Betting the English Premier League is a lot like betting baseball. There are so many fluke plays and incidents that can happen during a game, that betting on the outcome can feel futile, even when the numbers distinctly point toward a clear favorite. But for the savvy punter, EPL value bets can be found all across the table. And understanding the probabilities — and team tendencies — can help.
What we’re looking for here are overlays — areas where the numbers and probabilities don’t quite align. Three examples stand out this week:
Leicester (– ¼) at Burnley
The Foxes are 7-1-3 on the road this season and, despite winning only two of their last six games, are six points clear of fourth-place Manchester United. Leicester has also scored in seven of its last 11 away games.
Throw in the fact Leicester was shocked, 2-1, by Southampton last week – the same Southampton it waxed, 9-0, in the fall – and the Foxes offer tremendous rebound value here.
Burnley is 2-2-5 against Leicester the last five seasons, and yes, they are 2-0-2 against the Foxes at home in that span. But Burnley is 14th in goals scored (1.09 per game) this season, and is missing most of what passes for its offense in striker Ashley Barnes, who is out after hernia surgery. This is too heavy a lift for the home side.
Sheffield United (+ ½) at Arsenal
Full disclosure: I’m an Arsenal fan. Full disclosure 2.0: this game is priced purely on reputation.
Over the last five+ seasons, Arsenal is 14-2-0 at The Emirates against newly promoted sides. And Arsenal has conceded at least a goal in its last four outings in that situation. The Gunners dominated play against Crystal Palace last week, but couldn’t turn their possession edge and endless time spent in the Palace third into anything but a 1-1 draw.
The 10th-place Gunners are not only staring up at Sheffield United (they’re four places and four points down), but will take the pitch without their star striker and EPL goal leader, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is suspended for three games for his red card against Palace.
That puts Arsenal’s attack squarely on the slumping shoulders of Alexandre Lacazette, who hasn’t scored in seven matches. It also puts me on Sheffield United’s side.
Take Sheffield United
Wolverhampton Wanderers at Southampton (Over 2½ goals)
The line on this game moved from a Pick-‘Em to Southampton minus ¼, which makes jumping on the already-crowded Wolves bandwagon rather tempting.
What makes it less tempting is not only the sizzling form of Southampton striker Danny Ings, who has 10 goals in his last 10 EPL starts, but Wolves’ sloppy form. As 1¼-goal favorites against Newcastle last week, they commanded 66 percent possession, but managed less than four shots on target for the fourth consecutive game, which explains a disappointing 1-1 draw.
Wolves have conceded first a league-leading 15 times this year – including the last six — and each of the three EPL meetings between these two squads has produced at least two goals.
Figure Ings and company to find the net. Figure Wolves to do the same, and don’t sweat what figures to be a quirky outcome.
Take over 2½ goals