NEW DAYS FOR EVERTON
Everton can only hope a change at the helm will lead to better results as they host Chelsea on Saturday. Everton sacked manager Marco Silva earlier this week following a humbling 5-2 loss to host Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby, dropping the Toffees to 18th in the standings.
Duncan Ferguson will take over in the interim for Everton, who are +250 home underdogs for this weekend's tilt with a Chelsea side (-106) that sits fourth in the table and is coming off a gutty 2-1 mid-week victory over visiting Aston Villa. Everton have gone unbeaten in the previous three meetings while holding Chelsea without a goal.
TOUGH TEST FOR JUVE
Juventus have been knocked off their perch atop the Italian League table – and getting back to the No. 1 spot might not happen right away as they face a difficult encounter Sunday with host Lazio. Juve (+140) are coming off a lackluster effort in a 2-2 draw with visiting Sassuolo last time out, and now sit one point back of Napoli for first place.
Things don't get any easier this time around as they tangle with a Lazio unit (+190) that has won six consecutive league games overall. And Lazio have been especially dangerous at Stadio Olympico, having scored 3+ goals in each of their previous five home games.
EASIER DAYS AHEAD
Barcelona and Real Madrid have plenty in common these days. In addition to sharing the Spanish League lead in points entering Matchweek 16, they're both coming off impressive away victories last week and should have an easier time of it this weekend. Barca (-700) are overwhelming favorites against a Mallorca club (+1600) that has lost two straight games and sits one spot above the relegation zone.
Real Madrid (-500), who technically trail Barcelona by virtue of having one fewer victory, might have it even easier this time around as they welcome 19th-place Espanyol (+1200) to SantIago Bernabéu Stadium.
If Bayern Munich hope to gain ground atop the crowded Bundesliga standings, they'll need to be at their best as they visit table-leading Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. Monchengladbach (+475) are overwhelming home underdogs despite having lost just one of their first 13 games to open the season.
But that's the impact of facing Bayern Munich (-200) even with the defending league champions having to travel while coming off a 2-1 home setback to Bayer Leverkusen. The teams split a pair of regular-season meetings last season, with the road team prevailing both times.
• Recent meetings between Liverpool and Bournemouth have been one-sided affairs no matter the setting – and the EPL league leaders hope to continue that trend this weekend. Visiting Liverpool have won each of the previous four encounters by a combined score of 14-0 – and that makes the Liverpool -2 handicap play an intriguing option at +240.
• Watford-Crystal Palace games have looked a lot alike in recent meetings as the teams renew acquaintances Saturday at Vicarage Road. Host Watford have won each of the previous three head-to-head tilts by the same 2-1 score – and while they sit last in the table, the Watford/Over combination could pay handsomely as a +300 longshot play.
• Atalanta have been a magnet for high-scoring results as they prepare to host Verona on Saturday. The struggling sixth-place team has made Over bettors very happy, having gone above the 2.5-goal threshold in 12 of their previous 15 games in league play, and outscored Verona 8-0 in two meetings last season. Atalanta O2.5 could be profitable at +110.
• There might be a trend developing between AC Milan and Bologna, who renew hostilities Sunday at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. The past two games have been chippy, with four total red cards handed out – and the visiting team has been the more aggressive in both cases, racking up 10 total yellow cards in that span. It's worth considering AC Milan O2.5 yellows at -150.
• Goal-scoring shouldn't be a problem for Real Madrid against Espanyol on Saturday – but the same can't be said for the visitors. Espanyol have gone five consecutive visits to SantIago Bernabéu Stadium without scoring; their last away goal vs. Real Madrid came way back in May 2014. The Real Madrid clean sheet at -120 could be one of the strongest plays of the day.
• Sevilla and Osasuna know how to fill the net, and they'll look to do the same Sunday when they square off at El Sadar Stadium. Not only have the teams surpassed the 2.5-goal total in each of their previous five encounters, they combined for a whopping 12 goals in their last two meetings back in 2017. The O2.5 is squarely in play here at +100.
• There's no hotter team in the Bundesliga at the moment than RB Leipzig, who look to continue their incredible run Saturday against visiting Hoffenheim. Leipzig have reeled off four consecutive domestic victories while leading at HT and FT in all four and scoring 19 goals in the process. We like the home-team HT/FT combo here at +110.
• There might be another solid HT/FT option to consider in German League play this weekend. Lowly Paderborn look to start their climb out of the relegation zone Sunday against host Werder Bremen, but have been trailing at half and full time in seven of their previous nine league matches. The Werder Bremen HT/FT double is slightly more profitable at +120.