The morning couldn’t have gone any better on Saturday for Soccer Saturday, as three European matches turned into three wins for 5.8 units of profit. We’ll be hard pressed to repeat this on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to try. Here are my best plays for August 15.
NEWCASTLE UNITED +0.5, -120
Newcastle has been a lousy opener over the past few seasons, but the Magpies turned it around last season against West Ham, and they’ve actually been a thorn in West Ham’s side over the past two seasons. The Magpies have won or drawn each of their past four matches against the Irons, and Newcastle avoided defeat in five of their final seven matches at St. James Park last season. Taking Newcastle in a double chance situation isn’t an exciting play, but it holds promise.
RB LEIPZIG -1.5, -110
Mainz might have managed a win in these teams’ most recent meeting, but the 05ers were in a much more desperate situation a season ago. Now that they’re not trying to save themselves from relegation, look for RB Leipzig to get back to form. Before last season’s 3-2 loss, the Red Bulls had outscored Mainz 16-1 in the teams’ previous three meetings. This won’t be an 8-0 rout like two seasons ago, but RB Leipzig should win by two or more here.
TOTTENHAM +1.5, +110
I’m not expecting Spurs to come out with a win here, but Manchester City is down several players for this match, which could make this closer than many people expect. The Sky Blues won’t have the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden or John Stones for this match, but City still has a ridiculous amount of depth to overcome their absence. Spurs don’t really have much to replace Harry Kane, who is likely out for this match. I think this is a 1-0 win to City, which allows Spurs to stay under the spread.
PANTHERS +3, -110
This comes down to quarterback experience. Neither Jacob Eason nor Sam Ehlinger has ever thrown a pass in the NFL, and the Panthers are likely in a mood to be aggressive on defense after hitting the Colts for the past two days in joint practices. Conversely, Carolina has P.J. Walker under center, and the former XFL star has proven he can do the job as a backup in the NFL. With the Colts trying to decide on their quarterback, I’d much rather go with the guy that knows where he’ll be on the depth chart and has shown he can play.