CSKA Moscow v. Manchester City
Pick: Manchester City -157 (5Dimes)
Man City will need to grab all six points in the back-to-back matches against CSKA, if they want to keep up with Roma in Group E – the “group of death.” CSKA will be missing their main scoring threat Dzagoev, who is serving a suspension. In addition, the stadium will be empty – as the club has been punished due to racist chants by their supporters. I jumped on this too early; the line is now down to -140.
FC Porto v. Athletic Bilbao
Pick: FC Porto -146 (5Dimes)
Bilbao has been horrible this season. Still not sure how they managed to beat Napoli to qualify. They are last place in Group H. The Basque team are 17th place in La Liga, having won only one game out of eight, while scoring measly five goals. Porto are the better team, and should win this one at home.
Liverpool v. Real Madrid
Pick: Real Madrid -121 (5Dimes)
Liverpool are not the same team without Suarez. Real Madrid are currently firing on all cylinders, scoring an astonishing 32 goals in the seven matches since losing to Real Sociedad. Ronaldo has taken his game to another level, and is on pace to break all kinds of records. Madrid wins this one easily.
Chelsea v. Maribor
Pick: Chelsea -2 at -153 (5Dimes)
Chelsea will cruise in this one. I don’t think Mourinho will rest anyone, as they are already missing Costa, Ramires, and possibly Schurrle. They should win by 3, but I’m taking -2 just in case as insurance to push. No way they win by just one.
APOEL v. PSG
Pick: PSG -162 (5Dimes)
APOEL drew with Ajax at home 1-1, and only lost to Barcelona in Spain 0-1 – but they were dominated in possession in both those games. PSG are starting to click again after a series of draws in Ligue 1. They surely must feel that they can finish first in the group, after beating Barca last time out – and they will need to take all six point in its next two matches against the Cypriots.
BATE Borisov v. Shakhtar Donetsk
Pick: Shakhtar Donetsk +102 (5Dimes)
Lucescu has been loading this Shakhtar with young Brazilian talent for years now. Big teams in Europe keep scooping them up, but he keeps finding new ones. Bernard, Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, Taison, and Adriano are all Brazilian, and they all are quality players. Shakhtar have a lot of experience in Europe, winning the Europa League a few years ago – and are regulars in the CL. This Shakhtar team may not be as strong as they were a couple of years ago, but they are better than BATE. These teams are no stranger to one another, as Ukraine and Belarus have a long shared history. Shakhtar will probably advance from the group, along with Porto – and I like them to win here.
Futbol/Soccer Picks: 9-14-1
NFL Picks: 8-6