Premier League Week 18: Are Manchester United Worth A Wager in Solskjaer’s Debut?

Premier League Week 18: Are Manchester United Worth A Wager in Solskjaer’s Debut? article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær

  • The hectic Premier League schedule continues this weekend with ten more matches across Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including Tottenham-Everton (Sunday, 11 a.m. ET on NBC Sports) and Manchester United-Cardiff City (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC).
  • Liverpool have retained the lead at the top of the league table, a point ahead of Manchester City, with Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal rounding out the top five. Manchester United still sit in sixth place and recently replaced manager Jose Mourinho with Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
  • After analyzing the betting market for all ten matches, I've picked out four value plays to make.

Happy holidays to all the EPL fans and bettors out there who get 40 matches from now until January 3rd, 2019!


League leaders Liverpool are in action Friday afternoon at Wolverhampton, followed by a busy eight-match slate on Saturday before Everton-Tottenham cap it off Sunday.

2018-19 Season Trends

  • Home teams won 7 of 10 matches in Week 17 with road teams taking the other three. There were zero draws.
  • Underdogs of +500 or higher have won just 2 of 83 matches for -69.32 units.
  • Favorites went 8-2 last weekend and are now +8.97 units on the season.
  • Tottenham earned a late victory against Burnley to retain the top spot as most profitable club this season (+7.66 units).

It was a successful Week 17 for value plays, going 2-2 for +0.60 units, while also hitting the exact scoreline for Liverpool-Manchester United.

For Week 18, I’ve analyzed the betting market for every match and provided four value plays (20-38-1 season record, -6.02 units). 

(Odds are always on the move until kickoff, so be sure to follow all the latest lines and betting percentages here)

Friday (1 Match)

Wolves are big +570 underdogs to pull off the upset over Liverpool on Friday afternoon, but public bettors aren’t bothering. Nearly 80% of the bets has come in on Liverpool to win and stay on top of the Premier League standings, but this match could be tighter than most think.

Saturday (8 Matches)

Arsenal-Burnley (7:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports)

Incredibly, Arsenal have yet to lead an EPL game at halftime this season, but they’ve still managed to win 10 games while losing just three. They also have a great opportunity to snap the skid against Burnley on Saturday where they’re -150 to win the first half and -430 to win the match.

Public bettors feel somewhat confident about Burnley and are throwing some dough down on the road side (40% of tickets at +1400 odds). They did almost earn a point at Tottenham last weekend while the Gunners lost at lowly Southampton, so it’s understandable, but I’m going the other way.

Arsenal will be looking to take care of business early at home, especially after losing to Tottenham in the League Cup on Wednesday, so take the Gunners to win the first half at -150 as a contrarian home favorite.

Fulham at Newcastle (10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold)

Absolutely no one wants to bet on Fulham (+305) anymore as they’re receiving just 5% of tickets at Newcastle this weekend.

There were lofty expectations for The Cottagers heading into the season but they’re stuck at the bottom of the league table with just nine points. Fulham also have the most losses (12), conceded the most goals (42) and are tied with the fewest number of wins (2) in the league.

Fulham backers are buying extremely low at this point, but that’s the contrarian angle I’m taking for this match. There’s also been some slight line movement away from Newcastle despite attracting nearly all the wagers, which should also bode well for Fulham.


Cardiff-Manchester United (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC)

Manchester United will play their first match since axing manager Jose Mourinho. The atmosphere and attitude surrounding the club had turned sour, and they can now move forward with interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

For Saturday’s match, United originally opened -166, dropped to -155, increased to -170, and eventually came back down to -160. They’ll be trying to end a two-game losing streak in all competitions, and a trip to Cardiff presents a great chance to do so with an implied win probability of 63%.

Sunday (1 Match)

Everton vs. Tottenham (11 a.m. ET on NBC Sports)

This is arguably the marquee matchup of the weekend as Tottenham travel to Everton as small road favorites. Spurs have received 77% of bets, the most lopsided wager of the entire weekend, but odds have moved away from them (+118 to +132).

Tottenham have not drawn a league game all season, but Sunday is setting up to be a great spot to get one. The draw has received just 9% of bets but has moved from +261 to +251, a sharp contrarian angle I’m siding with.

Lopsided Bets and Line Moves

Value Plays

  • Arsenal 1st Half (-150) vs. Burnley
  • Fulham (+305) at Newcastle
  • Bournemouth-Brighton Draw (+265)
  • Everton-Tottenham Draw (+250)
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