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Premier League Odds, Picks: 4 Best Bets, Featuring Manchester United vs. Manchester City, Tottenham vs. Arsenal

Premier League Odds, Picks: 4 Best Bets, Featuring Manchester United vs. Manchester City, Tottenham vs. Arsenal article feature image
Credit:

Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Pictured: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur.

With a break from the FA Cup, the Premier League is back in action with one of the best slates of the season.

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


Manchester United vs. Manchester City

Manchester United Odds +333
Manchester City Odds -125
Draw +275
Over/Under 2.5 (-138 / +110)
Day | Time Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: Manchester United have been on a tear lately, creating 9.1 xG in their last four Premier League matches. But they haven’t exactly played a murderer’s row, as their matchups came against Fulham, Nottingham Forest, Wolves and Bournemouth.

They played a much more difficult schedule in the previous five matches, facing in Newcastle, Tottenham, Chelsea, West Ham and Aston Villa. However, they created only 4.8 xG in those five matches.

Manchester City is going to be a completely different animal — one I’m not sure Manchester United is ready for.

The last time these two met on Oct. 2, Manchester City absolutely pasted United, 6-3. The Cityzens won on xG, 3.2-1.7, had 47 touches in the penalty area, and the lineup United played in that match wasn’t a whole lot different than the one they’ve been playing recently.

Manchester City have shown some kinks in the armor midway through the Premier League season, losing to Brentford at home and dropping points to Everton at home.

However, this is still the best team in the EPL. Defensively, City have allowed a total of 10.8 non-penalty expected goals on the season, which is actually just a tad more than they were at this point last season (9.3).

What Manchester City has been doing tactically — and where I think they can exploit Manchester United — is what they did in the Chelsea match.

Pep Guardiola tried countless times to punish Chelsea down the left flank since Ben Chilwell was out and would float Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva to the left side of the pitch and push up on the back line, forcing Chelsea to commit bodies away from the ball. Meanwhile, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Joao Cancelo or Rico Lewis would essentially go 3-on-3 or sometimes 3-on-2 to create chances via crosses into the box.

The reality is now that Casemiro is in the middle of the pitch for United, it’s going to be much more difficult for Manchester City to create overloads in the middle of the pitch. Additionally, City scored all six of their goals in the last meeting via crosses because players like Christian Eriksen aren’t great defenders in half space.

With that being said, I question United’s ability to sit in and defend off the ball because Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Antony, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial haven’t been the best group committed to putting pressure on the ball. That’s not what a team wants when it’s facing some of the best passers in the world.

And, if you remember before these teams met the last time, Manchester United was flying high, coming in with a four-match win streak, including wins over Arsenal and Liverpool.

I love Manchester City at -114 and would play it up to -125.

Pick: Manchester City -114


Brighton vs. Liverpool

Brighton Odds +240
Liverpool Odds +110
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-175 / +137)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: This is about as good of a spot as you can ask for in the Premier League.

Liverpool comes into this match in total and complete chaos. Out of the World Cup break, they have now lost in the League Cup to Manchester City, picked back-to-back wins over Aston Villa and Leicester despite not playing particularly well, lost to Brentford on the road, and then would have lost to Wolves in the FA Cup if it weren’t for a favorable VAR decision.

Now, Liverpool is going to be without Virgil Van Dijk for an extended period of time, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz are still out, and Roberto Firmino is most likely going to miss this match.

Even with all of that, they’re +110 despite league-leader Arsenal going to Brighton at +115 just two weeks ago.

Liverpool has a lot of problems at the moment, and the core issue is that they’re not as dominant in the midfield as they’ve been in years past.

Thiago, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson can’t cover ground like they used to, but they’ll be the ones to make runs into the box to support the attack. If Harvey Elliott is on the pitch in the midfield, he’s not the type of player to make runs into the box and play off the ball. Instead, he’s much more of a ball carrier and creative midfielder, which is needed for Liverpool’s attack.

However, that means it’ll be the job of Thiago, Fabinho or Henderson to make runs into the box when Liverpool have possession in the final third.

So, when Liverpool loses the ball, suddenly one or two of their best midfielders defending in transition are caught too far up the pitch and teams can exploit them in transition.

Under Roberto De Zerbi, Brighton is about as difficult of a team outside of the Big Six that can play through pressure and also play right through the middle of the pitch.

Brighton’s ability to make one-touch passes through their passing triangles pulls a ton of teams out of position that like to press high, like Liverpool. That’s exactly what happened in the last meeting.

When Brighton traveled to Liverpool in De Zerbi’s first match in charge, they absolutely took it to Liverpool, taking a two-goal lead inside the first half-hour. They did a good job of playing through the middle and then moving out wide to create chances.

 

Another key factor in this match is going to be down the left flank with Solly March and Kaoru Mitoma — two excellent ball carriers — going up against Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is an awful defender in space.

So, now we have a Liverpool defense without Van Dijk that’s already allowing 1.26 npxG per 90 minutes to rank 10th in the Premier League. This is the same Liverpool team that’s allowing far too many high-quality chances, giving up 20 big scoring chances this season.

Plus, Alisson Becker is still running ridiculously hot in net right now, as he leads the Premier League with a +9.0 post shot xG +/-, per fbref.com.

So, I love Brighton +0.5 at -125.

Pick: Brighton +0.5 (-125)

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Brentford vs. Bournemouth

Brentford Odds -154
Bournemouth Odds +425
Draw +300
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | Time Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: While the Bees have pulled off upsets over Liverpool and West Ham since the return of the World Cup, this is a good spot to sell the Bees’ attack as a big home favorite.

Brentford lacks the passing quality in tight spaces to break down a team that has a ton of numbers behind the ball and sits in a defensive low block as Bournemouth will on Saturday.

The Bees are excellent on set pieces and scored twice against Liverpool on them, but set pieces are actually an area of strength for this Bournemouth defense. The Cherries are top-eight in xG per set piece allowed and have otherwise struggled defensively this season.

Bournemouth’s attack is by far the worst in the league based on underlying numbers too. The Cherries rank dead last in shots per match, non-penalty expected goals and touches in the opposition penalty area.

They’ve finished at an unsustainable level to this point in the season, and regression looms as the Cherries tumble down the table.

Brentford and Bournemouth played to a goalless draw that featured just 1.3 total expected goals and four total shots on target in their first meeting on the English south coast. I’m happy to bet the under 2.5 goals at anything plus money once again.


Tottenham vs. Arsenal

Tottenham Odds +210
Arsenal Odds +120
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | Time Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: The North London Derby has been dominated by the hosts in recent years — Arsenal haven’t won at Spurs since 2014, and Spurs haven’t taken down the Gunners at Arsenal since 2010.

It’s a sign in how much the market has moved toward Arsenal that the Gunners were a +110 favorite at home in the first meeting this season in the fall, and now they’re +115 away from home.

Arsenal has had a stellar first half of the season, and the main improvement has come in transition defense. The first meeting came down to Arsenal’s counter-press against Spurs’ transition attack, and Arsenal clearly won that.

Even though the winning goal ends up being quite fluky from a Hugo Lloris error, Arsenal kept Spurs from getting through and behind the defense. The Gunners were 11th last year in pass completion percentage allowed, a sign of how inconsistent their press was out of possession. This season, Arsenal is up to fourth, which is a major key.

Despite the improvements in Arsenal’s transition defense, I do still have questions about how sustainable this attack is. The Gunners took a huge leap this season with largely the same players when you compare their numbers to last season. Regression back toward the previous mean is to be expected, and that means the Gunners will be scoring fewer goals going forward.

They’ve finished chances at an elite rate too, and this Spurs defense isn’t as bad as their numbers have indicated this season. While games between Big Six clubs have been on a run of overs for more than a year now, this total is a touch inflated at 2.75.

Pick: Under 2.75 (-110)

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