Premier League Week 23 Betting Preview: Sharp Money Fading Arsenal

Premier League Week 23 Betting Preview: Sharp Money Fading Arsenal article feature image
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Getty Images: Chelsea and Arsenal squaring off in an August battle

  • The Premier League title and relegation races are heating up and we've got ten matches on the board this weekend, most notably Arsenal-Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC).
  • After analyzing the betting market for every game, I've picked out four value plays to make.
  • I've also broken down the most lopsided bets, biggest line moves, trends, profitable systems and more.

The 2018-19 Premier League season keeps on chugging along with a plethora  of great matchups this weekend, including Arsenal-Chelsea, Man United-Brighton, Fulham-Tottenham and Liverpool-Crystal Palace.

Here’s a look at the latest standings and betting trends before delving into Week 23 action.

2018-19 Season Trends

  • Draws suffered again in Week 22, with only Huddersfield-Cardiff ending in a stalemate. Draws are down nearly 60 units on the season.
  • Leicester City (+17.12 units), Crystal Palace (+10.84 u) and Tottenham (+7.60 u) have been the most profitable clubs to bet on this year.
  • Fulham (-14.89 u), Huddersfield (-12.15 u) and Cardiff (-10.32 u) have been the least profitable clubs to bet this season.

For Week 23, I’ve analyzed the betting market for every match and provided four value plays (28-50-1 season record, -9.31 units).

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


Saturday (8 Matches)

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

The opening match of the weekend is an exciting one for neutrals, even though neither club is in the top-six. Both are middle-of-the-table and fighting for a coveted Europa League spot, but will need some help along the way.

Wolves opened +115 around the market and odds have increased to +135 due to bets coming in on Leicester City. The Foxes are receiving 45% of tickets so it’s been a mix of public and sharp money moving the line so far.

With a low over/under of 2 goals, I’m taking the contrarian angle and going with the draw (+220).

Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace (10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports)

League-leaders Liverpool have a critical home matchup against Crystal Palace on Saturday and they’re heavy -550 favorites to win. However, public bettors feel good about Palace picking up another big upset as they’re receiving nearly 30% of bets as +1530 underdogs.

As much as I love Palace, I’ll be avoiding the trendy underdog this weekend.

 

Southampton vs. Everton (10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold)

Everton earned a much-needed win last weekend after being shutout two matches in a row, but are facing a Southampton club that may have found its stride.

The Saints also earned a fantastic victory, 2-1 on the road at Leicester City last weekend, despite playing more than a half with a man down. They’ve now picked up points against Leicester City and Chelsea in consecutive EPL matches.

Moneylines are just about the same for Everton (+170) and Southampton (+180), and bettors have been spreading their bets out on all three outcomes including the draw (+245). I don’t see much value in this game and feel like anything could happen.

Manchester United vs. Brighton (10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold)

Can anyone stop Manchester United now that they’ve gotten rid of Jose Mourinho? Everyone at the club seems to be clicking, while Mourinho is out there saying “Manchester United are not ready for modern football”. It’s fairly easy to see who the problem was this season.

Meanwhile, Brighton nearly got a home point against Liverpool last weekend and have been tough to crack all season long. They’ve already won seven games and have actually conceded fewer goals (30) than Manchester United (32) this year.

Brighton also fit a very profitable historical betting system based on sizable underdogs against teams on short rest. Although it’s been a rough start to the season so far, past years’ data shows that it pays to be patient on the big ‘dogs.

It’s an ugly bet, for sure, but Brighton (+1000) provides some value this weekend against a red-hot United.

Arsenal vs. Chelsea (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC)

In the marquee match of the weekend, Arsenal host Chelsea in a battle of North London vs. West London. The Gunners have been slumping and continue to look vulnerable on defense, a recurring theme over the last 10-plus seasons. If this match is anything like the first meeting back in August (Chelsea won 3-2), we should be in for a good one.

Chelsea have the advantage once again, even on the road, yet public bettors are hammering Arsenal (+180) at home. At the time of publication, Arsenal have received 63% of moneyline wagers, but their odds have shifted from +185 to +205. As much as I’d love to back my Gunners, the betting market paints a bleak picture for Arsenal bettors.

Sunday (2 Matches)

Huddersfield vs. Manchester City (8:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports)

Manchester City appear to be themselves again after a blip in December, and oddsmakers and bettors are expecting at blowout at Huddersfield.

After opening at -575, Man City are already up to -700 and could keep increasing over the next couple days. They’re also -2.5 on the goal-line, so an exact scoreline of 3-0 or 4-0 could be potential bets to make here.

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

Tottenham just lost star striker Harry Kane for 6-8 weeks, which is terrible timing considering the EFL Cup and Champions League matches coming up. They’re already without Heung-min Son due to Asian Cup duty, and Sunday’s match could prove a tricky one at Craven Cottage.

There are two profitable system matches involving this game: Fulham (+450) and Over (2.5).

Public bettors have been avoiding Fulham, yet their odds have improved from +550 to +450.

I hardly ever like to take both a side and total in the same match, but this is a rare case where it makes sense. I’ll be looking for Fulham to pull off a 2-1 upset in the final match of the weekend.

Most Lopsided/Biggest Line Moves

Manchester United and Watford are lopsided picks, which make sense as favorites, but Huddersfield are receiving a crazy amount of support as big underdogs.

Sharp money is clearly on the other side, Man City, as they’ve been the biggest line movers of the weekend. Cardiff City and Fulham are also attracting sharp action as sizable underdogs.

Value Plays

  • Wolves-Leicester City Draw (+220)
  • Brighton (+1000) at Manchester United
  • Fulham (+450) vs. Tottenham
  • Fulham-Tottenham Over 2.5 (-115)