Getty Images

Are we sure the Super League doesn't already exist?

I saw a tweet earlier this week, which I can not find, so this is an incredible example of journalism and reporting, but the gist of it was this: the Premier League has spent nearly 10 times as much money on transfers this month as any other league in Europe. Chelsea's purchase of Mykhailo Mudryk alone has been more than the other leagues combined. Even Aston Villa, a club I love, but has little left to play for this season, is shelling out reportedly $18 million to buy 19-year-old Colombian strikers from MLS.

Meanwhile, the top teams from Spain, Italy, France and Germany seem to be digging through the couch cushions hoping to find spare change that will allow them to either buy someone or keep the players they already have.

I don't know that this is necessarily bad for the sport in the "sky is falling" reactionary sense, but it doesn't seem like a good thing, does it? Thankfully, this column went 4-0 last week, so it can afford to compete with the Premier League for another week. All odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

Hellas Verona vs. Lecce

Date: Saturday, Jan. 21 | Time: 9 a.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+

Things don't look good for Verona. They're in 18th place with only nine points through 18 matches and seven points behind Sassuolo, meaning they're in danger of being relegated. In fact, I'm very confident they won't survive, but of the three teams at the bottom of the league, I'd give Verona the best chance simply because they're not nearly as bad as their record suggests. Using expected goals (xG), Verona has an xG differential of -4.9 on the season. That ranks 14th in the league. Verona have allowed 31 goals on an xG of 23.8. Some of that's bad luck, some of it is bad goalkeeping, and some of it is waning confidence.

Meanwhile, Lecce are in 14th place despite having a worse xG differential (-6.7) than Verona. Lecce have been better defensively, which has made a huge difference. Still, the results are having far too significant an impact on the line in this game. Particularly when you consider how much worse Lecce have been defensively on the road this season. They're all must-wins at this point for Verona, but this one feels even more critical as this is their the first match of an easier stretch to the schedule. If Verona loses this one, it might be a wrap. The Pick: Verona (+140)

Arsenal vs. Manchester United

Date: Sunday, Jan. 22 | Time: 11:30 a.m. ET | Watch: NBC | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)

Manchester United have been so much more enjoyable to watch this season, especially without Ronaldo lurking around killing the vibes. One of the biggest reasons for this shift has been the addition of Casemiro, who was always a favorite at Real Madrid and has brought his particular brand of brilliance to England. Manchester United described Casemiro's role with the team as the "cement between the stones," which was a beautiful and accurate way of describing his role in the team. He holds the whole thing together and allows everybody else to flourish in their roles.

Unfortunately for United, Casemiro picked up a dumb yellow card toward the end of their draw with Crystal Palace earlier this week, and he's now suspended for this match. That's a massive blow to United against the league leaders. I know United beat Arsenal 3-1 at Old Trafford earlier this season, but that was a different team, and United were a bit lucky to win that one so comfortably. Without Casemiro, I expect Arsenal will dominate the ball and the scoreline back home. The Pick: Arsenal (-121)

Spezia vs. Roma

Date: Sunday, Jan. 22 | Time: 12 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+

Another Serie A match where results are having too much of an impact on the lines. My feelings on Roma have been shared so often in this column this season that it's bordering on obnoxious, but while I don't consider them one of the best clubs in Serie A, I recognize the chasm that exists between them and the bottom half of the league. Spezia sit in 15th, but they've been one of the teams that have benefitted from the bad luck of others (like Verona). They've also been on a hot streak lately, which is having an impact too.

Spezia have picked up nine points from their last five Serie A matches and outscored opponents 6-4 in that span. However, looking at xG, Spezia have allowed only four goals on an xG of 6.9. One of their wins was a 2-1 win against poor Verona despite losing the xG battle 0.8-2.1. In short, that luck should run out against Roma on Sunday. The Pick: Roma (-127)

Weekend Parlay

This week we've got a four-leg parlay with a nice payout of +144.

  • Atlético Madrid (-265)
  • Manchester City (-580)
  • Borussia Dortmund (-340)
  • Barcelona (-590)



League Play



Champions League