Saturday Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction for Manchester City vs. Arsenal (August 28)
Manchester City FC/Manchester City FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City star Raheem Sterling.
- Manchester City welcomes Arsenal to Etihad Stadium for Saturday's Premier League showdown.
- The Cityzens, who are coming off a 5-0 rout of Norwich City, are hoping to send the Gunners to their third consecutive defeat.
- Jeremy Pond breaks down the match below and explains where he's found betting value.
Manchester City vs. Arsenal Odds
|Manchester City Odds||-380|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+140 / -175)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Legendary clubs going in opposite directions square off in a heavyweight Premier League showdown Saturday when Manchester City hosts Arsenal, highlighting the early part of the schedule prior to the international break.
The Cityzens enter this fixture fresh off a 5-0 waxing of newly promoted side Norwich City last time out. Jack Grealish opened his account for the reigning league champions, who scored three second-half goals to bag all the points.
On the other side, the visiting Gunners couldn't have gotten off to a worse start in the English top flight. They've opened their season with back-to-back 2-0 losses against Brentford and Chelsea, putting them in the 19th place out of 20 teams in the table.
The stark contrast in starts has been noted by global oddsmakers, with Manchester City sitting around -380 on the three-way moneyline. Arsenal is 10/1 or longer to win outright, with the draw sitting at +525 on the board.
Let's take a look at this meeting at Etihad Stadium and see what's in the cards.
Manchester City Dominates Lowly Norwich City
Starting the season with a 1-0 road loss against Tottenham Hotspur is definitely not what the Cityzens had in mind, especially when they were looking to commence their title defense on a positive note.
However, after that auspicious start, Manchester City looked like its old self in the home opener against Norwich City. The club saw four different players find the back of the net, with the opening tally coming via an own goal.
I'm not sure if manager Pep Guardiola is big on advanced metrics, but if he is he would have loved the numbers he saw. The Cityzens had a 2.7-0.1 xG edge in the match, plus they wound up with a 2-1 advantage (67-33%) when it comes to ball possession. They outshot the Canaries by a whopping 17-1 margin, scoring on all four of their shots on goal.
Now, Manchester City gets a chance to throttle a longtime foe on home soil that has been a shell of itself. I fully expect the Cityzens to come out in a 4-3-3 formation. Standouts Phil Foden and Kevin DeBruyne won't feature due to injury, but that shouldn't give the fan base any concern.
An interesting subplot to this affair is Guardiola will be facing former assistant Mikel Arteta, who's at the Arsenal helm. That "teacher vs. student" storyline always makes for good banter, but there's a clear favorite here and it isn't the side the ex-apprentice leads into this matchup.
Is Arteta Sitting on Arsenal Hot Seat Yet?
Part of my preview of Arsenal's match against Chelsea last weekend focused on Arteta already finding himself on the hot seat. I didn't think he was there yet then and I still think he's OK for now despite a 2-0 loss to the Blues.
The Gunners have been dealing with multiple issues, including players finding themselves in health-and-safety protocols due to positive COVID-19 tests. The good thing heading into this match, though, is standouts Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are back in the fold.
Both talented forwards scored in Wednesday's 6-0 dismantling of Championship side West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. Aubameyang recorded a hat trick, with Lacazette adding the final goal in the EFL Cup second-round match.
If the Gunners are going to have any success against the Cityzens, both strikers must put in solid shifts. It goes without saying the Arsenal offense revolves around the duo, so a positive performance is a must if there is any hope of getting a result.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There is absolutely no way I'm playing the Cityzens on the moneyline for the obvious reason of being close to 4-1 favorites. So, when situations like these happen, you have to dig a little deeper to find something of value that gives you a realistic shot at cashing a ticket.
That said, I'm going with a wager I don't usually play and targeting a Same Game Parlay in this spot. Lets back Manchester City to win and the total under 3.5 goals at +105 odds via DraftKings as the top pick.
There's just too much value with this angle, due to the fact Arsenal has looked terrible going forward. Sure, the return of Aubameyang and Lacazette to the fray is a plus for the Gunners, but the club they're playing isn't West Brom. The Cityzens have won 10 of the last 11 meetings between these sides, so I like my chances with the heavily favored side on this SGP play.
As for the total, the City defense should have its way against an Arsenal attack playing on short rest. Fatigue shouldn't be an issue this early on, but having to face a juggernaut is a steep mountain to climb for a club yet to score in league play. My colleague, BJ Cunningham, pegged this match for 2.74 xG, so that's given me confidence on this being a relatively low-scoring affair.
And if you're looking for a player prop (we are 2-2 overall with a positive ROI on these picks so far), take a swing on Euro 2020 moneymaker Raheem Sterling to score anytime at +150 odds. He cashed in last week's blowout of Norwich City, so I will go back to the Manchester City star.
Pick: Single Game Parlay — Manchester City to Win & Total Under 3.5 Goals (+105)