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Soccer Weekend Parlay: Arouca the Real Deal?

We start our weekend parlay action in northern Portugal and turn the spotlight on an Arouca side that has had quite the roller-coaster few years, earning back-to-back promotions before finishing 15th in their return to the top-flight in 2021-22. They ensured their safety on the penultimate matchday before enjoying an epic campaign under Armando Evangelista that saw them finish fifth and qualify for Europe last season.

However, Arouca struggled to cope with the departures of key players such as João Basso, Jerome Opoku and Oday Dabbagh, entering December in last place after taking just six points from 11 matches. Arouca kicked off December with a 4-0 win at Boavista via goals from two Spaniards – Jason and Rafa Mujica – and a brace from another (Cristo Gonzalez). It was a sign of things to come.

Soccer Weekend Parlay: Arouca the Real Deal?
Soccer Weekend Parlay: Arouca the Real Deal?

Apart from a 3-0 loss to Benfica on Jan. 6, each of Arouca’s following eight league matches has seen at least one of their Spanish triumvirate find the back of the net. Since replacing Daniel Ramos on Nov. 15, Daniel Sousa has been able to breathe new life into this Arouca side, who have ascended to seventh in the league table. They’re a surefire addition to your Primeira Liga betting picks this weekend.

After picking up a 2-1 comeback win at Estoril, Arouca closed out January by thrashing Vizela before edging Portimonense 2-1 away from home. Their most recent match would see them take the lead within a minute via Mujica. Porto would respond immediately via a penalty from Wenderson Galeno, but Gonzalez restored Arouca’s advantage from the spot within a half-hour whilst Jason added to their lead at the hour-mark in a 3-2 victory. We’re expecting Arouca to make it five wins in a row in our Portuguese soccer bet picks.

The odds are in Arouca’s favor as they look to continue their upward momentum, with our BetUS sportsbook backing them to come away with the victory at +135 in contrast to draw (+200) and a Casa Pia victory (+225). We’ll take those numbers any day of the week. Whilst Arouca are clicking on all cylinders,

Casa Pia have taken just one point from their last five matches, a run that has included an 8-0 loss to Sporting. The Gansos occupy the relegation play-off spot, and they sit one point away from automatic safety, four points above Vizela and six above Chaves. Casa Pia have not won at home since Dec. 2 and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

It has been one year since Arouca beat 10-man Casa Pia via a brace from Mujica, and I’m expecting the Spaniard to have a big role to play once again. He’s found the back of the net in each of his last four matches, and with 13 goals, only Simon Banza (14) and Viktor Gyokeres (16) are ahead of him in the Golden Boot race. At 25 years of age, the ex-La Masia man is finding a new lease on life in Portugal, and he’s worth your consideration in your Primeira Liga player prop bets.


Can Bayern Munich Halt Skid vs Bochum?

After suffering back-to-back defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Lazio, Bayern Munich find themselves in desperate need of a victory at Bochum on Sunday.

It has been 11 months since Bayern Munich sacked Julian Nagelsmann over fears of their treble challenge falling apart and hired Thomas Tuchel. Over the next few weeks, Bayern would lose to Manchester City in the Champions League and Freiburg in the DFB-Pokal. And, despite losing to Leipzig and Mainz, they prevailed with their 11th straight Bundesliga title by the narrowest of margins on the final matchday.

Yet, despite signing Harry Kane for a Bundesliga record €100 million from Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern find themselves in grave danger of missing out on the title for the first time in a decade. Bayern fell behind within 18 minutes as first-place Bayer Leverkusen stamped home a decisive 3-0 victory and moved five points clear of Tuchel’s side.

With 13 matches remaining, the Bundesliga betting odds are in Leverkusen’s favor as they look to come away with their first-ever Bundesliga title. Whilst Leverkusen will face second-tier Fortuna Dusseldorf in the DFB-Pokal semifinal on April 2, Bayern were knocked out of the cup in November by third-tier Saarbrucken, who will take on Gladbach in the quarterfinal next month.

The Bavarians also face an uphill battle as they look to remain in their other cup competition, with Dayot Upamecano conceding a penalty and receiving his marching orders and allowing Ciro Immobile to give Lazio the lead in the 69th minute.

Whilst Tuchel will be pleased to be entering the Champions League second leg against Lazio in Munich with a 1-0 deficit despite playing down a man for nearly a half-hour, he finds himself under increasing pressure and is in desperate need of picking up three points at Bochum on Sunday. The last time these two sides met in September, Erick Maxim Choupo Moting opened the scoring within four minutes. Bayern entered halftime with a 4-0 lead and came away with a 7-0 victory at the Allianz Arena with Kane grabbing a hat-trick.

The Englishman has scored 24 Bundesliga goals, seven more than second-placed Serhou Guirassy, and after failing to score in each of his last two, he’ll be desperate to get involved and lead Bayern out of their slump.

Bochum sit six points above the relegation playoff spot and 10 above the relegation zone, and they have struggled for clean sheets this season, picking up just four and conceding 39 goals in 21 league matches. They’ve conceded three to Hoffenheim, Dortmund and Gladbach, four to Leverkusen and five to Stuttgart. I would not be surprised if Bayern come away with a cathartic, high-scoring victory at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion at +300 in Las Vegas odds.



Questions Of The Day

Which Primeira Liga player is likely to score this weekend?

Rafa Mujica has found the back of the net in each of his last four matches, and we’re backing him to lead Arouca to a fifth straight victory against Casa Pia on Sunday.

Which Bundesliga team is likely to win this weekend?

Bayern Munich are in desperate need of a win at Bochum, and I’m expecting them to bounce back with a high-scoring victory.

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