Soccer Selections: Bournemouth, Atalanta Among Best European Soccer Bets

The stakes are high across all parts of European soccer this weekend.

Every top-tier league only has a few games left, which means title fights, relegation battles and top-four competitions are heating up.

The English Premier League has two of the most fascinating battles taking place at the top and bottom.

Bournemouth can officially take itself out of the relegation race with a win over Chelsea on Saturday, and you could make a strong case that the Cherries deserve to be favored in that matchup.

The race to get into the Premier League is in view on Monday, as the final two teams in the EFL Championship promotion playoffs will be determined. There are a few easy angles based on the clinching scenarios in play for us to take advantage of some of those games.

The Bundesliga and Serie A also have my attention this weekend with a few favorable spots.

European Soccer Selections

English Premier League

Bournemouth (+240) vs. Chelsea (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)

I never thought I would say this, but Bournemouth's money line price against Chelsea is flat out disrespectful.

Bournemouth rose out of the relegation crapshoot with four wins in its last five games. Three of those four wins came against relegation fighters Southampton, Leeds United and Leicester City, but the Cherries also beat Tottenham on the road during that stretch.

The Cherries saved their best soccer for the time it mattered most, and they can officially confirm safety for next season with a win over Chelsea and a loss by either Leicester, Leeds or Nottingham Forest this weekend.

Chelsea hasn't gotten anything right this season. The Blues enter on a nine-game winless run in all competitions and they have two goals in their last eight games.

Even if Chelsea breaks out of its slump on Saturday, which there is no indication it will, Bournemouth is the right situational side to choose.

EFL Championship

Time for a rare dip down into the English second division, the Championship as it is properly called.

Burnley and Sheffield United already gained automatic promotion to the EPL.

Luton Town and Middlesbrough are confirmed in the promotion playoffs, where four teams enter and one emerges as the third promoted team to the EPL.

The final two spots in the promotion playoffs are down to five teams: Coventry City, Millwall, Sunderland, West Brom and Blackburn.

Middlesbrough vs. Coventry City (+195) (Monday, 10 a.m. ET)

Coventry City Double Chance (-175)

Coventry owns the easiest scenario to get into the promotion playoffs.

The fifth-place side needs a win or draw versus Middlesbrough to confirm its spot. A win keeps Coventry in fifth place, and would set up a playoff semifinal against Boro. A draw would keep it in front of Sunderland, West Brom and Blackburn, all of whom have a maximum point total of 69. Coventry is currently on 69 points.

Middlesbrough lost its last two games after securing a playoff spot, and it has little to gain from this matchup, so that's why I'm running with Coventry two ways. I'll put a little more on the double chance because of the price.

Millwall vs. Blackburn (Over 2.5 Goals; -110)

Preston vs. Sunderland (-110)

Swansea vs. West Brom (+130)

It's easiest to put all of these bets into one graph.

Sunderland and West Brom need victories and help from Blackburn to stay alive in the promotion playoff hunt.

Sunderland is in line to benefit first from a Millwall draw or loss. The Black Cats enter Monday with the best goal differential between themselves, Millwall, West Brom and Blackburn.

Both Sunderland and West Brom face clubs with nothing to play for on Monday, so that makes the decision very easy on those two sides.

Millwall-Blackburn will be front and center on Monday because of the stakes involved. Millwall needs a win to get into the promotion playoffs. Blackburn needs a victory and a lot of help to get into the top six because of its -3 goal differential.

Blackburn MUST push for as many goals as possible to potentially overcome the goal differential deficits to Sunderland and West Brom, which is why I think we see a wide-open match against Millwall.


Bayer Leverkusen (-170) vs. Cologne (Friday, 2:45 p.m. ET)

Bayer Leverkusen needs a victory on Friday to hold on to its spot to get into European competition next season.

Leverkusen can avoid any of that trouble by winning the Europa League, but to be safe, it needs to take care of Cologne at home.

Xabi Alonso's side has not lost in any competition since February 19, and it is 8-2-5 with a +13 goal differential at home in the Bundesliga this season. Cologne is 3-6-6 with a -14 goal differential on the road.

Hertha Berlin vs. Stuttgart (Over 2.5 Goals; -115) (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET)

Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin have two of the six worst defenses in the Bundesliga.

Hertha recently allowed five goals against Schalke, who is the relegation battle with Hertha and Stuttgart. Hertha allowed 11 goals in its last three games.

Stuttgart produced a single clean sheet in its last 11 matches across all competitions, and it scored multiple goals in four of its last five games.

Serie A

Atalanta (+130) vs. Juventus (Sunday, 6:30 a.m. ET)

Tread very lightly in betting Serie A this weekend.

AC Milan, Roma, Inter and Juventus all have Champions League or Europa League semifinals in the middle of the week and they could have all eyes on those matches. That drew me away from the Roma-Inter and Milan-Lazio matches.

Atalanta can take advantage of Juventus' situation with a home win on Sunday morning. Atalanta has the potential to gain ground on the teams currently in the Champions League qualification spots, including Juve, by extending its winning run to four games.

Atalanta is the more in-form team and its sole focus this week will be beating Juve on Sunday, while Juve may be holding something back with the Europa League semifinals on Thursday.

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