Premier League Week 28 Preview: Can Bettors Trust Chelsea Against Tottenham?
Getty Images. Pictured: Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and defender David Luiz
- It's another quick turnaround in the Premier League as Week 28 action takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, headlined by Chelsea-Tottenham (Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET).
- Liverpool are now just 1 point ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table and both clubs are big home favorites on Wednesday.
- I've analyzed the entire betting market to pick out the four best value plays to make.
Following Leicester City’s 4-1 home loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday, manager Claude Puel was sacked by the club, marking the fifth coaching change in the EPL this season.
EPL managers sacked during 2018-19 season (current league position)
-Claude Puel, Leicester City (12th)
-Jose Mourinho, Man Utd (5th)
-David Wagner, Huddersfield (20th)
-Mark Hughes, Southampton (18th)
-Slavia Jokanovic, Fulham (19th)
— ArsenalDMC (@ArsenalDMC) February 25, 2019
Meanwhile, Liverpool only managed a 0-0 draw at Manchester United and are now just one point ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
Third-place Tottenham missed a huge opportunity to gain on Liverpool by losing late at Burnley, 2-1. Spurs are still just six points behind the leaders but have increased to 40-1 longshots to win the title.
At the bottom of the table, Huddersfield and Fulham are almost certain to be relegated, so there are essentially ten clubs trying to avoid 18th-place (the last relegation spot).
2018-19 Season Trends
- Burnley’s upset win as +525 underdogs over Tottenham propelled home teams to another winning week, and they’re now +13.75 units on the season.
- Draws had another losing week with just two ties in eight matches (Bournemouth-Wolves and Man Utd-Liverpool).
- Despite being the most profitable moneyline bet this season, Leicester City parted ways with manager Claude Puel.
- Underdogs (+5.15 units) and Favorites (+0.38 units) are both in the black this year.
- Overs have earned +5.25 units while Unders are -17.51 units, which is generally a good sign for public bettors.
Week 27 was also a profitable one for value plays as they finished 3-3 for +2.91 units.
For Week 28, I’ve analyzed the entire betting market and provided four value plays (EPL Season Record: 36-62-1, -10.63 units).
(Odds are always on the move until kickoff, so be sure to follow all the latest lines and betting percentages here)
Biggest Line Moves
Nearly all of this week’s line movement has been toward the visiting teams, which may seem unusual considering the short layoff between matches.
Wolves (-105 to -120) have seen the biggest shift in odds but that’s partly due to Huddersfield’s ineptitude. The Terriers have scored just 14 goals in 27 league matches, and have earned only 11 points along the way.
Bettors have been keen on Crystal Palace at home, although that line movement is also due to their opponent, Manchester United.
The Red Devils are dealing with a plethora of injuries lately and in Sunday’s first half alone, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard were all substituted.
In the marquee match of the week, sharp action has come in on Spurs to rally against Chelsea which makes sense.
The Blues just played a grueling EFL Cup final against Manchester City which went to extra time and penalty kicks, and there’s apparently still a rift between manager Mauricio Sarri and his players.
😳 – Have you EVER seen anything like it!?
Maurizio Sarri tries to substitute Kepa Arrizabalaga for Willy Caballero, but Kepa refuses to come off and Sarri is absolutely FURIOUS! 😡 pic.twitter.com/Q81v6ry3Kk
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) February 24, 2019
It was one of the more unusual things I’ve seen while watching a soccer match, and the organization has insisted it was simply a misunderstanding. Nonetheless, I would not feel confident in backing Chelsea this week, but public bettors still do.
Early smart money also came in on a couple of the bigger underdogs, Brighton and West Ham, feeling that the initial odds were just a bit too high on both.
Lopsided Public Wagers
Line movement has been toward road teams, but public bettors continue to come in on the home sides, particularly Leicester City, Newcastle and Chelsea.
This week I’m looking at a couple struggling underdogs that have a great chance to bounce back on the road this week.
This system itself has struggled this season (0-6 for -6 units), but now would be a great time to jump back in.
Despite the smaller sample size, the number of matches per season has been very consistent (5, 13, 12, 15, 21, 16) and there are no cherry-picked filters added.
Brighton (+365) to beat Leicester City is the first play, and it’s not the worst time to fade the Foxes after making a managerial switch from Claude Puel. The public is still counting on Leicester City to win, but I’m going the other way and taking Brighton to pull off the mini upset.
You’ll also have to summon the courage to bet Fulham (again?!) who just can’t seem to get out of their own way. They started fantastically at West Ham last weekend but then completely shut down and ultimately lost 3-1.
They’ve only picked up two points on the road all season long so this is a pretty ugly pick, but one that must be made at the current price.
Don’t forget that Week 29 is right around the corner on Saturday/Sunday, and we’ll be back with another betting preview for all ten matches.
- Burnley-Newcastle Draw (+230)
- Brighton (+365) at Leicester City
- Crystal Palace (+220) vs. Manchester United
- Fulham (+335) at Southampton