Happy opening European soccer weekend to all who celebrate.
Three of the five major European leagues kick off this weekend while the two others begin next weekend. The English Premier League, German Bundesliga and French Ligue 1 all have games on Friday while Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A wait a week to begin.
The domestic men’s European soccer season is beginning so early this year because of the November World Cup. Leagues will be taking breaks so their players can play in the World Cup and seasons will end in May a little later than normal.
The return of league soccer in Europe means the return of lots of betting options at BetMGM. While soccer isn’t as popular as American football in the states, it can be a very profitable endeavor for bettors. And, at the very least, a constant source of action. It can seem like there’s a soccer match to bet on every day during the league seasons.
Four of the five major European leagues have favorites at better than even money. The biggest favorites are in France and Spain where defending champions Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are each at -1000 to win the league. Bayern Munich is -500 to win the Bundesliga and Manchester City is -140 to win the Premier League.
Serie A’s title race looks tantalizing. Inter Milan and Juventus are each at +175 to win the league while AC Milan is at +275. Roma is the No. 4 favorite after signing Paulo Dybala at +800 and Napoli is at +1300. For reference, Napoli’s odds as the No. 5 favorite in Serie A are better than Tottenham’s odds as the No. 3 favorite in the Premier League.
Bayern Munich kicks off the Bundesliga season on Friday with a game at Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt. Eintracht is +425 to win in regulation while Bayern is a heavy favorite at -225. The German giants added Sadio Mane from Liverpool this season and boast the best attacking power in the league. That’s why the over/under for Friday’s match is at 3.5 with the over at just -115.
The first game of the season in the Premier League involves Crystal Palace and Arsenal. Palace is +320 to win the game at home and a tie is +260. Arsenal is -115 to win as it aims to get back into the Champions League. Arsenal played in the Friday opener a season ago and lost at newly promoted Brentford to open the season in its first of three consecutive losses to begin the season.
The biggest EPL game of the weekend comes on Sunday when Man City travels to West Ham. The Hammers flirted with a Champions League spot for much of the season in 2021-22 and are +700 to get a win over City in Erling Haaland’s first Premier League game. While City is -275 and the biggest favorite of the weekend, we wouldn’t be totally shocked if West Ham snuck a point out of the match.
Both New York teams in big series
The NL East leading New York Mets continue their home series with the second-place Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Taijuan Walker takes the mound for the Mets as they’re 1.5-run favorites at +140. The Mets are -140 to win the game straight up and the run total is 8.5. The Mets won 6-4 on Thursday night to extend their lead over the Braves in the division to 4.5 games.
The Yankees, meanwhile, start a three-game set at the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. The Cardinals are now tied with the Brewers for the lead in the NL Central after the Cardinals beat the Cubs twice on Thursday and the Brewers got walked off by the Pirates.
Nestor Cortes starts for the Yankees while the Cardinals will trot out Dakota Hudson. The Yankees are 1.5-run favorites at +115 and favorites straight up at -145. A Cardinals home win at any score has odds of +120.
Sungjae Im now the favorite at the Wyndham
Sungjae Im is two shots back of the lead at 7-under after the first round of the Wyndham Championship. He’s now the favorite to win the tournament at +333 entering the second round. First-round leader John Huh fired a 9-under 61 to start the tournament and is the No. 2 favorite at +800. Aaron Wise is +1400 after shooting a 65 and Billy Horschel is at +2000 after he shot a 67 in the first round.
Who cashed bets on Thursday?
Raiders bettors were happy as they scored a win in the first game of the preseason on Thursday night. The Raiders beat the Jaguars 27-11 after jumping out to a 20-0 lead in the Hall of Fame Game. The Phillies got a rain-shortened 5-4 win over the Nationals in five innings and the Dodgers beat the Giants 5-3 despite Clayton Kershaw having to leave the game after just four innings and 66 pitches because of low back pain.