Corner Picks, best soccer bets, predictions, odds: Roma and Jose Mourinho prevail over Lazio, Juventus to win

It’s March madness and it looks like Cinderella stories aren’t exclusive to this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Champions League quarter-final draw was the perfect outcome for anyone who dreams of failure on the biggest stage.

Manchester City will play Bayern and Real Madrid will play Chelsea. Meanwhile, Napoli get Serie A rivals Milan and Inter get Benfica. This ensures that two of the four remaining Cinderellas make it to the semi-finals and two of the four remaining giants go home.

While the advance of three teams to the quarter-finals was already a boost for Serie A, this draw is also a blessing. This ensures that the league, which has struggled in Europe lately and is still struggling financially due to COVID, gets at least one team in the semi-finals, and possibly two. There is also a chance that the Premier League could lose both remaining teams, which, to be honest, would be a welcome sight for any other league in Europe. It may not close the financial gap, but small wins are wins nonetheless.

For a competition that felt like a long one, with the same teams making it all the way too often, it was a refreshing change of pace.

All odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook

Lazio vs. Rome

Date of: Sunday March 19 | Time: 13:00 ET | Look: CBS Sports Network

Featured game | Lazio vs. Rome

Recent form has always been a factor in how I compare handicap, but this is where this recent form needs context. At first glance, Lazio did not win a single match in two weeks. They lost both matches of their Conference League series with AZ Alkmaar and drew against Bologna in between. Then there’s Roma, who lost 4-3 to Sassuolo (Sassuolo led the battle xG 3.5-1.5) last weekend before a goalless draw against Real Sociedad on Thursday took Roma into quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Now for the context: Roma looked past Sassuolo because they were focused on finishing the game against Real Sociedad. They maintained a 2-0 lead after the first match and were content to sit in the low block and let Sociedad shower them with hopeless punches. Yes, Sociedad converted 1.8 xG in the match, but it took them 19 shots to do it. Roma parked out of the bus. It was a special case of José Mourinho. As for Lazio, manager Mauricio Sarri told the press this week that if he had the choice of focusing on beating Alkmaar in the Conference League or the Derby della Capital against Roma, he would choose every time Derby.

So, forget the recent form. We judge these teams by who they’ve been all season and that brings me to Roma. Roma’s defensive performance has deteriorated only in the last two matches on purpose. Prior to this, this team blocked opponents. Lazio were also solid defensively, but they struggled to create chances. Roma may not be ahead of Lazio in the table, but they have been the best team throughout the season. Here’s what I’m betting on this weekend. Choice: Roma (+170)

Inter Milan vs. juventus

Date of: Sunday March 19 | Time: 3:45 pm ET | Look: Paramount+

I mentioned this before, but sometimes it seems that the 15-point penalty given to Juventus was the best thing that could happen to this team. It freed them from expectations and allowed this team to enjoy the game. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Juventus have been the second best team in Serie A behind Napoli since the penalty was taken. They’ve won nine of their last 11 matches and while they’ve played poorly on the road overall this season, they’ve been much better lately. They have won four of six away and are up against Inter Milan who have not been consistent throughout the season.

One day they beat Porto in a Champions League match; the next they lose to Bologna. Then Inter recovers after defeating Lecce and then loses to Spezia 2-1. Tuesday’s goalless draw against Porto wasn’t exciting, but Inter did what they set out to do. Recent results show that this is bad news for Inter in this situation against Juventus! While I don’t hate betting big on Juventus to win outright, I would prefer to play more carefully with double chance. Choice: Juventus or draw (-124)

Brentford vs Leicester City

Date of: Saturday March 18 | Time: 11:00 AM ET | Look: peacock

A few months ago when Leicester got off to a slow start, I bet the future on them and they were relegated +1000. The biggest factor in the decision was that the team didn’t have the money to fix their problems. For a while, it looked like Lester would pull himself out of the mud. A 4-2 win over Aston Villa was followed by a 4-1 win over Tottenham, leaving Leicester in 13th place, six points clear of relegation. But then Leicester stopped winning. They have since lost five matches in a row, including four Premier League matches. They were down 10-2 in that time and they are the only Premier League side not to score a single point in that time. Leicester are now coming into the weekend with 24 points, outside the relegation zone strictly on goal difference.

And now that team is heading away to face a team from Brentford who have struggled of late but have been much stronger at home than away. I’ll let you guess if Leicester were better away than they were at home. Correct! They have No! Finally, while Leicester are battling to avoid relegation can be seen as the inspiration they need this weekend, Brentford are on the hunt for one of the places in the European Premier League qualifiers, so they have there is something to play. I do not think about it. Pick: Brentford (-106)


This week’s party consists of only three stages, but has a pretty healthy payout +135.

  • Atalanta (-255)
  • Lens (-440)
  • Royal Society (-265)

Write down


league game



Champions League



General 59-45 +22.02


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