Soccer predictions, best bets today: Betting tips, expert picks for games on Monday, October 3

Desperate clubs is the theme of the most high-profile matches on tap for Monday in the top leagues across Europe.

The showpiece match is the Premier League battle between the two bottom clubs as Leicester City welcome Nottingham Forest. Both picks for this match point to goals being scored by the two clubs.

A different story is projected for both Spain (Rayo vs Elche) and Italy (Verona vs Udinese), where fewer goals are projected. Both matches feature a club in the relegation zone that will be scratching and clawing to come away with at least one point from their Monday match.

The last-place team in Portugal (Maritimo) is also in action on Monday, hosting the surprise package of the league in newly promoted Casa Pi (6th place). And in Brazil, Palmeiras can extend their lead atop their Serie A with a win at 10th-place Botafogo.

More: Sporting News soccer betting guide

Leicester City vs. Nottingham Forest prediction, best bet

  • Best bet: Over 2.5 goals
  • Odds: -145 (Caesars)
  • Prediction (Win/Draw): Draw

Finding a way to separate the two worst teams in the Premier League is a fool’s errand, but one thing you can predict are goals. These two teams ship them on a regular basis, conceding a combined 39 goals through the first eight matches. — Kyle Bonn

  • Best bet: Both Teams To Score – YES
  • Odds: -150 (Caesars)
  • Prediction (Win/Draw): Leicester City win

These two teams have their flaws on the defensive side of the ball, but both attacks are manned by skillful players and finishers. Forest have been shut out in just three of seven matches – against Man City, Tottenham, and Newcastle – while Leicester have been blanked one time against Man United. — Simon Borge

Rayo Vallecano vs. Elche prediction, best bet

  • Best bet: Rayo Vallecano to keep a clean sheet
  • Odds: +111 (Caesars)
  • Prediction (Win/Draw): Rayo Vallecano win

There are teams that struggle to score, and then there is Elche. The La Liga basement dwellers have scored two goals all season long, shut out in three of their last four games. They don’t have a single player on the roster with over 1.0 xG so far this season. Take the plus odds and run. — Kyle Bonn

Verona vs Udinese prediction, best bet

  • Best bet: Under 2.5 total goals
  • Odds: -105 (Caesars)
  • Prediction (Win/Draw): Draw

Verona are having a hard time scoring following the offseason departure of Giovanni Simeone. Six goals in seven matches (and five “unders” in that span) is not exactly a promising haul.

While 5th-place Udinese are red hot, Verona coach Gabriele Cioffi knows the Friulani well (he was their coach last season) and had two weeks to prepare for this match. Udinese are outperforming their expected goals (15 goals on 9.4 xG), but they’ll run into a Verona team that will be up for a defensive struggle. — Simon Borge

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