We almost made history in Corner Picks last week. After losing our first two matches of the weekend and seeing the parlay die with Napoli's draw against Genoa, the column was 0-3 and staring 0-4 right in the face. I've had undefeated weeks and gone 3-1, 2-2 and 1-3 plenty of times.
But I'd never gone 0-4, and thanks to two second-half goals from Real Madrid after falling behind Real Sociedad 1-0 in the first half, we still haven't.
We still went 1-3, though, and we're down to 8-8 on the season for negative money. This is not a position I'm used to being in with this column, nor is it one I plan to maintain any longer than is necessary. So let's get back into the win column this week and right the shop.
All odds via SportsLine consensus
Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Date: Sunday, Sept. 24 | Time: 9 a.m. ET | Watch: Peacock
It's the North London Derby, and I hope you read that in a cockney accent, because that's how I said it in my head as I typed it. Tottenham is off to an excellent start under Ange Postecoglou, but it's one of those situations where the results have been better than the performances. Spurs have a goal differential of +8 after five matches, but their expected goal (xG) differential is +2.5. Simply put, the attack has been great even without Harry Kane, but it's overperformed at a rate I can't imagine that will be maintained without Harry Kane.
On the other end, Spurs have allowed five goals on an xG allowed of 6.9. So the attacking should get worse, as should the defending. That's not great news, considering they've got to face Arsenal. With a lot of new faces to work in, Arsenal have started the season a little slowly, but there are signs of progress. Arsenal have won three straight since a 2-2 draw to Fulham, outscoring opponents 8-1. I like Arsenal to win, but not as much as I like plenty of goals scored. The Pick: Over 3.5 (+130)
Lazio vs. Monza
Date: Saturday, Sept. 23 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+
It's a bit morbid, but before the season began, I took out a future on Monza to be relegated at (+1800). My reasoning was simple: Silvio Berlusconi died in June. Berlusconi, the former Italian president and owner of AC Milan, poured a lot of money into Monza to get them to Serie A. He did so without regard for whether he made a profit. Victory was his goal. He achieved it, but without an owner who doesn't care about making a profit, Monza doesn't have the money to spend. Nearly every dollar spent this summer was on loan-to-buy deals they made last year.
After an impressive debut season that saw the team finish 11th, Monza don't look the same to start the new season. Their lone win was against an Empoli team that hasn't scored a goal in four matches. Meanwhile, against Inter and Atalanta, Monza was outscored 5-0. Lazio will prove to be too much for Monza to handle. The Pick: Lazio (-130)
Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid
Date: Sunday, Sept. 24 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Watch: ESPN+
Early in the season, one match can skew things. After three matches, Atletico Madrid led all of La Liga with 10 goals scored. However, seven of them came in one match against Rayo Vallecano. Since that win, Atletico lost to Valencia 3-0 and drew Lazio 1-1 in Champions League play. To be blunt, I don't think this Atletico team is nearly as good as the 7-0 win suggests. They're far closer to the team that has scored four goals in their other four matches and have been shutout twice.
So I expect Diego Simeone's crew to try to muck things up this weekend against Real Madrid, and while that's probably the best plan of attack, I'm not confident it'll be a winning one. Real Madrid don't look great despite their results so far (it's hard to replace Karim Benzema), but I have much more faith in them than Atletico. The Pick: Real Madrid (+150)
A simple four-leg parlay paying +137 this week.
- Manchester City (-700)
- Barcelona (-350)
- Inter (-310)
- Bayer Leverkusen (-460)