT HALFTIME. Pablo de Blasis slotted home the spot kick to send my scoreless draw packing. He also got a second in the next half, on some shaky ballhandling by the keeper, to rub salt in the wounds. But West Ham could beat lowly Stoke, right? Enter Joe Hart. England’s former (or at least he should be) #1 added to his scrapbook of crap goalkeeping with his latest howler. Peter Crouch may never score an easier goal. At least Andy Carroll scored a nice late equalizer to save a point in an otherwise drab affair.
Nevertheless, we have reached the time of the year where every league is seemingly making up games throughout each matchweek. So today’s picks will center around a pair of clubs playing their second match in a short period of time.
My Picks: Freiburg 0 Mainz 0 (DRAW Match [+220])
West Ham 1 Stoke 0 (West Ham -0.5 goals [-105], Under 2.5 total goals [-130])
Actual Results: Mainz 2 Freiburg 0
West Ham 1 Stoke 1
We start our day off in Brighton as Spurs try to wash Manchester City’s smackdown off of themselves.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Tottenham Hotspur @ Brighton & Hove Albion (2:45 PM ET/NBC Sports Network, Telemundo Deportes en Vivo, fuboTV, SiriusXM FC 157)
It has been a season of promise for Spurs, but one of what could have been as well. They won a bonafide group of death in the Champions League. Top four is a near certainty at this juncture. An FA Cup semi-final is not too far away. But what if they could have just held on against Juventus? What if they didn’t play down to lesser competition in the winter months?
Spurs come into this match rightfully pissed off after the City game. I have a sinking suspicion that poor Brighton may be in for a long day.
Tottenham is scoring for fun away from Wembley at the moment, averaging three a game over their last four away matches. Brighton hasn’t kept a clean sheet in the league since drawing 0-0 with Newcastle on December 30th. There will be goals.
But the big bettor’s question is whether or not Brighton can at least get a consolation goal. I think they can if Spurs get up big early, which I also think is a distinct possibility. As always I’m scared off by the solid spread (per Bovada) so even though I am picking Spurs to pick up a heavy victory, my actual bet will be on both teams to score.
PREDICTION: Tottenham Hotspur 3 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (Both Teams Score [-125])
SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISION
FC Barcelona @ Celta Vigo (3:00 PM ET/beIN Sports USA, beIN Sports en Español, fuboTV, iGol)
Today’s matchup between Barcelona and Celta Vigo isn’t a makeup game per say, but it is a rescheduled contest ahead of the Copa Del Rey final this weekend.
Barcelona has kept their unbeaten streak in La Liga alive, now a Spanish record 39 straight. They’ve had some scares along the way, including one of my recent picks against Sevilla. Now they travel to Celta Vigo, a team that has their number at the Estadio de Balaídos in recent years.
Celta Vigo has a slight chance of making it to Europe again (5 points adrift) after missing out this year. They were Europa League semi-finalists in 2016-17. But even if they fall short, being the club to break Barca’s historic run would be quite the door prize. Celta has beaten Barca in each of the past two seasons at home in stunning fashion, 4-3 last year and 4-1 the year before.
I’m gun shy about taking Barcelona given their recent record for me on Picks From Across The Pond. I know I don’t have many top performers for me in this series, but one can only get burned by a club so many times. So instead I’ll double down on Both Teams Score bets today. There should be plenty of scoring in this one. Oh great, I probably just jinxed it to a nil-nil.
PREDICTION: Barcelona 3 Celta Vigo 2 (Both Teams Score [-190])
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!