Premier League

Premier League: Manchester City Favored Over Liverpool

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Manchester City is due – overdue, really – for a better result against Liverpool as they clash in the feature game of matchweek 4 of the EPL season.

Manchester City is a -120 favorite against +315 underdog Liverpool with a 3.0 total in their matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The tie pays +285 on the three-way moneyline. Liverpool has owned his matchup, winning four of the last five with one draw.

Man City, which is the favorite to be the EPL outright champion, will be without wing-back Raheem Sterling (suspension), but certainly has the pace and skill to break down the high press Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp likes to use to give his team opportunities on the counter-attack.

Man City’s Sergio Aguero also has five goals in his last six home outings against Liverpool, and the striker has a favorable matchup with Liverpool being reliant on young fullbacks Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez. The teams’ scoring punch suggests the over will go down easily.

Defender Vincent Kompany (calf) is an injury concern for Man City.

Depleted Everton (+265) is a big home underdog against Tottenham Hotspur (+105, +235 draw), which it is winless against in its last nine matchups. With Spurs’ Harry Kane overdue to break through for a goal, the over on the 2.5 total might be a more solid play than trying to pick an outcome.

The tightest three-way moneyline is between Brighton and Hove Albion (+160) and visiting West Bromwich Albion (+195, +200 draw). West Brom has conceded just one goal in three games and manager Tony Pulis should have a tight, well-coached side that’s capable of eking out a draw.

Burnley (+125) hosts winless and goal-less Crystal Palace (+235, +215 draw) on Sunday, with CP manager Frank de Boer possibly needing a win to save his job. It’s justifiable to lay chalk here, especially as striker Chris Wood gets more acclimated to being with Burnley.

Swansea City (+135) hosts Newcastle United (+215, also +215 draw) on Sunday. It’s the Swans debut of new signings Wilfried Bony and Renato Sanches, and the emotional boost from those additions makes it hard to pass up a team getting plus money at its home ground.

Bottom-of-the-table West Ham United (-115) will be desperate for some result on Monday against undefeated newcomer Huddersfield Town (-330, +235 draw). Huddersfield under manager David Wagner is hard to play against, and West Ham United could be in trouble if it doesn’t earn an early reward in its home opener.

In outright champion props, Manchester City has come down to +130, with Manchester United (+200) drawing in as the second favorite. The price on Huddersfield Town (+50000) has dropped by two-thirds.

Manchester United, Chelsea odds move in Premier League futures

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While one matchweek is the ultimate in small sample sizes, the outcomes have made oddsmakers adjust their prices in English Premier League futures significantly.

Manchester City remain at the top of the board, listed at +130 to be the EPL outright winner at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The big mover was their cross-town rival, as Manchester United have come down slightly to +275 after a four-goal victory in its opener, while Chelsea have doubled to +650 after an embarrassing stumble in their opener at Burnley.

Tottenham Hotspur (+800), which coincidentally will host Chelsea on Sunday, still have an attractive price for bettors looking for the higher-risk but higher-reward play; all the chatter about how they might be less offensively potent whilst displaced to Wembley Stadium overlooks their defense.

The board will be volatile early in the season, especially week to week. If one believes Man United and Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are for real, now might be the best time for believers in Jose Mourinho’s men to get down since the Red Devils won’t face another big power until mid-October.

Conversely, a scan of the fixtures list shows Manchester City will have some big matches in September, including being home to Liverpool and a trip to Chelsea. A stumble might lead to an artificial price rise. Chelsea do present a buy-low opportunity, but they are working without their first-choice starting 11 and have some tough early-season tests.

Among this week’s Premier League fixtures, Manchester United (-275) face short-staffed Swansea (+900, +370 draw) on Saturday. The Red Devils are +105 on the goal line and winning by two should be doable.

Liverpool (-270) host Crystal Palace (+800, +400 draw) in a matchup of teams which each conceded three goals in their openers. The total is an even 3, which means playing the over offers a push as cushion.

On Sunday, Tottenham (+105) host Chelsea (+265, +245 draw). With suspended Gary Cahill off the back line, Chelsea might have trouble containing both Harry Kane and Dede Alli, but with their 0-1 record it will be desperate to batten down and try to get the draw and valuable (in the long run) point.

Newly promoted Huddersfield Town (+140) are still offering plus money for its home opener against Newcastle United (+210, +220 draw) on Sunday. Newcastle had a desultory opening loss, so riding with everyone’s new second-favorite team on sentiment makes some sense.

The matchweek wraps with Manchester City (-355) hosting Everton (+950, +450 draw) on Monday. Everton have won the last three matchups between the teams and offer some upset potential, especially if midfielder Idrissa Gueye contains playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.

Chelsea’s dominance of Premier League forces bettors to seek out other futures props

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Do not think for a second that Chelsea running away from the pack has dashed all betting potential on the English Premier League futures board.

With their double-digit points lead and two months left in the season, manager Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side is now a -800 betting favorite to win the league, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Only Manchester City (+1200) and Tottenham (+1400) are being given any chance of catching Chelsea.

That will force bettors wagering on how the final weeks play out to look elsewhere, and fortunately soccer is distinct from North American leagues in that regular-season finish means everything.

First off, there is the prospect of relegation, since the three worst teams will be sent to the second-tier Championship for the 2017-18 season. Sunderland is the favorite, in a matter of speaking, to go down at -300 (as well as the +165 favorite to finish bottom, or dead last). Beyond Hull City (-125) and Crystal Palace (-110), that board has some value.

Last season’s Cinderella story, Leicester City (+250), is scrambling for points but also has Champions League games on their plate. Bournemouth (+700) has lost striker Callum Wilson for the season with a ruptured ACL in his left knee and not having his finishing ability could cost them vital points.

The top four finishers qualify to ‘play in Europe’ in the Champions League. The aforementioned Chelsea (-10000), Tottenham (-500) and Man City (-500) are overwhelmingly minus-money favorites, with Arsenal (-110) and Liverpool (-110) at around even-money. Missing out on Champions League would be utterly humiliating for Manchester United (+125) and manager Jose Mourinho, and at this point they offer a decent price.

The real value on that board lies with Everton FC (+5000), which is in seventh place but has much tighter defense this season under new manager Ronald Koeman. Everton also had one of the best records in the EPL during the month of January.

While there is no Leicester grabbing the attention of fans across the world, one lower-profile squad that has endeared itself are Burnley, which was one-and-done in 2014-15, the last time it played in the Premiership. Burnley is listed at +500 to finish in the Top 10 (or top half) of the league, with Stoke City (+120), Watford (+275) and Bournemouth (+350) all having greater than even-money odds.