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The very first match of the Premier League weekend features a classic rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford (Saturday 7:30 a.m. ET). The odds on either side to win are exactly the same (+178), and the club that comes out victorious will be alone in second place in the table. Sportsbooks around the market are taking very different action for this derby, but is there a right side to bet on?
Here’s a look at the most recent results, season trends, title odds and relegation odds, along with three value plays and market analysis for Week 30.
There was only one road win last week, and it came in a three-goal second half comeback from Manchester United at Crystal Palace on Monday night. It also ruined my +600 bet on the Eagles.
Home teams are making a big run lately (see table below) and are almost as profitable as draws on the season. On the other side, bettors backing road teams have consistently been burned since November (-61.61 units in 190 matches) compared to -4.67 units in the first 100 matches of the season.
Title Odds via 5Dimes:
Manchester City -50000 (78 points)
Manchester Utd +25000 (62 points)
Liverpool +50000 (60 points)
Tottenham +75000 (58 points)
Chelsea +100000 (53 points)
Relegation Odds via 5Dimes:
West Brom -1600 (20 points)
Stoke City -140 (27 points)
Crystal Palace +200 (27 points)
Huddersfield +225 (30 points)
Swansea +300 (30 points)
Southampton +300 (28 points)
Newcastle +400 (29 points)
West Ham +425 (30 points)
The only real certainties in the Premier League are that Man City will win the league and West Brom will be relegated. The races to get into the top-4, and away from the bottom-3, will be the ones to watch. Now on to the value plays …
Burnley at West Ham (Saturday 10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: West Ham +129, Burnley +275, Draw +215
Burnley are usually involved as one of my value plays because of their low scoring matches — there have only been 50 total goals in their 29 league games on the season (1.72 per match). The O/U is consistently listed at 2 goals and they’ve been a pretty strong team this season, at least result-wise. That has caused most of their three-way moneyline odds to be very close, and this weekend at West Ham is no different. West Ham haven’t had trouble scoring with 36 goals, but can’t keep opponents out of the net (54 goals conceded). They’ll likely be going for all three points at home and public bettors around the market have steered toward West Ham with more than 70% of bets. However, the line has actually moved away from them a bit since opening, so I’ll be fading the home side and going with the draw at +215 odds.
Swansea at Huddersfield (Saturday 10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Huddersfield +156, Swansea +229, Draw 215
Swansea and Huddersfield enter this match with identical records (8 wins, 6 draws, 15 losses) and goal-scoring marks (25 goals). Both clubs are sitting on 30 points, three clear of the relegation zone, so every point is crucial now. The tight odds and low total reflect the closeness of these two squads, and it fits my draw system to a T, which has earned a 42.1% ROI this season and 43.7% ROI the last five seasons. Despite some recent struggles, I wouldn’t veer from what’s consistently worked, so take the draw at +215 odds.
Before getting to Manchester United vs. Liverpool, let’s take a look at the three most lopsided tickets and corresponding line movement:
Each lopsided match tells a vastly different story. There’s been tons of action on Arsenal to win at home, but their odds have steadily declined since opening. They had been struggling the past couple months, but a 2-0 road win at AC Milan in the Europa League will keep the public attracted to them. The only question now is whether oddsmakers will feel the need to move their odds back up with the continued attention on them.
There’s also been heavy action on their North London rivals, Tottenham, but their odds have actually gone up since opening. This is a bit surprising considering they just blew a Champions League home match vs. Juventus, and could be in a fragile state mentally.
The last club on the list is a surprising one: West Ham. Bettors feel confident they can get a home victory, but oddsmakers have paid no attention. I’m curious to see how that line moves until kickoff, and if the market will adjust in some way due to the lopsided action.
Manchester United vs. Liverpool (Saturday 7:30 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Man Utd +178, Liverpool +178, Draw +237
Although neither club is fighting for the title, a lone spot for second in the table is on the line, and both clubs come in with some momentum. Manchester United stole a 3-2 road win at Crystal Palace on Monday while Liverpool drew 0-0 vs. Porto in the Champions League but easily progressed to the quarterfinals. The betting action around the market has been vastly different, but similar in the fact that bettors are taking a side.
At 5Dimes and BetUS, the majority of bettors like Liverpool to win, but at Bookmaker and Sportsbook the action has been heavy on Man United. Line movement has shifted toward Liverpool and the draw around the market, while the juice on the total has moved on the under. Splitting the points wouldn’t be the worst result for either club so I’m fading public bettors everywhere. At +237 odds, I’ll be betting and rooting for the draw.
Value Plays (32-42 season record, +24.15 units), All plays risk 1 unit
Burnley/West Ham Draw (+215)
Swansea/Huddersfield Draw (+215)
Man Utd/Liverpool Draw (+237)