Premier League Week 5 Betting Preview: Back to the Drawing Board?
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for Tottenham Hotspur FC. Pictured: Tottenham’s Harry Kane battling with Liverpool’s James Milner
- Premier League action returns after the international break with a marquee opener on Saturday morning between Tottenham and Liverpool (7:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports).
- With 10 matches on the board for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, there are plenty of betting opportunities.
- After analyzing the market and historical data, I've picked out three value plays to bet.
The international break always feels twice as long as it really is, and I know I’ve been eagerly waiting the return of the Premier League.
The marquee game of the weekend is early Saturday morning with Liverpool travelling to Wembley Stadium to take on Tottenham. Liverpool have conceded just one goal all season but their schedule gets tough, playing Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City over the next four league games.
Spurs won and drew against Liverpool last season, but without goalie Hugo Lloris and midfielder Dele Alli this weekend, odds have shifted away from the home side. Public bettors are expecting plenty of goals with more than 80% of tickets on the over (3).
Before getting into the rest of this weekend’s matches, let’s take a quick look at how the season has panned out so far.
2018-19 Season Trends
It’s been a solid start for the sportsbooks this season with all three-way moneyline results in the red. A big reason for that is the lack of big upsets so far, even with some surprise teams like Watford and Bournemouth.
Draws have been hard to come by but Week 5 may be a turning point as there are eight draws listed in the +250 odds range. On paper, most games on the board are expected to be competitive.
By analyzing the betting market and historical data, I’ve picked out three value plays for Premier League Week 5.
2018-19 Season Record: 5-11-1 (-3.15 units)
Crystal Palace at Huddersfield (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold)
- Crystal Palace Odds: +147
- Huddersfield Odds: +227
- Draw Odds: +217
- Over/Under: 2 (o-125)
The low over/under of 2 goals should have been a clear giveaway that this pick would be a draw, and it is. There are two historically profitable Bet Labs systems based on draws with low totals, and there’s no reason to stray from them in this match.
Crystal Palace could be boosted by the return of star Wilfried Zaha (groin injury), but he may not be 100% even if he starts. They still haven’t won an EPL match without him since 2016, a streak of eleven consecutive losses.
Both clubs will believe they can win this match and it’s a solid opportunity for each to pick up points. Public bettors have seemed to catch on to the draw but there’s still value at odds of +217.
The Bet: Draw +217
Leicester City at Bournemouth (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold)
- Leicester City Odds: +213
- Bournemouth Odds: +143
- Draw Odds: +246
- Over/Under: 2.5 (o-104)
This matchup probably won’t get much attention at the 10 a.m. ET time slot, but it has the potential to be the one to watch. Both clubs have multiple wins to start the season and have serious aspirations of finishing in a Europa League qualifying position.
Leicester City are healthy and also getting Jamie Vardy back after a three-match suspension, a player they badly need. Their expected goals scored (xG) has been near the bottom of the league without him, but they’ll have confidence they can get a result with him in the starting XI.
Bournemouth have home-field advantage and early metrics actually indicate that this club is underperforming based on results so far. They’re getting the majority of moneyline tickets by the public, but odds haven’t fluctuated much from the opener of +140.
The Foxes have played four competitive matches this season without a draw, but this will be the week they finally share the points. At +246 odds (28.9% implied probability), the draw is well worth a bet.
The Bet: Draw +246
Manchester United at Watford (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
- Man Utd Odds: +330
- Watford Odds: -107
- Draw Odds: +266
- Over/Under: 2.5 (u-120)
Watford have been the most surprising club in the Premier League and are tied atop the table with Liverpool and Chelsea, all with perfect 4-0-0 records. Another win in a home match at night against a prestigious club like Manchester United could propel them to special things this season.
The Red Devils got off to a slow start this season but they played a solid first half against Tottenham despite losing, 3-0, and then bounced back nicely to win at Burnley, 2-0.
It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Jose Mourinho and company, but he may be able to right the ship with a favorable schedule coming up.
This weekend won’t be easy, though, and public bettors have diverted their love from Manchester United to Watford. In a typical year, this matchup would see more than 75% of bets on Man United, but Watford’s early success has pushed it down to just 56% for Saturday.
The draw is one of the most unpopular bets of the weekend but there’s plenty of value at +266 odds, especially with movement toward under 2.5 goals. The moneylines on both Watford and Man United are too good for public bettors to pass up, but I’ll be rooting for a stalemate.
The Bet: Draw (+266)
Biggest Line Moves
In early betting, Liverpool, Watford and Wolves have seen the most line movement at Pinnacle. Odds will surely be on the move up until kickoff, so be sure to follow all the latest lines and betting percentages.
Most Lopsided Betting %
Liverpool are one of the most popular bets of the weekend, but some of that is due to the fact that Tottenham will be missing two key components in Lloris and Alli. With odds once available in the +150/+160 range, I don’t blame bettors whatsoever for backing Liverpool.
I would be very worried as an Arsenal fan since they’re an extremely trendy road pick at Newcastle. They’re expected to win this match just over the half the time, but nearly 80% of the bets has been placed on the Gunners.
- Man Utd-Watford Draw (+266)
- Crystal Palace-Huddersfield Draw (+217)
- Bournemouth-Leicester City Draw (+246)