EPL Roundup: Manchester City’s title odds continue to improve

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Manchester City’s futures line has continued to decrease in value, even though it is only two points clear of its cross-town rival with 30 games yet to play.

Unbeaten through eight rounds of play in the 38-game season, Manchester City is now the -250 favorite to be the English Premier League outright champion, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The price on Manchester United (+350) has risen, while Tottenham Hotspur (+1200) has dropped well back.

Matchweek 9 gets underway with West Ham United (-125) hosting Brighton & Hove Albion (+375, draw +235) in a Friday betting matchup. The teams drew 1-1 in their last matchup and could very well do so again, based on both teams’ struggles with finishing plays. Brighton’s best shot to score, as it always is, is Pascal Gross.

Huddersfield Town (+850) seems unlikely to break a four-game goal drought against Manchester United (-285, draw +395), but it will dig in around its goal and make Man U earn its three points. The under on the 2.5 total is -115, and this might be the play since Manchester United might take the do-just-enough-to-win approach.

Manchester City (-1200) hosts pesky Burnley (+2400, draw +1000). The big betting question revolves around the 4.0 total and City being minus-2.5 on the goal line. Burnley might not be capable of stopping City cold, or scoring many goals, but manager Sean Dyche has coaxed them to earn points against top competition several times already this season.

The tightest moneyline involves Swansea City (+180) at home against Leicester City (+160, draw +220). The Foxes decided the show was over for manager Craig Shakespeare and remain an iffy play until his firing blows over. The total is 3.0 and the oddsmakers have the juice on the over (-135) instead of the under (-110). Swansea striker Tammy Abraham should get his share of scoring opportunities.

Off to its worst start in almost a decade, Everton (+275) is an underdog at home against Arsenal (even, draw +250) in a Sunday betting matchup. Taking the Toffees here would be based on the belief that Everton manager Ronald Koeman will pull out all the stops in order to keep his job. Arsenal, after fielding a no-name bunch in its Europa League match on Thursday, could finally have Alexandre Lacazette running with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

While Tottenham Hotspur (+115) is home to Liverpool (+230, draw +250) on Sunday, it went winless in three tries against the Reds last season. Liverpool is the farthest thing from a sit-back-and-wait team, which ups the possibility of Harry Kane scoring for the Spurs and the 3.0 total going over. The price on Liverpool is nearly irresistible, but Tottenham might be due.

Man Utd Favored Over Chelsea in Highlight EPL Betting Clash

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Neither Manchester United nor Chelsea has been consistent lately but there is a strong home-team trend in their rivalry.

Manchester United is the +125 favorite with Chelsea coming back at +240, while the draw offers +220 and the total is 2.5 for this English Premier League matchup on Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The home team is 5-1-0 (wins/draws/losses) in the last six games in this matchup.

Although it is in a minor tailspin, host Manchester United has the broader trend of having shut out 11 of its 14 home opponents. Winger Alexis Sanchez has also bolstered United’s attack.

The big question with Chelsea is the reliability of forward Alvaro Morata, who is mired in an eight-game goal drought and did not start during a Champions League match against Barcelona earlier this week. That makes it hard to take Chelsea for a road upset, but it is capable of earning a draw. This is a must-not-lose match for the two teams that are each vying for a top-four finish, which is why the sharps have the under priced at -135, expecting a close-to-the-vest contest.

Leicester City (-140) has striker Jamie Vardy on a four-match goal streak and winger Riyad Mahrez back in form going into its match against Stoke City (+400, draw +265), which has been porous defensively on the road. The over on the 2.5 total has great value at -115.

Last-place West Bromwich Albion (-110) carries the urgency factor at home against Huddersfield Town (+365, draw +215), since it is staring at relegation. The teams are second- and fourth-worst in scoring. Huddersfield might have a late spark from the Steve Mounie-Alex Pritchard combo and is very well-priced for the upset.

The week’s tightest three-way moneyline owes greatly to Burnley (+185) taking a winless skid spanning more than two months into its fixture against Southampton (+170, draw +195). However, Burnley and Chris Wood are facing a Southampton side that is somewhat depleted on the back line and the even 2.0 total offers the cushion of a push for bettors.

Brighton and Hove Albion (+105) hosts Swansea City (+295, draw +210) in a relegation battle. Brighton, which got goals in two consecutive games from winger Jose Izquierdo, cannot afford to drop points at home. Swansea City has not proven capable of scoring on the road, but five of its last six games have gone under 2.5 goals and center back Alfie Mawson is fit to play.

And Crystal Palace (+575) has a long list of injury absences that includes Wilfried Zaha as it hosts London rival Tottenham (-210, draw +345) in a Sunday betting matchup. The fact that five of the last fixtures have ended 1-0 accounts for the 2.5 total. Tottenham’s Harry Kane is more prolific away than at home, so the over should hit.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

 

Manchester City, PSG Champions League favorites entering Round of 16

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Manchester City is the slight favorite in Champions League futures, but Paris Saint-Germain can do the field a solid by bouncing two-time defending champion Real Madrid.

With the Round of 16 beginning next week, Manchester City and Kevin De Bruyne are a +350 favorite on the odds to win the Champions League, followed by Paris Saint-Germain at +400, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The next tier down includes Bayern Munich (+550), Barcelona (+600) and Real Madrid (+800) before a plunge to Manchester United (+1400), Liverpool (+1400), Juventus (+1800) and Tottenham Hotspur (+2200).

The tried-and-true sorting method of fading teams that are focused on winning league titles doesn’t apply. The top four teams on the board all lead by healthy margins. Juventus, running second in Italy’s Serie A, is the only high-on-the-board offering that fits this description.

The injury bug that Manchester City is fighting shouldn’t be a factor as it starts the knockout stage at FC Basel (+50000), the lowest team on the board, on Tuesday. The favorable draw buys Manchester City a little time as it embarks upon trying to be the first English team to make it to March extant in four competitions (EPL, Champions League, F.A. Cup and League Cup).

The matchup between Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid is more the calibre of a semifinal, but the timing might be in favour of the French club. Real Madrid, which hosts the first leg on Wednesday, has been in a funk and has conceded goals in seven of its last eight games – hardly a promising sign ahead of a game against a team with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. In other words, one who thinks Paris Saint-Germain has the goods to be the first French team in 25 years to win the Champions League likely shouldn’t hesitate, since its price will probably be halved (and then some) if it advances.

Suffice to say, the guarantee that either the defending champs or a ballyhooed contender will be out should be a boon to the rest of the field.

Bayern Munich simply does not get enough of a push in the German Bundesliga to be a threat in Champions League, which it last won in 2013. Barcelona offers a great price that might owe to facing an EPL team, Chelsea, in the last-16 as well as lacking major signing Philippe Coutinho for this competition. However, with attacking midfielders Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, they are dangerous. Barcelona will not have defender Gerald Pique in this round, however.

Manchester United (+1400), with its penchant for defense, is a credible darkhorse play since the Champions League format does lend itself to trying to wring out an ugly tie in road legs. Liverpool, who starts away at FC Porto (+10000), should advance but might be too offense-oriented to make a run at European supremacy. Tottenham and Harry Kane, who start away at Juventus, might not be deep enough to juggle top-flight European competition with a race for a top-four spot in the EPL.

The first legs of the Round of 16 take place over the next two weeks. The return legs are slated for March 6-7 and March 13-14.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.