Premier League Week 31 Preview: Bettors Expect Liverpool to Roll Over Fulham
Getty Images. Pictured: Sadio Mane
- There are only five Premier League matches on the board this weekend due to FA Cup quarterfinal action but Sunday features Everton-Chelsea (12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSports) and Fulham-Liverpool (10:15 a.m. ET on NBC Sports).
- Bettors expect Liverpool and Chelsea to come away with easy victories after picking up road wins in European competition this past week.
It’s been an incredibly successful couple weeks for the Premier League with four clubs qualifying for the Champions League quarterfinals (Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham) and two others making the Europa League quarterfinals (Arsenal and Chelsea).
England now makes up 37.5% of the teams left in European cup competition and the odds of an EPL club winning the Champions League are -150.
Only two of those clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool, will be playing a Premier League match this weekend due to the FA Cup quarterfinals.
The Blues have a chance to move within a single point of Tottenham for third-place if they can defeat Everton on the road, and the Reds can surpass Man City at the top of the league by defeating Fulham.
Despite just a single point gap at the top of the standings, Manchester City remain -275 favorites to win the league while Liverpool are +225.
2018-19 Season Trends
- Home teams dominated again in Week 30, winning seven of the 10 matches. They’re now +28 units on the season while draws have dipped down all the way to -80 units.
- Leicester City regained their winning ways against lowly Fulham to keep the top spot in moneyline profitability (+12.52 units).
- Fulham continue to be the least profitable club, costing bettors more than 20 units.
For Week 31, I’ve analyzed each matchup and provided two value plays (EPL Season Record: 39-72-1, -17.96 units).
(Odds are always on the move until kickoff, so be sure to follow all the latest lines and betting percentages here)
Betting Market Breakdown and Value Plays
With just five matches on the board it isn’t the most compelling weekend to bet the EPL, but there’s still been plenty of action nonetheless.
West Ham (-170) are the only odds-on home favorites and we’ve seen multiple waves of bets on the Hammers to get the victory.
Huddersfield have been abysmal this season by scoring just 0.5 goals per match, and they are essentially a lock to be relegated at -150000 odds ($150,000 to make $100).
We could easily see West Ham reach the -200 range around the market with another flow of bets before kickoff, but I’ll be looking to take Huddersfield at an inflated price.
Early sharp bettors have hit both sides of Bournemouth-Newcastle, but the majority of wagers has come in on Newcastle (+280) to pick up the road upset.
Last weekend The Magpies stormed back from 2-0 down to beat Everton, 3-2, for their third win in four matches, so it’s clear why public confidence is high.
Saturday’s other matchup is nearly a toss-up with Burnley (+150) and Leicester City (+200) both offered at better odds than the draw (+235).
After picking up points in eight consecutive EPL matches, Burnley have dropped three straight and are in supreme danger of the relegation zone. Leicester City are safe but will be hoping to finish in the top-ten to build for next season under new manager Brendan Rodgers.
No significant wagers have shifted the lines yet, but the public is heavy on the Foxes to win on the road.
The Clarets have suffered the second-most multi-goal defeats (13) and conceded the second-most goals (57) this season, two stats that don’t inspire confidence in bettors.
Sunday’s two-match slate begins with the most frustrating team in the league, Fulham, hosting title-contenders Liverpool in a must-win match for the Reds.
Liverpool originally opened -300 but those odds have soared to -375 after dominating Bayern Munich in the Champions League Tuesday night.
Bettors don’t really see them suffering a hangover or letdown, and they’ll be an extremely popular part of parlays this weekend.
Fulham have conceded the most goals (68) in the EPL and have the worst goal differential (-40), but they’ve been markedly better at home where they’ve picked up 15 of 17 points this season.
In the final match of the weekend, Chelsea have received the majority of betting support with nearly 65% of tickets to win at Everton. Despite the lopsided wagering, the line has barely budged.
The over/under is what sportsbooks are concerned about as sharp money has hit the under (2.5), shifting the juice from -101 to -113. Public bets on the over should help balance the action so I’m interested to see where the total ends up.
- Huddersfield (+600) at West Ham
- Fulham (+1100) vs. Liverpool