After starting the season with five consecutive victories – all via shutout – Manchester City finally broke their streak. Not only did they allow West Ham to find the back of the net twice, they lost their first match of the season (despite being listed as a -375 favorite – the biggest favorite on the board last weekend).
Despite that loss, City is still atop the table, two points better than Manchester United, who scored three times to beat Southhampton. Manchester City is a -115 favorite this Saturday against Tottenham, while United is a -415 favorite to get past Sunderland. That -415 line is the highest in the English Premier League this weekend.
One of the biggest story lines this weekend was Chelsea’s 2-0 win vs. Arsenal, as the defending champs had started the season poorly with just one victory through their first five matches. Coming against a solid Arsenal team should boost the confidence of the reigning champs, and perhaps they will start to play at the high level they did a season ago.
While the English Premier League is easily the most recognizable European Soccer League in the United State, it is far from the only one and arguably not even the best the world’s sport has to offer. According to the UEFA Coefficient, Spain’s La Liga is the top league in the world.
The problem with La Liga, however, is that it is very top heavy. Real Madrid and Barcelona (and more recently Athletico Madrid) have completely set themselves apart from the rest of the competition, which regularly leads to extremely high betting lines throughout the season.
When two of these three teams meet up, it’s a must-see game. This weekend, Barcelona is a +125 favorite against Athletic Madrid (+240) in what should be one of the better matchups of the season. But that uneven field also leads to big betting lines. This online sportsbook lists Real Madrid as a big -350 favorite against Espanyol – a 9:1 underdog, and those types of big odds runs rampant throughout the year.
After the first week of College Football action, some teams have established themselves as legitimate contenders (Ohio State, Alabama) while others were less-than-impressive and still have some things to work out (Baylor, Oregon).
Like last weekend, the early non-conference schedule features a ton of lopsided matchups and heavy favorites. There are, however a few marquee games on this weekend’s slate, highlighted by the first matchup of top ten teams when Oregon visits East Lansing to take on Michigan State.
These teams met last year, with Oregon scoring a 46-27 home win as a 14-point favorite. That was a tough beat for MSU backers, as the Spartans held a nine-point lead late in the third quarter before Oregon rallied to score the last 28 points of the game.
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