Brian’s Picks for October 31
This weekend’s best games are on Sunday, and we’ll have our picks for those games Saturday night. But Saturday offers some nice options for games that seem like they’re not as tricky to pick.
Sheffield United v. ManCity
When last we saw ManCity (-360) in Premier League action, they were sleeping their way to a 1-1 draw to a weak West Ham team. City’s midweek 3-0 shellacking of Marseilles suggests that Pep might’ve made the paint peel after they no-showed versus WestHam. To me, a ManCity win parlayed with Liverpool is quite tempting, even though I tend to view parlays as a great way to waste your money. I just don’t see value in Sheffield United even at (+850). This just isn’t the same team we saw last season, even if we are at Sheffield.
Burnley v. Chelsea
Chelsea (-200) hasn’t quite put it together, partly due to the sporadic full availability of Pulisic. I don’t really like this line, as I view Chelsea as capable of a bad enough performance to poop out a draw or even a loss against lowly Burley (+500), but at the same time I’m not confident enough in Burnley to do anything against even an uninterested Chelsea. Since I gotta, I’ll pick a Chelsea, but I’d walk away from this.
Liverpool v. West Ham
Liverpool (-290) is gonna flex on these fools. West Ham (+650) got a result against ManCity just last week, but ManCity’s floor is much lower than Liverpool’s, especially given that Liverpool is playing at Anfield. I feel confident enough in this to suggest a parlay here with the Sheffield – ManCity contest.
FC Dallas v. Houston Dynamo
The MLS’s playoff format in which every team with 11 live pulses can make it means that this game still somehow has playoff implications. Houston (+245) is just a point back from the #9 v #10 play-in game, despite having just five wins in its 19 games this season. FC Dallas (-110) is at home and the better team, and they’ve been tough to beat at home, having not lost at home since mid-August. Yes, FC Dallas is only okay-to-middling, and Houston probably has more to play for, and yet this is a rivalry… but to me, this isn’t a hard match to call.
PICK: FC Dallas
Nashville SC v. Chicago Fire
Superficially, this is a lot like the FC Dallas v. Houston Dynamo match. Nashville (+130) is the #6 seed is playing at home versus a squad on 21 points and looking to stay in the hunt for the play-in game. Nashville hasn’t lost at home all year, and I don’t think Chicago (+210) delivers them their first loss.