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    Jim Holliman

    Super Utility Guy

    Holliman has honed his well-rounded sports knowledge as a writer and editor for nearly 30 years in the Tampa Bay area. He witnessed the 1970's heyday of the North American Soccer League, as well as the debut of three major sports franchises and an FBS team at his alma mater. His sports interests have expanded worldwide, and as a former competitive soccer player and hack golfer, he has a profound knowledge of those sports. Holliman finished the 2022-23 Champions League season with a 23-14 record (+7.82) and is 25-17 (+5.27) for 2023-24 (through Jan. 4) on SportsLine’s UCL pick sheet. For Jim Holliman media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.

    @JimHolliman

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    Jim's Past Picks

    Feb 13 2024, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Real Madrid
    1
    @ RB Leipzig
    0
    Over / UnderOVER 2.5 -170
    LOSS
    Unit1.0
    +30
    2-1 in Last 3 RBL O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    Leipzig have gone 13 games without keeping a clean sheet at home in a Champions League match. On the other hand, they have scored in 16 straight UCL matches at Red Bull Arena. The hosts have conceded at least once in 15 of their past 16 matches overall. They have scored in 13 of their past 14 – at least twice in 11 – and both teams scored in 12 of the 14. Their past four matches have seen 18 total goals. Real Madrid have scored at least twice in eight of their past nine and conceded in seven of those. With both defenses showing cracks, this should be a pretty high-scoring match.

    Pick Made: Feb 13, 3:09 pm UTC
    Feb 13 2024, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Manchester City
    3
    @ FC Copenhagen
    1
    Over / UnderOVER 2.5 -160
    WIN
    Unit1.0
    Analysis:

    Copenhagen managed a 0-0 home draw in last year’s group stage meeting, but City had a 5-0 first-leg victory in their pocket. This one should be more like the latter match. City have scored at least three goals in four of their past six overall, and Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne are both healthy and tearing up defenses. The question is whether the hosts will score, but I don’t think it will matter. City are the reigning champs, while Copenhagen are making their first appearance in the knockout stage, and first since 2010-11. They’ll simply be overwhelmed.

    Pick Made: Feb 13, 3:20 pm UTC
    Dec 12 2023, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Galatasaray
    0
    @ FC Copenhagen
    1
    Over / UnderOVER 2.5 -160
    LOSS
    Unit1.0
    Analysis:

    This one is going to be fascinating. Second place in Group A is up for grabs, as Bayern Munich have clinched advancement and these teams are tied on five points. Manchester United have four and face Bayern, so a winner here would be through to the next round. Copenhagen have a one-goal edge in goal differential but won’t be sitting back and hoping for the best. Both teams will go for goals, and while don’t expect it to be like these teams’ goal-fests with United, they should get three or four between them. Eight of Galatasaray’s past 10 have gone Over 2.5, and five of Copenhagen’s past seven have done so. The last meeting ended 2-2, and this should be similar.

    Pick Made: Dec 12, 3:11 pm UTC
    Dec 12 2023, 5:45 pm UTC
    League
    Sevilla
    1
    @ Lens
    2
    Over / UnderUNDER 2.5 -120
    LOSS
    Unit1.0
    Analysis:

    Both teams have a shot at the Europa League, so this is going to be a cagey match as both sides look to avoid mistakes. Sevilla have the edge in goal differential, and a victory by the Spaniards would give both sides five points. Sevilla are in dismal form, with one victory from their past eight in all competitions, but six went under 2.5 goals. Los Palanganas have draws in six of their past eight La Liga matches, so I am leaning slightly toward a low-scoring stalemate. Lens have the home-field advantage and have posted five clean sheets in their past eight games overall. Sevilla will have trouble getting on the board but could sneak one in for a 1-1 draw like the last meeting.

    Pick Made: Dec 12, 3:52 pm UTC
    Nov 29 2023, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Salzburg
    0
    @ Real Sociedad
    0
    Over / UnderOVER 2.5 -135
    LOSS
    Unit1.0
    Analysis:

    Sociedad have already qualified for the next round, but they would love to set up a chance to win the group. They take on Inter in the group finale, so they won’t let up here. Salzburg have been devastated by injuries, with up to 10 players who could be out Wednesday and youth players being brought in to fill some roles. The hardest hit area has been the back line. The Spaniards are almost fully fit and beat Salzburg 2-0 on the road in the first meeting. They have one draw and one loss (to Barcelona) in their past eight and should get a convincing victory at home. I expect them to score at least three, so anything from Salzburg would be a bonus.

    Pick Made: Nov 28, 5:43 pm UTC
    Nov 29 2023, 5:45 pm UTC
    League
    Manchester United
    3
    @ Galatasaray
    3
    Money LineGalatasaray +160
    LOSS
    Unit1.0
    +305
    5-4 in Last 9 CHLG ML Picks
    Analysis:

    Despite the 3-2 Galatasaray victory at Old Trafford last month, I’m not expecting a lot of goals here. But with Man U’s shaky back line, expecting to cash an Under on a Red Devils match is a fool’s errand. United are wracked by injuries, and top scoring threat Marcus Rashford is suspended after seeing red in the 4-3 loss to Copenhagen. I expect the visitors to be playing not to lose. Galatasaray should be, too, with a potential winner-take-all (well, second place) against Copenhagen to close group play Dec. 12. The hosts have won all six of their home league matches, with a 16-5 advantage in goals. They should beat beleaguered United at home.

    Pick Made: Nov 28, 4:50 pm UTC
    Nov 28 2023, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Crvena Zvezda
    0
    @ Young Boys
    2
    Over / UnderOVER 2.5 -170
    LOSS
    Unit1.0
    Analysis:

    These are evenly-matched teams, and they played to a 2-2 draw in Belgrade last month. They have scored nine goals and conceded 21 between them in eight combined matches in group play. Young Boys are 5-1-0 at home in Swiss Super League play, with 20 goals scored, while Red Star have scored 39 goals in their 15 Serbian SuperLiga matches. This is a step up in competition for both, but the teams combined for 38 shots and 15 on net in the last meeting. With both teams angling for a Europa League spot, I expect a back-and-forth affair. All eight matches in Group G have gone Over 2.5 goals so far.

    Pick Made: Nov 28, 4:13 pm UTC
    Nov 28 2023, 5:45 pm UTC
    League
    Royal Antwerp
    0
    @ Shakhtar Donetsk
    1
    Money LineShakhtar Donetsk -115
    WIN
    Unit1.0
    +305
    5-4 in Last 9 CHLG ML Picks
    +505
    3-0 in Last 3 SKD ML Picks
    Analysis:

    Fresh off a 1-0 victory against Barcelona at home, the Ukrainians host a Royal Antwerp side that has yielded 14 goals in four group-stage matches. With Group H co-leaders Barca and Porto squaring off later Tuesday, Shakhtar can move into contention to advance. They beat the Belgians 3-2 on the road last month. Shakhtar have actually been better on the road in the Ukrainian Premier League, but Antwerp have won just one of eight Belgian Pro League road matches (1-4-3). The hosts should win this one by a couple of goals.

    Pick Made: Nov 28, 3:49 pm UTC
    Nov 08 2023, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Sporting Braga
    0
    @ Real Madrid
    3
    Over / UnderUNDER 3.5 -110
    WIN
    Unit0.5
    Analysis:

    Los Blancos are on the brink of advancing with two games left, so I’d keep an eye on the starting lineups before making any picks here. Real star Jude Bellingham has a minor shoulder injury and could get some rest. Braga have played a lot of high-scoring games, with their five league matches at home seeing 27 goals combined, but I think they’ll be lucky to score at the Bernabeau. Real have outscored their league foes 10-2 in five home games, and 11 of their 15 overall matches this year have gone Under 3.5.

    Pick Made: Nov 08, 4:08 pm UTC
    Nov 08 2023, 5:45 pm UTC
    League
    Benfica
    1
    @ Real Sociedad
    3
    Money LineReal Sociedad -145
    WIN
    Unit1.0
    +305
    5-4 in Last 9 CHLG ML Picks
    +250
    3-1 in Last 4 BEN ML Picks
    Analysis:

    Benfica have been an excellent road team in league play, going 5-0-1 with a 13-7 goal advantage, but have yet to score in UCL group play. Sociedad have a 15-9 goal edge in their home league games while being outscored 6-5 on the road. They play a more open game on their turf, which could allow Benfica to finally get on the board. My gut is telling me to take the Over, but my brain won’t let me. Sociedad are the better side, and Benfica are on the brink of elimination and have a huge match with Sporting this weekend. The Portuguese side won’t give in easily, but I expect Sociedad to eke out a 2-1 victory.

    Pick Made: Nov 08, 3:38 pm UTC
    Nov 07 2023, 8:00 pm UTC
    League
    Feyenoord
    0
    @ Lazio
    1
    Money LineDRAW +240
    LOSS
    Unit1.0
    +305
    5-4 in Last 9 CHLG ML Picks
    Analysis:

    Feyenoord look like the better side at the moment, and the Dutch Eredivisie’s second-place team won the first meeting 3-1 two weeks ago. But Lazio are at home, and while they sit eighth in the Italian league, they seem to be rounding into form. They have beaten two teams ahead of them in the Serie A table over the past month and lost to another 1-0 on the road. Lazio have conceded four goals in five home matches, while Feyenoord have allowed six in six on the road. This should be a low-scoring game, and I expect it to end 1-1.

    Pick Made: Nov 07, 5:18 pm UTC
    Nov 07 2023, 5:45 pm UTC
    League
    Newcastle United
    0
    @ Borussia Dortmund
    2
    Over / UnderUNDER 2.5 +115
    WIN
    Unit1.0
    Analysis:

    The Magpies are capable of scoring outbursts, but they lost the last meeting 1-0 and this one is on the road. Dortmund also have a strong attack but have scored more than one goal just twice in their past six games. They also are a little more defense-minded at home and have scored one goal and conceded two in three group-stage matches. Newcastle are missing their most dangerous attacker, with Alexander Isak out injured. With both teams sitting on four points, two behind leader PSG in the group, they should play it safe and take their chances in their upcoming matches against the Parisians. This one could even end up scoreless.

    Pick Made: Nov 07, 4:37 pm UTC
    Oct 25 2023, 7:00 pm UTC
    League
    Crvena Zvezda
    1
    @ RB Leipzig
    3
    Over / UnderOVER 3.5 -105
    WIN
    Unit1.0
    +30
    2-1 in Last 3 RBL O/U Picks
    Analysis:

    Leipzig can light it up but can also make some mistakes in the back. They beat Young Boys 3-1, then lost by the same score to Man City. Belgrade also lost 3-1 to City and drew 2-2 with Young Boys. That’s four games, with all four going over 3.5. The Red Bulls have 19 goals in eight Bundesliga matches. Meanwhile, Red Star have scored two or more in 11 of their 14 matches in all competitions. If I had to pick a score, I’d go with Leipzig 3-1, which seems to be a theme in this group. But Belgrade’s attack could surprise, depending on the status of Osman Bukari, who has scored in both group matches but is recovering from a knock.

    Pick Made: Oct 24, 9:18 pm UTC
    Oct 25 2023, 7:00 pm UTC
    League
    Borussia Dortmund
    1
    @ Newcastle United
    0
    Money LineNewcastle United -150
    LOSS
    Unit1.0
    +305
    5-4 in Last 9 CHLG ML Picks
    Analysis:

    The Magpies are on a roll, and while I don’t expect a repeat of their annihilation of PSG, they should get the victory. I’m guessing more along the lines of 2-1. Newcastle beat the French powers 4-1 in their last group match, then cruised past Palace 4-0 in their league meeting at home Saturday. The Magpies are 5-2-0 in their past seven overall, with a 0-0 draw with AC Milan and a 2-2 EPL stalemate with West Ham, both on the road. Dortmund haven’t scored in their first two group matches but have yielded just two goals. Both sides are allowing one per game in league play. I wouldn’t bet Under 2.5, but I would lean Newcastle to win and Under 3.5.

    Pick Made: Oct 24, 8:55 pm UTC
    Oct 24 2023, 7:00 pm UTC
    League
    Real Sociedad
    1
    @ Benfica
    0
    Money LineBenfica +117
    LOSS
    Unit0.5
    +305
    5-4 in Last 9 CHLG ML Picks
    +250
    3-1 in Last 4 BEN ML Picks
    Analysis:

    The Portuguese side will be highly motivated to get back in the race in Group D, as they seek their first points. Losses to Salzburg and Inter Milan put them behind the 8-ball, but playing with desperation at home should give them the edge. They played more than 75 minutes with 10 men in the 2-0 loss to Salzburg, but they dominated most of the match. If they avoid the mistakes that haunted them against the Austrians, they’ll get the full points. They have outscored their home foes 7-0 in Primeira Liga play so far.

    Pick Made: Oct 24, 2:19 pm UTC