Quick turnaround as EPL back on field

By Nicholas Hennion  () 

A nice recovery from last week’s stumble with a 2-1 week, cashing on the Under in Villa-Norwich and the Over in City-Wolves. 

It’s a quick turnaround for all teams, with another slate of matches Saturday and Sunday. Even as the EPL gets more difficult to predict, I still see some slight edges this week.

Burnley vs. Manchester United: Both teams to score OR Burnley GL

If you’re one of the lucky few who bets at a book offering props on soccer, this is the time to take advantage. 

The Red Devils have never kept a clean sheet away from Old Trafford this season. On the flip side, opponents have held Burnley goalless at home only twice this season, and one of those was league-leading Liverpool. 

Sean Dyche’s men have quietly been a top-half side in home matches, and United has lost a majority of its road matches this season. It’s a recipe for success, especially given that United has won only two matches in a row once this season. 

That’s why if you can’t get the BTTS prop, look to grab Burnley on the goal line. The South Point has Burnley at .5 goal at 125 odds, meaning you cash with a win or draw from Burnley. I’m not confident United can eliminate the mistakes to the point where it can win outright, making 125 a good value play. 

Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Chelsea GL

Another head-scratcher with this line, as I’m not sure why Chelsea isn’t favored on the GL, but we’ll take the edges as they come. 

Chelsea is the third-best road team in the Premier League this season, and Arsenal doesn’t know how to line up correctly. The Gunners have drawn nine of 19 games this season and on paper face more problems than Chelsea. 

I see a straight Arsenal win being the least likely result, as evidenced by newly promoted manager Mikel Arteta’s side having won outright only once in its last five meetings with the Blues. 

South Point currently has the goal line set at a PK — a Chelsea win cashes, a draw pushes. Considering Arsenal is tied for the lowest win percentage of teams outside the relegation zone, there’s too much value, even at -135 odds with Chelsea, to pick Arsenal as a side and hope for a push.

Watford vs. Aston Villa: Under 2.5 goals

Let’s call this the “you must be crazy to be rooting for a 0-0 draw” play. 

I’m basing this play off the trend outlined in my previous two columns: Whenever you’re betting the total on teams in the bottom four, hammer the Under. But normally this total is set at 3 goals instead of 2.5, making me all the more anxious. 

However, the  clear value play is on the Under, and my gut tells me a 2-0, 1-0 or 1-1 result is far more likely than a no-holds-barred, score-as-many-goals-as-you can match. As of this writing, the odds at the South Point on the Under are 120, or about a 45-cent shift from a three-goal total. 

At home, Watford has allowed only two opponents to score three goals, and Aston Villa simply doesn’t have the firepower to do that. A win gets Villa out of the relegation zone, and I expect its priority will be to keep a clean sheet. 

For me, the Under is the only play worth considering. Otherwise, I would keep my distance.

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