Premier League Best Bets | Picks, Predictions for Liverpool vs. Brentford, Newcastle vs. Arsenal, More

Premier League Best Bets | Picks, Predictions for Liverpool vs. Brentford, Newcastle vs. Arsenal, More article feature image

Catherine Ivill/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Pickford of Everton

  • Action Network's soccer betting experts have four best bets for this weekend's Premier League Action, including Liverpool vs. Brentford and Fulham vs. Leicester.
  • Check out their picks and predictions for those matches and more below.

A couple of huge matches this weekend in terms of the title race with Newcastle hosting Arsenal and the relegation fight with all four teams at the bottom in action on Monday.

BJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo are here to take you through the upcoming matches and offer up their best bets on the slate.

Cunningham and Dabbundo, who are part of the Wondergoal podcast crew, will be guiding you on the weekend Premier League fixtures and delivering their favorite picks along the way. They'll also provide their individual model projections for the games.

If you'd like to see picks from Cunningham and Dabbundo during the season for all UCL action and all five European leagues, follow them in the Action Network App.

Cunningham's Model Projections

Dabbundo's Model Projections

Liverpool vs. Brentford

Liverpool Odds-200
Brentford Odds+500
Over/Under2.5 (-200 / +162)
Day | TimeSaturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchNBC
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: Liverpool's offense is finally turning back into the elite attack we've seen for so many years, creating a combined 13.5 expected goals (xG) in their last five matches before Wednesday against Fulham. The Reds have looked better and better offensively lately, possibly thanks to Jurgen Klopp inverting Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield over the past six matches.

That provides Liverpool the ability to build up in a 3-2-5 shape and push a ton of attackers forward to create numerical advantages against the last line of defense. Alexander-Arnold has been one of the best ball-progressors and suppliers in the Premier League for a long time now, so this has given Liverpool new life. It also has helped them breakdown low blocks more effectively, which is what they are going to see against Brentford.

However, inverting Trent Alexander-Arnold into the midfield does have it's downside. It means Liverpool is now relying Fabinho to be their primary ball stopper in transition, which he just isn't what he once was in that respect. Liverpool's counter press isn't as effective as it has been years past and now they're defending with a back three in transition. All major problems when you're facing the most efficient transition offense in the Premier League.

Brentford are a team that thrives in direct transitional opportunities and are incredibly efficient at creating high quality chances, as they’ve created the sixth-most big scoring chances in the Premier League this season, while averaging the third-fewest shots per 90 minutes. Brentford is also second in the Premier League in terms of xG per set piece, while Liverpool is last in that category defensively.

In nine matches against the big six this season they’ve created 12.2 expected goals and 10 big scoring chances, including three big scoring chances and 1.7 xG in the previous meeting with Liverpool.

Brentford go up 3-1 and Bryan Mbeumo hits 'The Silencer'!

📺: @USA_Network#MyPLMorning |

— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 2, 2023

I have BTTS projected at -178, so I like the value on the current line of -145 (Caesars).

Pick: Both Teams to Score (-145)

Newcastle vs. Arsenal

Newcastle Odds+145
Arsenal Odds+162
Over/Under2.5 (-163 / +130)
Day | TimeSunday | 11:30 a.m. ET
How To WatchUSA Network
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: Arsenal’s defensive issues didn’t show up in the final xGA tally against Chelsea, but the transition flaws remained for Mikel Arteta’s side in the home victory. The Blues had numerous situations where a more in-sync team would have created clear scoring opportunities.

The Gunners went to Liverpool in April and really struggled to overcome the Reds’ high pressure and desire to win the ball off Arsenal high up the pitch. I expect Arsenal to have similar issues in this matchup on Sunday. By pure expected goal difference per match, Arsenal and Newcastle have been pretty comparable teams overall. The Gunners have more points because they’ve been more aggressive in even game states and have finished better in front of goal — thus they have more wins and fewer draws than Newcastle.

Newcastle’s ability to strike quickly and create good scoring opportunities from high turnovers forced is as good as any team in the league. In some ways, this spot isn’t all that different from Arsenal’s May trip to Newcastle last year. Arsenal is in the ‘must win’ spot on the road once again and it showed last year when the Gunners lost 2-0 and cracked. The pressure can actually make a team play worse, especially a road favorite.

The Gunners are first in high turnovers forced, but I’d expect Eddie Howe to not really focus on any defensive possession in this matchup at all.

The Magpies are the slight favorite at home, but my projections make them a bigger favorite. Even with Arsenal rated marginally better, Newcastle’s home field advantage makes them a solid home favorite. I’d bet Newcastle draw no bet at -125 or better on Sunday at FanDuel.

Pick: Newcastle ML — Draw No Bet (-122)

Fulham vs. Leicester

Fulham Odds+162
Leicester Odds+160
Over/Under2.5 (-138 / +110)
Day | TimeMonday | 10 a.m. ET
How To WatchUSA Network
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: Dean Smith has come in and completely revolutionized the Leicester offense. In his four matches in charge the Foxes' attack has generated a whopping 10.2 expected goals.

He hasn't really changed the formation from what Brendan Rodgers was playing the Foxes out of as it's still a 4-2-3-1 concept, but what has helped is that he's been very aggressive with his team selection playing loads of attackers. Kelechi Iheanacho is injured, which is a blow to the Foxes, but Leicester for a majority of the season has been without Youri Tielemens and James Maddison, who are their two best ball progressors and conductors of the attack.

The two of them have combined for 0.54 xAssists per 90 minutes when the replacements for them are far lower. Leicester overall for the season has been a top five team at playing through pressure and are also seventh in terms of xG per set piece, which gives them an advantage against the Fulham defense that is 13th in that category defensively.

The Fulham defense has been one of the worst in the Premier League all season, allowing 1.54 non-penalty xG per 90 minutes. They've been overperforming drastically and have been held up by 34-year-old American Tim Ream, who has played almost every minute for them this season. Unfortunately, Ream broke his arm and will miss the remainder of the season, so now Fulham has a gaping hole at center back going up against the hottest offense in the Premier League.

I have Leicester projected for 1.36 goals in this match, so I like the value on their team total Over 1.5 goals at +135 (Caesars).

Pick: Leicester Team Total Over 1.5 goals (+135)

Brighton vs. Everton

Brighton Odds-275
Everton Odds+750
Over/Under2.5 (-175 / +137)
Day | TimeMonday | 12:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchUSA Network
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: Sean Dyche hasn’t improved Everton much at all since taking over as manager. The lack of talent and production from the forwards has given Dyche no choice but to be a more aggressive group and commit numbers forward to try to score. The results of Dyche’s more aggressive process are clear in the numbers and yet the market is pricing Everton like a really bad attack.

Since Dyche became manager, Everton is 11th in xG created per match with 1.3 expected goals. The Toffees are also 18th in expected goals allowed, conceding 1.78 xGA per 90 under him. If not for an excellent Jordan Pickford shot stopping season, Everton might already be relegated this year.

Now the Toffees get a matchup with Brighton, who is one of the most open and aggressive teams in Europe right now. Brighton has allowed 1.7 xG to Bournemouth, 2.4 to Forest, 1.0 to Wolves, 1.4 to Manchester United and 1.4 to Brentford in the last two months. Roberto De Zerbi wants to attack first and defend second. They have had problems giving the ball away high up the pitch in the last month and combined it with elite production in attack.

Both Teams to Score Yes is as low as -107 at BetRivers. I’d bet it at -120 or better. The market is slow to adjust to how both managers are changing the ways of past managers. The priors drag this total too low, in my view.

Pick: Both Teams to Score (-107)

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