And so our domestic journey comes to an end. The Premier League and Bundesliga wrapped up their seasons last week, and this weekend Serie A, La Liga, and Ligue 1 do the same. Unfortunately, as was the case last week, outside of a few relegation scraps, there aren't many league matches with stakes this weekend, and that always makes handicapping more difficult.
However, there are two cup finals. England's FA Cup will be decided Saturday, as will Germany's DFB Pokal. I don't usually include cup competitions in the column because they're hard to predict, but when you get to the end of the competition, you can be confident the teams remaining will go all out. When one of the cup finals happens to be a derby, even better.
That's where Corner Picks begins this weekend. All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United
Date: Saturday, June 3 | Time: 10 a.m. ET | Watch: ESPN+
A friend of mine who supports Manchester United told me he was betting heavily on United because Manchester City have the Champions League final next week and will not care as much about the FA Cup. This is what is commonly referred to as the state of denial. I guarantee Manchester City care about winning the FA Cup against anybody, and they care against Manchester United. This club wants to complete the treble of winning the Premier League, FA Cup and then the Champions League. And they might, but while I expect City to win this match, I'm not betting it, too. There isn't enough value on the line.
I prefer to bet the total. City have only scored two goals in three matches since crushing Real Madrid 4-0, but they were on cruise control a bit, and a bit unlucky. Their xG (expected goals) in those three matches was 4.6. The attack is fine. Meanwhile, United have been on a tear, winning four straight matches by a combined score of 9-2. However, while United's xG of 12.7 suggests they should've scored more, they should've allowed more too. The Red Devils allowed 5.0 xG in those matches despite allowing only two goals. They got away with allowing chances to bottom-half teams but won't get away allowing the same opportunities to Manchester City. The Pick: Over 2.5 (-160)
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Date: Saturday, June 3 | Time: 2 p.m. ET | Watch: ESPNU/ESPN+
While Bayern Munich have long dominated the Bundesliga, the DFB Pokal, Germany's primary cup competition, has seen much more parity. Knockout tournaments tend to do that. RB Leipzig are looking to win the competition for the second consecutive year, and they're facing a Frankfurt team that last won the cup in 2018. I like Leipzig's odds better than Frankfurt's.
Leipzig needed to play well down the stretch to ensure a Champions League berth next season, and that's what they did. They enter this match on a six-match winning streak and have won nine of 10. They've dominated teams in that stretch, outscoring them 22-8 in those 10 matches. Frankfurt haven't been as consistent, and as a result, just missed out on qualifying for the Europa Conference League despite last week's win. So not only are Leipzig in the better form, but Frankfurt could suffer a bit of a mental letdown. The Pick: RB Leipzig (-145)
Roma vs. Spezia
Date: Sunday, June 4 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+
Roma lost the Europa League final earlier this week, and it all happened in hilariously predictable fashion. Roma took an early lead, and instead of pushing for a second goal, Jose Mourinho parked the hell out of the bus and tried to hold onto a one-goal lead for 70 minutes. I don't blame him because it's a tactic that has worked for him many times. However, it did not work this time. Sevilla scored, which led Mourinho to do what he typically does in these situations: find anybody to blame but himself. So he berated the officials on the field, in his press conference, and in the tunnel below the stadium. This led to Roma fans, Anthony Taylor, at the airport.
What does any of this have to do with this pick? Well, Mourinho and Roma put all their emphasis on winning the Europa League. Not only did they want the trophy, but it was the clearest path to the Champions League. They failed, and after the match, Mourinho sounded like a man who felt the season was over. His players displayed body language that suggests the same. Mourinho even talked about not knowing whether he'd be back at Roma next year. And they still have a match to play! A match against a Spezia team that could avoid relegation with a win! In other words, Roma are checked out, and Spezia's life is on the line. That doesn't guarantee anything, but that's a pretty big number on a team in a must-win spot against a team that spent the last few days crying. The Pick: Spezia (+275)
We're sticking with three legs this weekend, but it pays +137.
- Lille (-500)
- Napoli (-540)
- Real Sociedad (-150)