Backing the top tier in EPL

By Nicholas Hennion  (VSiN.com) 

The festive period is over, Harry Kane is out until April and Liverpool is 13 points clear at the top with a game in hand. 

That’s where the Premier League sits as we enter the first full weekend match schedule of 2020, and I’m hoping to improve on the 4-6-0 record I’ve posted in the last 10 calls. Let’s get right into it and try to make some money. 

Leicester City GL (-1) vs. Southampton

The last time these sides met, Southampton had a man sent off in the 12th minute, and Leicester went on to win 9-0 in the biggest away victory in EPL history. 

The Saints will surely have revenge on their minds as they visit the King Power Stadium, but I’m not about to buy that they can keep up with second-place Leicester. 

After an incredible start to the season, this is somewhat of a get-right spot for Leicester, which is 2-1-2 in its last five matches. However, Brendan Rodgers’ squad is 7-2-1 at home this season. 

Sure, you need Leicester to win by two or more goals to cash outright, but a one-goal victory still pushes and you live to bet another day. In matches Leicester has won, they’ve outpaced teams by two or more goals nine of 14 times, a 64% clip. 

Leicester is fully healthy and on paper is the better team, especially as they have gotten back Golden Boot favorite Jamie Vardy after the birth of his daughter. I think the worst you can do here is a push, and you’re getting plus money to lay the goal as the South Point currently has a plus-115 price to lay the goal with Leicester. 

Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace (Over 2.5 goals)

This is a game Arsenal should win, but Mikel Arteta’s side is too unpredictable to lay goals or take outright on the ML. 

However, I love the total in this game. Both teams have kept clean sheets in a minority of corresponding matches. At home, Palace has kept a clean sheet only 40% of the time, while Arsenal has kept a clean sheet on the road only 20% of the time. 

Additionally, Palace is scoring at least one goal at home in 70% of matches, and Arsenal has the same scoring rate on the road. Essentially that means you need one more goal from either side to push this total over 2.5. 

Not to mention that historically, fixtures between these teams have produced high totals. In the last five EPL matchups, the totals have finished at four goals three times and five goals twice. In the last 13 matchups, nine have finished over 2.5 goals, a 69% rate. 

Right now at the South Point, you have to lay 30 cents of juice to get the Over at -130, but as one of my co-workers likes to say, “You’re not laying juice if you win.” For that reason, take Arsenal-Palace to cash the Over. 

Liverpool GL (-.5) vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool has won four of five on the road, while Tottenham has won four of its last five at home, so something’s got to give as these top-seven clubs battle. 

The difference for me in this match? Harry Kane is out, and Spurs are simply not as good when their captain has been out. When Kane does not score, Tottenham has gone 3-4-3. When he scores? 5-2-2. 

What this match comes down to is the Spurs’ wingers vs. the Liverpool fullbacks, and I trust Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold way more than Erik Lamela and Dele Alli. 

The toughest part about this matchup is that I just don’t want to bet against Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s men have won four of the last five outright, with the fifth being a draw. 

It’s not the greatest price in the world at -145 laying a half-goal, but Liverpool continues to be a bet-on team until someone shows how to slow it down. I think the best Tottenham can do here is a draw, but considering this matchup has resulted in a draw just six of the last 27 times, I like Liverpool to grab all three points.

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