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Five for Friday: Best Bets for July 29

We’re almost at the end of July, which means we’ve got just a month to go until college football season gets started. We’ve also got lower-level European soccer kicking off this weekend, as the English Championship gets started today. The abyss of only baseball is nearly over.

The women’s international tournaments have been rather lucrative for us, so I’ll be heading back to the well there again today. Here are my best bets for July 29.


The Clarets were active in the right ways after relegation, and Huddersfield Town seems to have gone the wrong way after missing out on promotion. The Terriers couldn’t keep their coach in place after falling short, as Carlos Corberan resigned and Huddersfield opted to go inexperienced with its new man in charge. Burnley, on the other hand, brought in Vincent Kompany as the man in charge and looks the stronger side.


This is a third place game that actually matters. Argentina and Paraguay are playing for the right to go to the Women’s World Cup, with the loser off to the interconfederation playoffs. Paraguay has been a nice story in its rise, but Argentina is still one of the top three teams in South America and should have too much to lose this match. My worry is whether Argentina gets the job done in regular time, as it tends to leave things late. However, I think they pull this out.


This has been a case of defense being optional when these two match up. In the past four meetings, they’ve scored a combined 16 goals, with the Courage finding the net twice in all four of them. Washington has failed to score in two straight matches, but the Spirit also didn’t have Trinity Rodman on the pitch. She isn’t a big scorer yet, but she takes so many attempts that defenses always must account for her. She’s back from the USWNT, which means goals should follow.


Racing Louisville DC has proven a great play for me twice, but I can’t see Louisville getting a point out of this matchup. First, Portland has dominated two matchups with Racing this year, as the Thorns have won both to nil and outscored Louisville by 5-0. Second, Portland is coming off a 5-0 rout of Gotham, and that was without Sophia Smith or Christine Sinclair. They’re both back now after national team duty, which does not speak well for Louisville’s chances.


I hate making this play, but I’m starting to accept that Seattle’s not going to figure this out in 2022. The Sounders have to play without Raul Ruidiaz, and they’ve failed to score in consecutive road matches. That said, the defense has been solid for Seattle, as the Sounders’ past six matches away from Seattle have all cashed under 2.5. LAFC tends to be a dogfight when the teams match up, which says this likely ends with two goals or less.


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