European Soccer Best Bets – April 15th

There is only one month remaining, in most of the big leagues, and although there was a lot of games this past weekend nothing seemed to clear up. All of the top teams, besides Juventus and Barcelona, came away victorious this weekend and you have to take the Juve and Barcelona results with a grain of salt as they prepare for key 2nd leg matches of the Champions League this week. Bayern maintained their one point lead over Dortmund and Liverpool still remains their two point lead over Man City after both clubs won on Sunday.

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There may only be three games, but there is a lot on the line in the three games on Monday. Here are my best bets for each game.

Watford (+220) vs Arsenal (+125) – Draw +275

Watford hosts Arsenal in what could be a huge matchup for both teams. Arsenal currently in 6th place, but are just three points out of Chelsea for the final Champions League spot. The Gunners have won four of their last five games overall, but on the road they have not won a match since February 9th at last place Huddersfield. Watford sit in 10th place, but are just one point behind Leicester City in 7th place. It is crucial to get into that 7th place spot as there is a great chance an extra European spot opens up in the Premier League at years end. Watford are 7-3, in their last 10, and have won five straight home matches. Arsenal’s road form is worrisome and I think that continues on Monday, so back Watford to get three points.

Atalanta (-278) vs Empoli (+800) – Draw +800

Atalanta currently sit in 6th place, in the final Europa League spot, but are just three points out of 4th, the final Champions League spot, and just four points up on the 9th place team Sampdoria. All is still to play for the high flying Italian side. Atalanta are currently on a seven game unbeaten streak and are 5-2-3 in their last 10. At home they have a similar form in their last 10 having gone 5-2-3, with their only losses to 2nd place Napoli and 4th place AC Milan. Empoli also still have a lot to play for as they currently occupy the last relegation spot in Serie A. A win on Monday would see them equal in points with Bologna and depending on the margin of victory could get them to safety. A win for Atalanta on Monday gets them into the final Champions League spot and I like that to happen, so take Atalanta to win big.

Leganes (+425) vs Real Madrid (-164) – Draw +320

Real Madrid has nothing to play for the rest of the season, but Leganes still have Europa League aspirations, so there should still be a nice pace to this Monday night affair. Leganes enter this game on a four match unbeaten streak and have lost just one time in their last 10 on home soil. Real Madrid have returned to form, after their disappointing Champions League exit, having won four and lost just once. Away from home Real Madrid have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10.  Real Madrid catch Leganes on a counter attack and get the victory Monday night. Take Real Madrid and the under.

YTD Soccer Results: 32-31