EPL Props: Best Bets for the Weekend Slate
The EPL delivers another packed schedule this weekend, and where there’s action, there’s ACTION.
And, as usual, we’ve selected our pick of the props for the games that matter. Where can bettors find prop value in Liverpool-West Ham, Tottenham-Crystal Palace and Manchester United-Chelsea? Read on to explore the possibilities.
Liverpool vs. West Ham
Liverpool heads into its home game with West Ham in on a roll. It thrashed Portuguese champions FC Porto 5-0 on the road last Wednesday, and it’s on a three-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, too.
West Ham, meanwhile, comes into the game off a 2-0 home win against Watford earlier this month, but they’re in the middle of the EPL standings wondering whether to look up or down as the season approaches its tipping point.
Recent meetings between these two sides have been largely one-way traffic. Liverpool tallied four goals against West Ham in each of the teams’ last two Premier League meetings, including a 4-1 away win at the London Stadium earlier this season.
The Flow of Goals…
A look at the key stats ahead of this one shows there’s really only one way the goals are flowing right now.
Liverpool has netted at least twice in each of its last five games — and 11 of its last 12 — in all competitions.
Contrast that with West Ham, which has managed to score no more than one goal in five of its last six, and you can see the difference.
Attack vs. Defense: A Mismatch
Put simply, this game is a battle between Liverpool’s free-scoring attack and West Ham’s less-than-steady defense.
The Reds are absolutely flying on offense, and they have two of the hottest strikers in the EPL in Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
The duo has scored 34 combined goals (Salah with 22, Firmino with 12) in the EPL this season, and they’re not alone. Sadio Mane scored a hat trick against Porto in midweek.
They’ll face a West Ham defense that is ranked the second worst on the road in the EPL this season, with 29 goals conceded in 14 away games so far.
Liverpool scored twice in the first half of each of its last two games, and the side is +300 to do it again on Saturday. That’s a pretty attractive price given Liverpool’s recent form.
PICK: First-Half Liverpool Goals: Two @ +300 (William Hill)
Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham
Tottenham has held the upper hand over Palace for the last few years, winning each of the last five Premier League meetings between the pair. A lone Son Hyeung-Min strike gave Tottenham a 1-0 home win earlier this season, and now the Spurs make the short hop across town to Crystal Palace and raucous Selhurst Park.
A Winning (or Drawing) Habit
Tottenham is in the habit of not losing.
They’ve gone undefeated for 14 games in a row in all competitions since their 4-1 loss to runaway EPL leaders Manchester City on Dec. 16, but draws are starting to play a larger part in their recent form: They’ve won six and drawn six of their 12 games in 2018.
Palace has played only seven games so far in 2018, winning two, losing two and drawing three.
The (Insufficient) Power of One
Crystal Palace’s problem has been twofold. The side has consistently scored, but they haven’t been able to muster more than one goal a game often enough to secure points.
Palace has scored a single goal in each of their last six games in all competitions, but they’ve also conceded nine in that span.
Against a Tottenham side that has scored at two goals in five of their last six games, that’s just not going to cut it.
Based on the trending statistics, betting on a 2-1 Tottenham win makes all the sense in the world. It’s available at +700, and it takes into account the scoring trends of both sides over the last six games.
PICK: Correct Score: Tottenham 2-1 @ +700 (William Hill)
Manchester United vs. Chelsea
The big game of the weekend sees Chelsea travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in a battle between two teams — and two managers — that appear not to like each another one bit.
A look at the last few years shows a simple trend: United doesn’t lose at Old Trafford (its home stadium), while Chelsea doesn’t lose at Stamford Bridge (its home venue). But is a United win locked in this weekend?
Shutouts the Key for United
United manager Jose Mourinho’s sides have always had a reputation for being well organized defensively and, with a couple of notable exceptions, United has been just that in 2018: They’ve played 10 games so far this calendar year, winning seven of them, all via shutout
(United lost both matches in which it allowed goals in 2018, 2-0 at Tottenham and 1-0 at Newcastle.)
Who’ll Have the Champions League Hangover?
Chelsea played well in a home draw against Barcelona on Tuesday night, but fatigue may be a factor. While Chelsea will have one more day of rest than United, the Blues were forced to get through a LOT of off-the-ball chasing against Barcelona; Chelsea had only 26.9% of the possession in the match. For that reason, they may be the more leg-weary side in the second half this weekend.
Chelsea hasn’t won back-to-back games in the EPL since December, and it’s put their manager Antonio Conte under increased scrutiny since the turn of the year. United’s home record is superb (only Man City’s is better), and the Red Devils have the best home defense in the league, having conceded just five goals this season.
With Chelsea’s legs likely to be heavy after their grueling clash with Barca, plus United’s renowned stoutness at home, a United shutout victory represents excellent value at +300.
PICK: Manchester United to win to nil @ +300 (William Hill)
Saturday, Feb. 24
|Leicester||7:30 a.m ET||Stoke|
|Bournemouth||10:00 a.m ET||Newcastle|
|Brighton||10:00 a.m ET||Swansea|
|Burnley||10:00 a.m ET||Southampton|
|Liverpool||10:00 a.m ET||West Ham|
|West Brom||10:00 a.m ET||Huddersfield|
|Watford||12:30 p.m ET||Everton|
Sunday, Feb. 25
|Crystal Palace||7:00 a.m ET||Tottenham|
|Manchester United||9:05 a.m ET||Chelsea|
[Main image credit: MulaMiszczu/Pixabay via Creative Commons]