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The Premier League continues this week and La Liga kicks off its season. What did we learn from the opening week of play in the EPL and what can we expect going into the La Liga slate?

Our experts look at teams that have made early impressions, matchups that intrigue them and offer their best betting tips.

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.


Title holder Manchester City is off an impressive 2-0 win over West Ham and faces recently promoted Bournemouth, fresh off its opening win. With second favorite Liverpool drawing their first match, are you even more bullish on Man City now?

Paul Carr: City had the highest expected goals difference (+1.7) in a 2-0 win over West Ham (due in part to a penalty), and Erling Haaland has had no trouble adapting to the English game so far. Nothing has really changed for me though with 37 more games to play. City is still the best team, and Liverpool is still a better title value, available now at +300, after drawing Fulham last week.

Dalen Cuff: Echoing Paul’s comments, City/Haaland looked great, but the value here is on Liverpool. And their first performance was lackluster, but with 37 games to play, a World Cup in the middle, there is just so much that can happen, and at +300 now that’s where I’d be.

Dan Thomas: That was the worst version of Liverpool we have seen for a very long time. I doubt we’ll see them that bad again this season. Having said that, it’s difficult not to be more bullish on City given the debut from Halaand. We knew he was good, but did we really think he would be that good so quick?

Tottenham Hotspur (12-1) and Chelsea (+1600), the third and fourth favorites to win the English Premier League, square off at Stamford Bridge. Both are off wins in their openers, with Chelsea (+127) a slight favorite (Tottenham +220) in this match. Who do you like?

Carr: Last season, Chelsea defeated Conte’s Tottenham three times by a combined score of 5-0. Last week, Kalidou Koulibaly looked like he might be an upgrade defensively over the departed Antonio Rudiger, and Chelsea might be returning to the defense-first early days of Tuchel. Even against an improving Tottenham side, I like the price on Chelsea at home here in what should be a tight match.

Cuff: Part of why Conte’s Spurs didn’t score in any of these three meetings last year is because he set his team up rather defensively. Right now, I think Spurs are the more talented side, but will Conte set his team up in that manner on the road? I do believe Tuchel’s tactics will be defensive a la his first partial season at the helm. I think this will be a cagey game where I wouldn’t play a side. I like a draw at +230, but my preferred bet that I will play is under 2.5 goals (-120).

Thomas: This will be a great litmus test as to where these two teams are early on in the season. Chelsea got the job done against a shockingly bad Everton side; meanwhile, Spurs put in arguably the best performance of the opening weekend. Chelsea are still finding their feet, but I think they will do just enough to get a draw.

Manchester United continues to shock fans after losing their home opener to Brighton and are now 64-1 to win the Premier League and +275 to finish in the top four. Are you betting on Man U right now?

Carr: Absolutely not. United will be fine this season, but they’re still the sixth-best team in the league right now, after struggling at both ends for much of the opener against Brighton. One of the key issues is the midfield, which exerted little pressure as United had a league-low eight successful tackles on opening weekend.

Cuff: Man United are a mess. The biggest problem is, when you look at their lineup, the performance from the weekend is actually expected. Their lineup just isn’t talented. Scott McTominay and Fred still as your midfielders is absurd if you think this team can compete for the top four, and that isn’t the only problem area. I think there’s no shot they get in top four; I honestly don’t think they go top six.

Thomas: No way. I running away from any United bet quicker than Ronaldo left at half time in preseason.

La Liga kicks off this weekend. Title holders Real Madrid (+110) and runner-up Barcelona (+140) are again the two favorites to win the league title. Add in the financial issues Barca is facing and there are tons of storylines here. How do you see this race setting up entering the first weekend of games?

Carr: Real Madrid finished 13 points clear of Barcelona last season but with an expected-goals difference only three better than their archrivals. Given the turmoil at Barcelona, Real Madrid is rightfully a favorite here, but I don’t really like any of the prices. Forced to make a pick, I’d go with Real Madrid at plus money. The bulk of last season’s team returns, with room for improvement from youngsters like Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde.

Cuff: I’m not willing to play this race yet. Barca has still not registered the majority of their major signings this summer that will massively impact their team. Madrid looked almost clinical in their UEFA Super Cup win Wednesday over Frankfurt. It really is a matter of betting what you know in a Madrid squad that is capable of winning the league again but doesn’t have much depth in what will be a grueling year … or waiting to see what happens with Barca’s roster. If I’m making a play, I’d go Madrid.

Thomas: It’s going to be a classic title race in Spain. Real Madrid exceeded all expectations last season, but I think they’ll struggle to replicate that this year. Barca have done an amazing job of recruitment this summer and I think they’re a good bet to win La Liga.

Who do you have your eye on after their first-week performance?

Carr: I’m curious to see if Newcastle’s dominant performance was a product of playing Nottingham Forest or a sign that the Magpies will push for the top six. Newcastle had a league-high 23 shots while conceding a league-low five shots in a 2-0 home win. Now Newcastle visits a Brighton side that won at Old Trafford last weekend, and I lean toward a Brighton home win at +140. If Newcastle gets another three points, I’ll start to believe that the club’s spending is paying off.

Cuff: I really like Paul’s choice above. I’m also interested in Leeds as well coming off a win on the road at a Southampton side that I favor to be relegated. There could be some good value there at +215 to win or Draw No Bet (+130). But the game of the week that has my attention is Chelsea vs. Tottenham. It’s not just about the brands but how these teams both set up and their performance. Does Conte believe in his team, and will his setup reflect that on the road? Is Chelsea as insipid as they looked last week at times, or will a home game vs. a top-six rival bring something befitting of a top-four side?

What is your best European football bet for the weekend?

Carr: I like Aston Villa (-120) to win at home versus Everton. Villa lost 2-0 at Bournemouth last weekend but controlled the game everywhere except the attacking penalty area. Everton lost 1-0 to Chelsea and looked like the team that barely avoided relegation last season. Steven Gerrard’s side will stifle Everton just like Chelsea did, and Villa will find space against an Everton defense that surrendered 11 shots in the penalty area last week.

Cuff: I already said I’m out on Man U. They’re playing a Brentford team coming off a 2-2 road draw vs. Leicester (albeit not the Foxes of recent vintage). I realize piling on is obvious and sometimes costly, but I don’t see United being worthy of being a road favorite (+100 on the three-way market and -230 on the two-way market. The Bees were solid at home last campaign in the Premier league, and that home opener will have the crowd buzzing at a chance to beat United on their field. My play of the week is Brentford, two-way market, Draw no Bet +180.

Thomas: I’d take the over for goals in the Liverpool-Palace game. Klopp has had a full week with the boys, and you know he has been driving them mad after that performance against Fulham. So expect goals at Anfield — and lots of them.

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