Let me preface this article with this disclaimer.
The first weekend of any European soccer season is the most difficult to project.
The teams kicking off the English Premier League, German Bundesliga and Spanish La Liga do not have their complete rosters available for selection.
For example, Chelsea just announced the signing of Romelu Lukaku on Thursday. The Blues may be more susceptible to an early slip up without their main talisman.
Last week, Paris Saint-Germain, who was days away from signing Lionel Messi, conceded first against Troyes and needed a come-from-behind win to nab three points. If that match is played in midseason, PSG likely blows away Troyes.
With so many variables to take into account, most of the big-name clubs are excluded from the Soccer Selections this week.
Instead, the picks are focused on teams from Ligue 1 that played one match and squads in England, Germany and Spain that are complete enough to trust off the bat.
Earlier in the week, I broke down my best futures plays from England, Germany and Spain. You can find that here.
Valencia (+165) vs. Getafe
Valencia picked up 31 of its 43 points last season at home.
Getafe suffered 11 losses in its 18 road matches during the 2020-21 campaign.
One thing to keep in mind with this specific fixture is red cards. Four red cards were issued in the last three head-to-head meetings.
If everyone remains calm in the opening fixture of the La Liga season, Valencia is in better shape to take the three points.
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim (Over 2.5; -160)
The last six matches between Augsburg and Hoffenheim featured an average of four goals per game.
Both sides had leaky defenses during the DFB Pokal opening round this week. Hoffenheim was forced into extra time in its 3-2 win over third-division side Viktoria Koln. Augsburg advanced with a 4-2 victory over Greifswalder SV from the regional leagues in Germany.
Last season, Augsburg and Hoffenheim ranked in the bottom half of goals conceded with 54 each.
Neither side did a ton to fix their respective defenses and that was apparent in their midweek cup games.
Wolfsburg (-180) vs. Bochum
One of my favorite bets last season was to combine the Wolfsburg money line with Wout Weghorst to score a goal.
Weghorst accounted for just under one third of the team’s goals and Wolfsburg picked up 17 victories on its way to clinching a UEFA Champions League spot.
I’m going back to that line of thinking by taking the Wolfsburg money line against newly-promoted Bochum.
Wolfsburg was 10-4-3 at home in league play last season and it conceded the second-fewest goals at the Volkswagen Arena.
Seems like a pretty straightforward pick to me.
If you want to go the SGP route with this game, Wolfsburg and Weghorst to score pays out at +110.
Leicester (-145) vs. Wolves
To be honest, I was originally on Everton, but a few of the Toffees players went into isolation on Friday, including James Rodriguez.
So that means I’m pivoting to my second favorite play on the Premier League board in Leicester City.
The Foxes have most of their core from last season back and they added a terrific young attacker in Patson Daka, who will likely feature off the bench.
I’d rather ride with Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Co. at home over a team that is playing its first game under a new manager and has a top striker in Raul Jimenez who is working back from a serious head injury.
Marseille (-190) vs. Bordeaux
The highest I’ll go on the money line is -190 or -195.
The weekend’s final match in Ligue 1 presents as big of a mismatch as you can get in Week 2 of a domestic soccer season.
Marseille tied with Lille and Metz for the most goals of the opening weekend in France. It had an expected goals total of 2.0 and an expected goals allowed number of 0.5.
Bordeaux conceded twice with an xGA of 3.3, the highest in Ligue 1, against newly-promoted Clermont Foot.
Marseille won the last two home meetings with Bordeaux by a 3-1 scoreline and we should see similar numbers posted in this matchup.