We've reached the penultimate weekend of Corner Picks for the season, and the good news is we've done so well in the column this year that no matter what happens this week, we made quite a bit of money. The bad news is it's the end of the season, so it's hard to figure out what the motivation level of many teams will be this weekend.
The title races are settled in England, Spain, Italy, and for the most part, France. While relegation battles are still raging, betting on teams fighting for survival isn't reliable. Yes, you know they're motivated, but they're also in a relegation battle for a reason. They stink. No matter how badly I want to, I cannot dunk a basketball on a 10-foot rim. Just because Leicester City, Leeds United, or Hellas Verona want to win doesn't mean they can do so.
All of which makes it more difficult to find great value this weekend, but as I said, no matter what happens, we've made money this year. And I did find some value. All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
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Borussia Dortmund vs. Mainz
Date: Saturday, May 27 | Time: 9:30 a.m. ET | Watch: ESPN+
It's all so simple for Borussia Dortmund. Beat Mainz on Saturday, and you're the champions of the Bundesliga, ending Bayern Munich's 10-year run. A draw isn't likely to do so because it's hard to imagine Bayern losing to Koln knowing they need to win. But can Dortmund do it? You'd think so, but Dortmund have been one of the most difficult teams in the world to figure out this year. Fortunately, they come into this match playing well over the last month. Dortmund lost to Bayern 4-2 to start April and followed it up with a 2-0 loss to Leipzig in the DFB Pokal. That's when I assumed they were done for the year.
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They haven't lost since. They've won five matches and drawn two, outscoring opponents 24-7 during that stretch. While that run of play hasn't been against great teams, Mainz isn't a great team right now! Mainz pulled off a 3-1 upset of Bayern Munich last month and had a chance to grab one of Germany's European spots. Instead, they decided to lose their next four matches and have allowed at least three goals in each, getting outscored 13-3. Compounding matters for Mainz, they've been much worse on the road all year, and Dortmund's been much better at home. I think this one is over quickly, but I also fear Dortmund will shut it down once they take control, so I'm doing something I've never done in this column. I'm betting Dortmund in the first half (they have to be winning at halftime), as there's more value there than on the full match. The Pick: Borussia Dortmund 1st Half (-240)
Aston Villa vs. Brighton
Date: Sunday, May 28 | Time: 11:30 a.m. ET | Watch: Peacock
While Manchester City have won the Premier League again, there has been more parity in the league than usual. Newcastle United finished in the top four, and Brighton -- the tiny little club from a resort town on the south coast of England -- clinched a Europa League spot earlier this week. And it's that achievement we are taking advantage of here. Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi admitted there would be a bit of celebration instead of practice following Wednesday's match, which makes you wonder how seriously Brighton will take their season finale against Aston Villa.
Meanwhile, Villa has plenty of motivation. A win here clinches a berth in the Europa Conference League, and European play would be a big deal for a club that has battled to establish itself in the league since returning from its own relegation. Also, while it hasn't gotten much attention since the calendar flipped to 2023, Manchester City is the only Premier League team to average more points per match than Aston Villa's 1.85. The Pick: Aston Villa (+102)
Juventus vs. AC Milan
Date: Sunday, May 28 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+
I don't have children, but I imagine this Juventus team is what it's like having a teenager. They're the moodiest team on the planet. Last week, Juventus were hit with a 10-point penalty after they originally had a 15-point penalty that was rescinded. So they reacted like a teenager would to their parents telling them they're grounded and can't go to the Taylor Swift (are the teens Swifties or are all Swifties old now?) concert: they lost to Empoli 4-1. But, while it's hard to know which Juve team will show up, I don't imagine they will sulk their way through a match against AC Milan, particularly when Juventus can still reach the Europa League. While that may seem "beneath" the club, the money that comes with it isn't, and Juve isn't in a position to turn down money right now.
But are they in a position to beat AC Milan? That I'm not as sure of! While they've been stronger at home all year, defensively, Juve's been a mess for the better part of the last two months. That's what I prefer to lean into here because Milan's been worse defensively away from home all year too. Also, Milan are basically a win away from clinching a Champions League spot, so they'll have that added motivation of their own. The Pick: Over 2.5 (+115)
Trust me, this is not the weekend to get greedy with a parlay. This three-leg pays +103.
- Bayern Munich (-335)
- Lazio (-475)
- Barcelona (-340)