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First-half closeout sale in EPL

By Nicholas Hennion  (VSiN.com) 

December 26, 2019 12:40 AM

It was nothing short of a rough start last week as my picks went 1-4 — with the one being a mistaken line from the South Point. But as Brent likes to say, “Cashin’ tickets is what it’s all about,” so we’ll take the small victories as they come and move on to this week’s action.

It will be two matches in three days for EVERY team as the first half of the season closes out, and there at least appears to be plenty of opportunities to make some $$$.

Wolverhampton/Manchester City OVER 3 Goals

Wolves have yet to be held goalless at Molineux this season, and City is one of the best teams away from home. The combination of those two trends makes this the perfect time to play the over, especially given that these teams aren’t exactly employing masterclass defenses. 

So far this season, Manchester City has seen the total go OVER three goals 16 of 18 times, and in all road matches this season, Pep Guardiola’s men have only scored fewer than two goals once when it traveled to Anfield. 

Additionally, in its last five Premier League matches, Wolves have either pushed a three-goal total or gone over three times. Even though a majority of Wolves’ results have been 2-0 or 1-1, the current defense it puts out simply can’t keep City to a clean sheet. 

As a final thought, when these teams last met at the Etihad in October, Wolves dismantled City 2-0, making it a revenge spot for the Cityzens. City will want to come out and put goals on the board knowing a victory will see them jump Leicester unless the Foxes upset Liverpool at Anfield. 

The worst-case scenario here for me is a push, but 3-1 or 3-2 seems plausible. 

Aston Villa-Norwich City UNDER 3 Goals

The normally reliable trend focusing on matches between bottom-four teams didn’t cash for us last week, but I’m looking to hit it again this week as Villa hosts Norwich. 

If you weren’t with us last week, here’s the trend to keep in mind - considering only matches between bottom-four teams last season, totals either pushed or cashed on a three-goal total 72 percent of the time. Add in this season’s matches, and you’re still cashing an under or pushing 69 percent of the time. 

Additionally, these two teams’s combined average number of times the total has finished under 3.5 goals = 61 percent, according to footystats.org. Plus, Norwich is one of the worst teams when it comes to grabbing goals away from home, as the Canaries average a mere ½ goal on the road. On the flipside, Villa can barely scrape by at home - averaging 1.3 goals per hope match. 

Could this be a wide-open match that doesn’t come close to an under? Perhaps, but teams might hold back knowing they’ll be playing again 48 hours later. 

I’ve seen some books with EVEN money on the under, so be sure to grab the best line you can find to save some juice. 

Sheffield United ML vs. Watford

It was an emotional victory for the Hornets at Vicarage Road last week against a struggling Manchester United, but now they travel to face Sheffield with the second-worst road record in the entire Premier League. 

Watford has only won a single fixture away from home this season, and while Sheffield hasn’t been perfect defending its home turf, it has won three of its last five home matches. 

Plus, Watford faces a MUCH more important match on the 28th when it faces Aston Villa in a pivotal match to decide whether it gets relegated come May. 

On the flip side, it’s difficult to emphasize the importance of this match for Sheffield. After this one, the Blades will travel to BOTH Liverpool and Manchester City, followed by West Ham and Arsenal. Not exactly the easiest upcoming schedule, making this a crucial three points for the home side. 

There won’t be much of difference between the ML and GL - most books will have Sheffield at 0.5-goal favorites - so get a little extra value on the straight-up win. 

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