Premier League Week 34 Betting Preview and Value Picks

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It could have been a special week for Manchester City — up, 2-0, with a chance to clinch the EPL title, at home, against bitter rivals Manchester United — yet they conceded three times in the second half to lose, 3-2. On Tuesday night they had a chance to make a miraculous comeback in the Champions League quarterfinal up, 1-0, at home, against Liverpool — then they conceded twice in the second half to lose, 2-1. It’s still been an incredible season for Manchester City and they’ll undoubtedly win the Premier League, but these last 10 days will leave a bitter taste in their mouth.

 

The tough competition for Manchester City doesn’t stop this weekend as they travel to London to take on Tottenham at Wembley Stadium in a rare Saturday night match. Is now the time for bettors to actually buy low on City after three straight losses? We’ve broken down the betting market for that match, and more, to find the best value plays this weekend, including:

    • Chelsea at Southampton (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports)
    • Leicester City at Burnley (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET on PLP)
    • Watford at Huddersfield (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET on PLP)
    • Manchester City at Tottenham (Saturday, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBC Sports)

Title Odds (via 5Dimes):
Manchester City -100000 (84 points)
Manchester Utd +25000 (71 points)
Tottenham +75000 (67 points)

Manchester City weren’t able to clinch the title on their home turf last weekend against Manchester United, but they’re still big favorites (1-1000) to get it done eventually. The only clubs who haven’t been eliminated from the title race are Man Utd (250-1) and Tottenham (750-1).

Relegation Odds (via 5Dimes):
West Brom Off Board (21 points)
Stoke City -450 (27 points)
Southampton +100 (28 points)
Huddersfield +140 (32 points)
Swansea +600 (32 points)
Crystal Palace +800 (31 points)
Brighton +1600 (35 points)
West Ham +2000 (34 points)

Sportsbooks don’t think it’s possible for West Brom to save themselves from relegation and have taken their odds off the board. Stoke City (-450) is a big favorite to be relegated as well, but who will the third team to join these clubs? The next four on the list all have critical home matches this weekend with a chance to move up the standings: Southampton, Huddersfield, Swansea and Crystal Palace.

Recent Results and Season Trends

Road teams and draws were highly profitable in Week 33, and home teams struggled once again. On the season, home teams are still in the money, but barely. What can bettors expect in Week 34?

(All odds via Pinnacle at time of publication. All betting %’s are offshore market consensus. You can find the latest odds and betting %’s with a Sports Insights membership)

Chelsea at Southampton (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Chelsea -113, Southampton +338, Draw +275

Chelsea have had a strange season and are still difficult to figure out. They struggled early before going on a roll to shoot up the Premier League table, but have since been in a funk. The Blues are still holding onto fifth position, but they’re just three points ahead of Arsenal and eight points ahead of Burnley.

Southampton badly need points in order to avoid relegation, and they’ve been really shaky defensively, conceding at least three goals in three straight Premier League matches. Fortunately, they’ll be back at home in the early fixture on Saturday against a club who doesn’t score freely, so they could be catching Chelsea at a good time.

Sharp bettors seem to agree since Southampton’s odds to win have moved from +382 to +338, while Chelsea’s have drifted from -134 to -113. There’s also been a small adjustment on the draw from +280 to +275.

Public bettors have consistently come in on the other side with more than 75% of bets on Chelsea. The short moneyline of -113 is too tempting for the public to lay off, but the market clearly isn’t worrying about all the Chelsea tickets. As ugly as it seems, I think Southampton can get something from this match, so I like the value on +0.5 goals (+107).

Watford at Huddersfield Town (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Huddersfield +168, Watford +201, Draw +217

Huddersfield are in desperate need of wins, points, and goals and a home match against Watford may be the right recipe.

Watford have dropped 10 road games this season, tied for second most in the EPL this year, and coming off a dismal 2-1 home loss to Burnley last Saturday. They haven’t scored in five straight road matches and have lost eight of nine away games in the EPL.

With home-field advantage and desperation to stay in the Premier League, I’m backing Huddersfield +168 to take all three points.

 

 

Leicester City at Burnley (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Burnley +167, Leicester +201, Draw +219

Burnley keep on winning and proving the oddsmakers and bettors (and me) wrong. They’ve now earned 13 victories in the EPL this season and blindly betting them to win every match has netted +22.72 units.

Leicester City are coming off a disappointing 2-1 home loss to Newcastle but are still in the upper half of the Premier League table. A win on Saturday would bring them within three points of Burnley for seventh place in the league and a chance to catch Arsenal in sixth position.

The betting market has been all over the place in this one — at 5Dimes and Sportsbook, the majority of tickets have come in on Burnley, but at BetUS and Bookmaker the majority of bets have come in on Leicester City.

As is the case for most of Burnley’s matches, the total sits at just 2 goals with the three-way moneylines all very close (+167, +201, +219). Although our “Burnley Draw” system in Bet Labs has dropped three in a row, there’s no real reason to jump off, so take the draw +219.

Manchester City at Tottenham (Saturday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Tottenham +169, Man City +169, Draw +261

As mentioned earlier, Man City are coming off three consecutive losses (at Liverpool in Champions League, vs. Liverpool in Champions League, at Tottenham in Premier League). This is a rare match where they aren’t the favorites to win and can be found at +169 around the market.

Tottenham have very little pressure on them coming into this home match and should be feeling good about their chances against an out-of-form Man City squad.

From our match preview from Martin Laurence: “Moreover, over the last 12 meetings between these sides, 15 of Tottenham’s 20 goals have been scored after the interval, and in contrast to their visitors, Spurs have been ending matches strongly for some time.”

There’s been very balanced betting action around the market with roughly 40% of bets on Tottenham, 40% on Man City, and 20% on the draw. Sharp action has sided with Tottenham to move their odds from +188 to +169 since the opener. It’s difficult to imagine this season’s Man City team dropping four matches in a row, but I agree with the sharp money and will be on Spurs +169.

Value Plays (33-56 season record, +12.30 units), All plays risk 1 unit
Southampton (+0.5, +107) vs. Chelsea
Huddersfield (+168) vs. Watford
Burnley/Leicester City Draw (+219)
Tottenham (+169) vs. Man City

And here’s a look at the most lopsided betting action and line movement:

We likely won’t have an EPL Week 35 Betting Preview due to matches being spread out on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, but we’ll be back for Week 36.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@ArsenalDMC) for all the latest soccer news and updates.

Cover photo features Tottenham goalie Hugo Lloris