Premier League Week 36 Betting Preview and Picks
West Bromwich Albion FC
As we approach the final weeks of the 2017-18 Premier League season, a champion has already been declared in Manchester City, but there’s still jostling for Champions League and Europa League spots. This weekend’s most notable matchup between Arsenal and Manchester United at Old Trafford will be one to keep an eye on toward the top half of the table, but there are also seven clubs still battling it out to avoid three relegation spots on the other end of the spectrum.
Relegation Odds (via 5Dimes):
West Brom still aren’t officially relegated, but it would take a huge miracle to climb out of the bottom three, as they’d need to win their final three games and get some a ton of help. The clubs most likely to join them are Stoke City (-1100) and Southampton (-225), but good ole Swansea City (+365) are still in a little bit of trouble, especially with Chelsea as their opponent this weekend.
Draws continue to excel this season with nearly +20 units earned. Road teams are down 53 units, while home teams have essentially broken even.
I’ve examined the betting market for every match on this weekend’s slate and have found four value plays (+13.92 units, 13% ROI this season) in:
- Stoke City at Liverpool (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports)
- Brighton at Burnley (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET on PLP)
- Everton at Huddersfield (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET on PLP)
- West Brom at Newcastle (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET on CNBC)
Now, on to the matches …
(All odds via Pinnacle at time of publication. All betting percentages are offshore market consensus. You can find the latest odds and public/sharp info with a Sports Insights membership.)
Stoke City at Liverpool (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Liverpool -310, Stoke +1010, Draw +475
Liverpool continued their exceptional run in the Champions League on Tuesday night with a 5-2 home victory over Roma. The win did come at a cost, though, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was unfortunately lost for the season, including this summer’s World Cup. Sadio Mane also has a worrying injury and will likely be kept off the roster this weekend. Liverpool do have some decent options off the bench and still have quality players fighting to start this match, but it won’t be their “A” team.
As for Stoke, they’re battling to climb out of the relegation zone, and even an upset win at Anfield on Saturday leaves them with more work to do in their final two matches. It’s a tall task considering they’ve won only one league game on the road all season with a -24 goal differential, worst in the EPL. To make matters worse, Liverpool haven’t lost at home in the Premier League this season, outscoring opponents 41-10 with 11 wins and six draws.
I’m not looking for Stoke City to win here, but the spread of +1.5 goals (-102) is a fine wager to keep it close. They may find themselves a bit exposed by having to go forward and score goals, but an early goal would give them a lot of wiggle room for the rest of the match. This is a very contrarian pick as public bettors are bypassing the Liverpool moneyline and expecting a blowout with the -1.5 goal line, but I’m not convinced it’ll be that easy.
Brighton at Burnley (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Burnley +127, Brighton +274, Draw +222
Brighton earned a 1-1 draw against Tottenham in their most recent match and are safe for another season in the Premier League. They haven’t won in 10 straight EPL road games, though, and they head to seventh-place Burnley on Saturday.
Burnley have a big opportunity to get within a point of Arsenal for sixth place after this weekend, and they’ve conceded just 15 times in 17 home matches in the league this season. They do have trouble scoring, with just 15 goals at home and 35 goals in total, but they keep finding ways to get positive results. Public bettors want results, and they’ve flocked toward Burnley to win at home.
The last four meetings across all competitions between these teams have ended in a draw, and I think they’ll make it five in a row on Saturday. Again, another Burnley match features an O/U of 2 goals, and this has all the makings of a 1-1 final.
Everton at Huddersfield (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Huddersfield +161, Everton +222, Draw +207
Everton have no new injuries to worry about but will still be without some key components, such as James McCarthy and Gylfi Sigurdsson. They also had to play more recently (a 1-0 win on Monday night vs. Newcastle), while Huddersfield had the weekend off. Everton have been terrible on the road this season and have won just two of their last 25 EPL matches as visitors.
Huddersfield have managed to win nine games this season, and another victory at home this weekend would solidify at least one more year in the Premier League. They’ve played a lot of low-scoring matches over the last month, and the market has adjusted, with an O/U of just 2 goals between the clubs for Saturday. There’s been substantial line movement toward Huddersfield (opened +178, currently +165), but also a little bit toward the draw (opened +205, currently +200).
The market is clearly expecting a low-scoring, tight affair, and I tend to like the draw in these scenarios. Both teams would be fairly happy with getting a point in this match, so at +200 I’m going with the draw here.
West Brom at Newcastle (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Newcastle -118, West Brom +405, Draw +255
Newcastle are winners of four straight at home and are no longer in danger of relegation this season. They’re back at home, mostly healthy and ready to finish the season on a strong note while looking to improve for 2018-19. Public bettors have been all over Newcastle, but the odds have actually come down from -130 to -118 at Pinnacle.
I really like West Brom +405 here, which may seem a little crazy, but the expected starting XI for Saturday doesn’t look that bad at all. They’ll be getting Jonny Evans back and will have some attacking options with Daniel Sturridge, Salomón Rondón and Jay Rodriguez.
It’s also encouraging to have two historically profitable Bet Labs systems matching on West Brom to pull the upset, both based on buying teams at the lowest point possible. A late 2-2 draw in comeback fashion against Liverpool last weekend is another encouraging sign, and they’ll need to put in a similar effort at Newcastle. At the current odds of +405, it’s worth the bet.
Value Plays (37-60 season record, +13.92 units, 13% ROI)
All plays risk 1 unit
Stoke +1.5 (-102) at Liverpool
Huddersfield/Everton Draw (+200)
Burnley/Brighton Draw (+222)
West Brom (+405) at Newcastle
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Cover photo features West Brom celebrating a goal