EPL bets: Our favorite props from the Boxing Day slate
Dec. 26 is a day full of traditions in England. On Boxing Day we gorge ourselves with turkey dinner leftovers, nurse our hangovers from the night before and enjoy a full slate of soccer across all of England’s divisions.
It’s also a mere 72 hours since the last full slate of games, meaning the EPL clubs’ respective squads are often tested to the limit as the games come thick and fast over the festive period.
The schedule hasn’t been too kind with the Boxing Day games this year, with little in the way of big-time matchups to get excited about. But there are always opportunities for value in the prop markets, and we’ve dived in and done the legwork so you don’t have to.
Here are our preferred prop picks ahead of Tuesday’s games.
JINGLE ALL THE WAYNE
Wayne Rooney is a man in form. The Everton star has found the net in each of his last three EPL games, scoring the crucial equalizer in the Merseyside Derby against Liverpool, then netting the winner at Newcastle as well as Everton’s third as they clinched victory over Swansea last time out.
It’s his best run of scoring form since his first stint at the club, when he burst onto the scene with this stunner against Arsenal as a teenager…
He’s currently suffering from a cold that’s been going around the club, and manager Sam Allardyce made the decision to rest his talismanic striker for the 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Saturday. But he’s expecting Rooney to be back for the Boxing Day clash at The Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion.
Rooney is a +210 shot to score at any time during the match with, and he’s available at +550 in both the first and last goal scorer markets with William Hill. We like the “anytime goal scorer” market best.
WAYNE ROONEY TO SCORE AT ANY TIME @ +210
We also like the enhanced-odds special being offered online by William Hill, with Rooney to score and Everton to win priced at a tasty-looking +500, enhanced from +400. We particularly like this as a little bonus bet because if for any reason Rooney doesn’t play, the bet is voided and your stake is returned.
WAYNE ROONEY TO SCORE AND EVERTON TO WIN @ +500 (WILLIAM HILL)
LIVERPOOL: GOING FOR GOALS
When it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net, Liverpool is absolutely flying right now.
The Reds have been in stellar form in front of goal of late, having netted a remarkable 13 goals in their five EPL games in December so far.
They hit three at the Emirates in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Arsenal last time out, smashed four past Bournemouth at Dean Court and kicked off the month with a resounding 5-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. Their other goal came in a 1-1 draw with Everton.
On Boxing Day, Jurgen Klopp’s side takes on bottom-of-the-table Swansea, who has conceded three goals to Everton and four to Manchester City already this month.
Playing at Anfield, Liverpool should have more than enough firepower to at least match Everton’s tally, so a look at the team-specific goal props seems an appropriate direction to take this weekend.
LIVERPOOL TO SCORE OVER 2.5 GOALS @ -145
SPURS TO CONCEDE, BUT WIN
When they’re on form, Tottenham Hotspur is one of the most fun sides to watch in the EPL.
With the likes of Harry Kane up top and Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen in midfield, plus goals coming from the likes of Son Heung-Min, they have firepower from a variety of sources. Defensively, however, things aren’t quite as tight as they could be.
Injuries to key defensive personnel have meant the Spurs have been less than tight in the back, and as a result they’ve conceded in five of their last seven matches in the EPL.
Despite the holes in their defense, the Spurs do remain in good form — especially at Wembley, where they’ve won five of their last six EPL games at home — and a look at game props uncovers a market that should suit Spurs backers perfectly.
You can back Tottenham to concede at least one goal, but still win the game. And that looks like a decent Boxing Day bet to me.
MATCH RESULT AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE: TOTTENHAM WIN AND YES @ +210
TOUGH NUTS TO CRACK
Burnley has confounded the preseason naysayers with a superb showing in the EPL so far this season, and a large part of that success has been built on picking up points away from home.
Sean Dyche’s side has been particularly tough to beat on the road this season, having lost just twice away from home. That’s the same number of away games lost by Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Leicester.
On Boxing Day, the Clarets travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United, who will be big pre-match favorites because, well, they’re Manchester United.
But while Jose Mourinho’s men should have enough attacking power and home-field advantage to eventually defeat Burnley, there’s a strong possibility it’ll take them until the second half before they break Burnley’s stubborn resistance.
With that in mind, the halftime-fulltime market looks like the way to go here, with Burnley holding United to a draw at halftime, then Mourinho’s men grabbing the decisive goal (or goals) in the second half to win it.
HALFTIME-FULLTIME MARKET: DRAW-MANCHESTER UNITED @ +275 WILLIAM HILL)