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Corners, best football bets, odds, predictions: Bayern Munich have something to play for, Aston Villa do not



Corners, best football bets, odds, predictions: Bayern Munich have something to play for, Aston Villa do not

We’ve reached the final weekend of the season across Europe and the penultimate edition of Corner Picks (our Champions League torture isn’t over yet), but while it’s been a tough season overall with the results here, I’d lie if I said that it was not a pleasant experience for me after all.

Last year I watched Napoli win Serie A for the first time since 1990, and this year I watched Aston Villa finish fourth in the Premier League and play in the Champions League for the first time since 1983. They are the only two clubs I have always cared about since I started playing the sport, and both have taken me on wild, unique rides. To see one experience the highest level of success over the past two years has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as a sports fan.

Not as financially rewarding as winning more bets this season would have been, but mentally, and you can’t put a price on that, right?

Hoffenheim vs Bayern Munich

Date: Saturday May 18 | Time: 9:30am ET | Watch: ESPN+

One of the bigger challenges this weekend is finding matches with meaningful results. Bayern Munich cannot win the Bundesliga, and their hearts were ripped out by Real Madrid in the Champions League last week. The team has every right to give a half-hearted performance this weekend, but I don’t think that will be the case.

Not winning the Bundesliga is embarrassing enough for Bayern, but finishing third would be even worse, and that is a possibility. If Stuttgart beats 113th ranked Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern loses to Hoffenheim, Stuttgart will finish second. So Bayern does have something to play for; Furthermore, we don’t often get the chance to bet Bayern at plus-money odds against a team below them in the table. Even if Bayern rests some players, they are still the better team. The Choice: Bayern Munich (+105)

Chelsea vs Bournemouth

Date: Sunday May 19 | Time: 11am ET | Watch: Peacock

Bournemouth has had a successful season, but has run out of gas at home. In the last seven games, Bournemouth only took seven points, after thirteen points in the previous five. They also come into Chelsea at the worst possible time, as Chelsea have won four in a row by a combined score of 12-3. Chelsea also have a chance of reaching Europa League qualification as they sit three points behind fifth-place Tottenham.

Since Tottenham are playing relegated Sheffield United, the odds are against Chelsea, but they will approach the match as if that were the case. The cash price is far too high to accept, but I think there is a good chance that Chelsea will get at least three goals. As I said, this team has averaged 3.0 goals in the last four, and Bournemouth have allowed ten goals in the last four defeats. The Choice: Chelsea Over 2.5 (-120)

Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa

Date: Sunday May 19 | Time: 11am ET | Watch: Peacock

Aston Villa planned their end-of-year banquet for Tuesday evening, the day after their final home game. Coincidentally, it was also the night Tottenham played Manchester City, as they needed a win to keep their Champions League hopes alive. So the entire club and their families had come together to see Tottenham lose, which led to Villa clinching their first Champions League spot in 40 years. The celebration was huge and based on all the videos Aston Villa have released of the reactions on social media, I’m confident the team could be hungover. Maybe not literally, but figuratively because I have to wonder what the preparation for this competition has looked like since then.

And have you seen Crystal Palace lately? We included them in the column last week and Palace defeated Wolverhampton 3-1. They have won five of their last six by 16 points in that period. If there’s one team in England that doesn’t want the season to end now, it’s Palace. I would have liked to see their chances win here, even if Villa had something to play for. The choice: Crystal Palace (-115)

Weekend Parlay

This is an absolute dart throw of a weekend, so let’s hope we get lucky. Our parlay pays +131.

  • Bayer Leverkusen (-390)
  • Arsenal (-600)
  • Manchester City (-1100)
  • Liverpool (-650)
  • Barcelona (-390)
Play league 60-63 +0.30
Champions League 8-22 -19.21
General 68-85 -18.91