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Top Three Soccer Picks for Sept. 14-16: Goodbye International Break Edition

Ninja's Top 3 Soccer Picks Andrea Belotti Torino Serie A Italy Soccer Betting Picks Wagers Odds Lines

Coming off a nice, yet frustrating 2-1 week with my betting tips last time out, I’m thrilled that the international break is over and domestic leagues are back again, so I’ve got three soccer bets for you all to consider entering the weekend with some very appealing odds attached to them.

With my picks a fortnight ago, I hit the West Ham moneyline against Norwich and the Real Betis moneyline against Leganes and just missed the Lazio moneyline against Roma in the Derby della Capitale.

That’s where the “frustrating” part comes in. The game finished in a 1-1 draw but Lazio hit the woodwork four times. Four. According to @Caley_graphics, the xG for this game was 2.6 to 0.5. So, yes, I feel hard done by in that one.

But as we know, those losses will happen and I’ll get very lucky with some games this season that will make up for that loss.

Here is a little bit of news in case you missed it:

- For some reason, Valencia fired manager Marcelino ahead of this weekend’s game against Barcelona and the Champions League match against Chelsea and replaced him with Albert Celades. Valencia is +575 this weekend at Barcelona, which comes back at -215.

- On the subject of managers, Watford and Javi Gracia parted ways. Former boss Quique Sánchez Flores has taken over. Watford is home to Arsenal this weekend and is currently +260 at home in 1X2 markets.

- Speaking of Watford, the club has agreed to a sleeve sponsorship deal with Bitcoin for the new season, which is interesting considering its popularity as a deposit/withdrawal option for online players.

- Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti is furious about the current state of the dressing rooms at the San Paolo. Napoli is at home to Sampdoria in Serie A this weekend but hosts Liverpool in Matchday 1 of the Champions League group stage.

- New Tottenham signing Giovani Lo Celso looks to be sidelined until the end of October with an injury. Spurs are home to Crystal Palace this weekend at -265 on the moneyline.

- Luka Modric looks to be on the shelf for two to three weeks with a groin injury. This brings the number of injured players at Real Madrid to 11. The Spanish giants are home to Levante this weekend and are 2-goal faves at +110 as of Friday morning.

On to the picks! As always, lines courtesy of Bovada.

Liverpool vs Newcastle: Liverpool 1st Half -1 (EVEN)

Let’s start with the first Premier League game on the Matchday 5 board as Liverpool hosts Newcastle in the early Saturday match. With the Reds at -650 (predictably) in 1X2 betting markets, I’m gonna take a shot on the -1 first-half spread at EVEN money.

Liverpool is the last Premier League team with a perfect start to the season, recording four wins in four matches to sit atop the table. The Reds have scored 12 and allowed just three so far, even without superstar keeper Alisson, sidelined with that injury against Norwich.

Want to hear an amazing stat? The last time Newcastle beat Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League was 1993-94. That’s a 23-match unbeaten run for the Reds at home, which consists of a whopping 19 wins and just four draws.

In those Premier League fixtures at Anfield, Liverpool has outscored Newcastle 58-20 and the Magpies haven’t scored at Anfield in the previous two meetings. In fact, Newcastle has been held off the scoresheet at Anfield in eight of the past 12 in this fixture.

In regard to the -1 first half, Liverpool would have pushed or cashed that wager in four straight meetings and, frankly, I do love a -1 first-half bet with a titan like Liverpool against an underwhelming side like the Magpies.

Liverpool vs Newcastle Game Center

Celta Vigo vs Granada: Celta Vigo ML (-115)

Celta Vigo, one of the more eye-catching teams in Spain through three games, hosts promoted Granada, which is coming off a 3-0 win away to Espanyol. This has the sneaky potential to be one of La Liga’s best games this weekend and I’m gonna back the Galician side at the decent home price of -115.

Granada, on four points thanks to a draw away to Villarreal and the win against Espanyol, has been the “luckiest” team so far per xG. They have scored seven times but their xG to date is just 3.98 for a -3.02 difference.

Celta Vigo has bagged four points to open the season against some very tough opponents. They lost 3-1 to Read Madrid in the opener before beating Valencia 1-0 and playing out a decent 1-1 result away to Sevilla prior to the break. An extremely tough schedule for any club in its first three games.

Celta was one of my favorite teams to bet last season after talisman Iago Aspas returned from injury later in the season. Whether it was OVER bets or both teams to score wagers or their moneylines, there was always value. But this 2019-20 version of the club is a vastly improved, deep and talented side that could very well challenge for European places.

They’ve added impressive centerback Joseph Aidoo, playmakers Denis Suárez and Rafinha and striker Santi Mina to give this team some depth just about across the board and this is a team I’ll look forward to playing on again.

So, with Celta at home against a team that has overachieved through three games, we’ll grab that moneyline price and hope they continue to impress in the early days of La Liga.

Celta Vigo vs Granada Game Center

Torino vs Lecce: Torino -1 (-125)

I don’t usually make picks for Monday games but I had to capitalize on this spot with Torino hosting promoted side Lecce. I’m going to play the home side -1 at the nice price of -125 here to end the week.

Torino has come out on fire with two wins in two matches, including an impressive 3-2 win away to Champions League participants Atalanta before the international break. Along with Inter and Juventus, they are just one of three sides with maximum points to begin the campaign.

On the other end of the spectrum, Lecce has suffered two losses, has been outscored 5-0 in the process and is the only team left in Serie A without a goal, although their xG of 1.40 tabs them as one of the more unlucky teams in Italy to not find the scoresheet.

Torino, a defensive stalwart last season, has conceded three times so far but considering their attack-minded opponents Sassuolo and Atalanta, there is no shame in that and I expect a relatively easy win here.

Per @CalcioDatato, Torino owned the most aggressive press in Serie A with 7.5 duels, tackles and interceptions per minute last season. Yes, per minute. That hasn’t exactly subsided this season either. Entering Matchday 3 in Italy, Torino has the most tackles per game (22) as well as the most interceptions per game (16) so Walter Mazzarri’s style of football is still the cornerstone of Il Toro and the side has reaped the rewards against two tough opponents.

Torino let me down in more than one spot last season, but at home against a club that looks primed to drop back down to Serie B come season’s end, I like the full-game spread here in Turin.

Torino vs Lecce Game Center