Arsenal vs. Manchester City Betting Odds and Picks: Regression Looms for Both Teams
Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Pep Guardiola, Nicolas Otamendi
Editor’s Note: Wednesday’s match between Arsenal and Manchester City has been postponed.
While all eyes will likely be on the Champions League on Wednesday, the Premier League made a late addition to its schedule, deciding that Manchester City and Arsenal would play their makeup match from March 1.
That game was cancelled to allow Manchester City to play its Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa.
Manchester City is coming off one of its worst performances of the season in a 2-0 loss at Manchester United, while Arsenal notched a late winner to beat West Ham, 1-0, in its last match.
Let’s dive in.
Arsenal at Manchester City
- Arsenal odds: +800
- Manchester City odds: -320
- Draw: +490
- Over/Under: 3.5 (+106/-126)
- Time: Wednesday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Few teams in the Premier League have underachieved as much as Manchester City in 2019-20. Off two straight titles, the Citizens were expected to be competing with Liverpool for the trophy.
Instead, they are out of the title race, like everyone else besides Liverpool, and their league performances have struggled accordingly. Or have they?
City’s underlying statistics haven’t been as dominant this year when compared to the past two, but manager Pep Guardiola’s side should have far more than 57 points. Their expected goals difference per game is +1.40 goals, which is only slightly worse than 2017-18 (1.50 xG per game) and 2018-19 (+1.48).
Despite recent losses to Spurs and United, City dominated that Tottenham match, had no issues with West Ham or Leicester City, and scored two crucial away goals at Real Madrid in the Champions League.
City’s defense has regressed significantly from the past two seasons, but the real value on Wednesday comes in betting them off of a loss. City has lost seven matches in the Premier League this season, in the six immediate games after a defeat, the Cityzens have gone 6-0-0 and outscored their opponents, 19-1. That includes a 3-0 win at Arsenal after a loss to Manchester United in December. Guardiola has shown an ability to get a response out of his team after a loss.
On the other side, Arsenal has improved its league position since former City assistant Mikel Arteta took over as manager. But the Gunners’ underlying numbers suggest they haven’t really improved much. In their last three PL wins, they’ve been outscored on xG in two of them, including a fortunate 3-2 win vs. Everton and a 1-0 win against West Ham. Arsenal’s rise up the table is smoke and mirrors, and regression is coming for them.
I expect Manchester City to comfortably handle an inferior Arsenal side, and have no issue laying the 1.5 goals at home. It currently sits at -115, and I’ll buy it up to -125.
The pick: Manchester City -1.5 goals (-115)