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It's not that I have anything against World Cup qualifiers, but I am grateful to have good old-fashioned club soccer back on the menu this weekend. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being frustrated beyond belief watching the USMNT struggle with teams it should beat with ease as much as the next person, but it's not until the team is in grave danger of missing the World Cup that you feel that real buzz.

Plus, you know, it's nearly impossible to bet on those international matches. You're dealing with limited sample sizes and usable data, and it's hard enough to do this effectively with it.

At least, it is for some. If you've been following Corner Picks this season, you're probably reading this from your brand new flying car. All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.

Juventus vs. Roma, Sun. 2:45 p.m, Paramount+

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but Jose Mourinho took over a big club that had been underperforming as of late, got off to a hot start, and earned the love of everybody involved. But then cracks started to show, and now his team doesn't look so invincible. Yes, Roma won their first three Serie A matches under Mourinho, but then they were outplayed in a 3-2 loss to Hellas Verona, followed by an ugly 1-0 win over Udinese. The following week Roma lost the Derby della Capitale to Lazio before rebounding with a 2-0 win over Empoli. Now, Roma haven't played poorly overall, but if you look at the teams they've played in Serie A, only Lazio and Fiorentina are currently in the top half of the table.

While Juventus started the season dreadfully, this is still the best team Roma have faced so far, and Juventus found its stride before the break. Since a 1-1 draw with AC Milan, Juventus have won four straight matches, including a Champions League clash with Chelsea. The key has been defensively, where Juventus allowed an average of 0.7 expected goals (xG) over their last six matches. Roma have allowed only two goals in four home matches in league play but six in three away matches. We're getting Juventus at a great price here. The Pick: Juventus (-112)

Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur, Sun. 11:30 a.m, NBCSN

Newcastle are a mess right now. Well, OK, to be fair, Newcastle have been a mess for a while now. The club's ownership has seemingly been in flux for years, but that finally appears to be solved, with new Saudi-based ownership finally concluding a purchase they were first rumored to be attempting over a year ago. That story has been controversial enough on its own, but all of that fun aside, Newcastle's new owners have taken over a club currently in the relegation zone, and nobody at the club knows what the future holds for them. Steve Bruce is still manager but has no idea how much longer that will be the case, nor does anybody in the building.

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It's not the greatest atmosphere to build a cohesive team in. While Tottenham can speak to the effects of distractions and uncertainty in a club, it hasn't been as bad as its overall results suggest. There were two matches against Crystal Palace and Chelsea when they got wrecked, but the 3-1 loss to Arsenal looked worse on the scoreboard than in reality, and everybody overreacts when anything bad happens to a big London club. And that leads to big London clubs being overvalued and undervalued. In this spot, with Newcastle being both bad and in flux, there's value on Spurs. The Pick: Tottenham (+105)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Mainz, Sat. 9:30 a.m, ESPN+

Borussia Dortmund matches are fun to watch for a couple of reasons. The first is that Erling Halaand plays for Dortmund. Aside from looking like the mutant lovechild of actor Jesse Plemons and Stewie from Family Guy, he's the closest thing we've seen to a new Zlatan Ibrahimovic since Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He's just a giant, goal-scoring machine who is destined to end up at a massive club and be a global superstar.

The other fun part of Dortmund is that they're so open and aggressive in attack that they're vulnerable in defense as well. Dortmund matches are goalfests. Dortmund have played 11 matches across all competitions this season and allowed goals in nine of them. The only teams they shut out were something called Wehen (they play in Germany's third tier) in a DFB-Pokal cup match to start the season and a 1-0 snoozer against Sporting in the Champions League. Everybody else has scored at least once, and while Mainz have not been the most potent attacking side in Germany this season, even they will manage to find the back of the net against Dortmund at least once. The Pick: Both Teams to Score (-150)

Weekend Parlay

This week's parlay pays +116.

  • Liverpool (-290)
  • Manchester City (-900)
  • Real Sociedad (-225)

Record

Units

Last Week

2-2

+0.82

Overall

9-7

+4.36