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Premier League Week 21: Bettors Backing Liverpool to Stay Unbeaten Against Manchester City

Dec 31, 2018 4:37 PM EST
Credit:

Getty Images. Pictured: Liverpool and Man City players going for a loose ball

  • Liverpool extended their Premier League unbeaten run with a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal over the weekend and are back at it Thursday with a crucial match vs. Manchester City (3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports).
  • The Reds are seven points clear of City at the top of the table and are trendy underdogs to win on the road at +265 odds.
  • I'm seeing betting value elsewhere for Liverpool-Manchester City as well as three other games on the board.

The onslaught of Premier League matches will finally come to a close this week, and fittingly we’ll get to see Liverpool-Manchester City in the marquee match of the season on Thursday afternoon.

Liverpool are now -175 favorites to win the league, their highest all year long, and Manchester City appear to be the only true test standing in their way at +175 odds.

Tottenham (+2500) and Chelsea (+9000) are within striking distance, sort of, while Manchester United (+30000) and Arsenal (+50000) both need miracles.

2018-19 Season Trends

  • Draws have clearly been getting crushed all season long while recent big upsets have improved home and road results.
  • The Leicester City Foxes have been the most profitable team to bet on the moneyline, earning nearly +15 units (8 wins, 4 draws, 8 losses).

For Week 21, I’ve analyzed the betting market for every match and provided four value plays (24-47-1 season record, -11.67 units).

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


Tuesday (3 Matches)

Everton vs. Leicester City (7:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports)

Week 21 kicks off early Tuesday morning with Everton hosting Leicester City in a battle of 8th vs. 10th.

Both clubs have identical goal differentials of +1, and early betting has been spread out evenly with 47% of tickets on Everton (+105), 38% on Leicester City (+307) and 15% on the draw (+250).

I’d lean toward Leicester City notching another upset here, but Everton always seem to fool me. The over is getting a ton of public attention, and it’s shaping up to be the most lopsided total of the week.

 

Arsenal vs. Fulham (10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports)

The Gunners were terrible defensively against Liverpool, and they could easily concede against a Fulham club that has created chances but just aren’t converting.

I’m not sure if Arsenal is in trouble of dropping the three points, but I expect to see a flurry of goals in this match. Surprisingly, the betting public is on the under (3.5) with 55% of tickets, but I think the over is a strong play, especially at plus-money odds.

Cardiff City vs. Tottenham (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports)

I felt good about Spurs dropping points last weekend but didn’t think they’d fall outright to Wolves, a costly home loss for their title chances.

Cardiff City earned a surprise victory at Leicester City, 1-0, and now return home seeking their third straight shutout. Tottenham will be tough to hold goal-less, but the Bluebirds made things difficult in their first matchup of the season at Wembley Stadium.

At current odds of +375, the value is there for the draw, and would lean toward a 1-1 scoreline as well (+750 odds).

Wednesday (6 Matches)

There’s not a whole lot of market data yet for Wednesday’s matches, but one bet that quickly stood out was the Huddersfield-Burnley Draw (+225). The low total of 2 is a considerable factor, and there’s also been early movement toward the draw.

Obviously draws haven’t been profitable this season, as is the case with these two systems as well, but I haven’t seen any evidence to stray from them yet.

In other Wednesday action, expect to see Chelsea included in a lot of parlays as they’re lofty -370 favorites to beat Southampton. A likely partner in those parlays will be Manchester United, receiving a lot of support at Newcastle.

If you’re looking for a more competitive match to bet on, Bournemouth and Watford have identical +170 odds to win. The draw is listed at +250 and the total has trended toward over (2.5), so the market is anticipating a victor.

West Ham (-105) are slight favorites to beat Brighton (+330), and Wolves (+107) have the small edge against Crystal Palace (+325). I’m expecting to see lopsided public action on both West Ham and Wolves to win at home.

Thursday (1 Match)

Manchester City vs. Liverpool (3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports)

Liverpool have a massive opportunity to go ten points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table, something that would have been impossible to believe just a few weeks ago.

In their first matchup of the season I expected to see goals and it ended 0-0. The clubs combined for just 13 shots with 4 on target, and it wasn’t pretty. The odds on another scoreless draw are 15/1 but I don’t think that’s going to happen again.

The total is currently set at 3 goals, though the market has trended toward the under with three days until kickoff. The over would potentially be in play if it happened to drop to 2.5.

As for the moneyline, Liverpool are +265 underdogs and receiving nearly half the public wagers, but who can blame them? The Reds have yet to lose in the EPL this season and just embarrassed Arsenal, so naturally they’re getting attention.

While I’ve been impressed with Liverpool, I’m still fading the trendy road dogs and going with Manchester City to win at home. They’re currently in the +105/+110 range and will close as the odds-on favorites in my opinion.

Value Plays

  • Arsenal-Fulham Over 3.5 (+120)
  • Cardiff-Tottenham Draw (+375)
  • Huddersfield-Burnley Draw (+220)
  • Manchester City (+105) vs. Liverpool
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@ArsenalDMC

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