There are so many Champions League matches bumping-up against high-profile Premier League fixtures in November, it’s impossible for punters not to pay attention to cross-competition angles when placing bets.
But what’s more illustrative, an analysis of form of UEFA contenders who also happen to have EPL odds for the weekend, or a look at the actual betting action on Premiership sides playing international football?
Man City, for instance, is suddenly attracting a lion’s share of futures bets to win the next Champions League Final, even though Parisians of Paris Saint-Germain lead a powerful Group A quartet of teams after 3 round-robin matches, haven’t lost a football match outside of Ligue 1 since losing to City in the CL final last year, and took revenge on Citizens in a 2-0 victory on September 28.
While there’s an argument that no French club has the edge in a UEFA championship bout, the same could be said about the very top tier of the Premier League, given Manchester City’s ongoing failure to lift the hardware. It could certainly be said about Spain’s clubs, as illustrated by Barca’s fall from grace in 2021. Yet only La Liga appears to be punished on the betting board.
City can argue that punters’ optimism comes from Citizens’ 5-1 triumph over Club Brugge in round 3 of Group Stage. But it’s not as if Pep Guardiola’s side comes into this week’s rematch with any momentum.
Manchester City was beaten on penalties by upstart West Ham in a tournament match last Wednesday, and went on to suffer an ignominious league defeat to Wilfried Zaha and Crystal Palace over the weekend. Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man United are notably ahead of every Spanish and Italian side in drawn bets on a 2022 championship, with MUFC currently lagging at 16/1 due to its struggle to produce an effective supporting cast around Ronaldo and Paul Pogba.
The common thread is that “elite” clubs are still getting a dose of artificial “name-brand” action on the betting board. What underdog bets do the syndrome open-up for Premier League sharks in late fall? Namely the surging Hammers of West Ham and Eagles of Crystal Palace…but those are far from the only 2 candidates for causing chaos on the pitch against cracking lineups.
This Week’s Premier League Odds, Betting Lines, and Picks
11/5: Southampton vs. Aston Villa
A (+250) money-line market for Aston Villa against host Saints is largely due to Villains’ faltering road form. Villa recently dropped 6 points in Premier League losses to Tottenham and Arsenal before returning home to face West Ham and suffer a grim 4-1 defeat.
Saints should be feeling pretty good following a bright stretch of 2 wins and 2 regulation draws after losing to Chelsea in a league match in early October. Southampton didn’t survive the penalty round against Chelsea in an EFL Cup rematch, but that could serve to focus an aggressive, intense lineup’s attention on Premiership contests.
It’s about time that FanDuel speculators give Villains a break. Aston Villa has faced a murderous schedule of late, as more than half of a dozen legacy teams paraded through the EPL “bubble” club’s ledger. Even the teams that would usually be vulnerable to Villains grabbing 3 points, like Brentford and West Ham, have enjoyed marvelous timing in their bouts with Villa, and as we’ll cover again on scroll, West Ham might no longer be a “swimming minnow”.
Overall, Friday’s visitors should be pleased to see an athletically comparable foe on the calendar, especially since Villa defeated Southampton in their most recent matchup.
Recommended bet: Aston Villa
11/6: Manchester United vs. Manchester City
When looking at this weekend’s EPL odds, it may be easy to think that Man City is playing in top form, while Man United (+360) is struggling. It’s certainly the case that MUFC is in a swoon, as Ronaldo has failed to lift the starting 11’s overall form, and the “Paul Pogba Transfer!” English tabloid cycle repeats itself for about the 500th time. However, the (-135) favorites to win Saturday’s derby aren’t cracking on their own accord, having lost twice in 4 days. Despite not scoring in their last 200 minutes of play, City is a (-145) favorite on the road.
Watching a City fall short on the attack in 2 consecutive matches is certainly a strange sight to behold. Sky Blues were eliminated from the EFL Cup bracket by stubborn West Ham last Wednesday, losing to a clean sheet and penalties despite 9 corner kicks and 25 shot attempts.
A Red Devils 3-0 defeat of Tottenham should give Man United supporters a boost of optimism and could help shrink the odds on MUFC by this weekend. Hindsight may illustrate that Red Devils should have garnered better than 4/1 odds, as long-odds picks on such a talented team at home aren’t usually available vs. a struggling opponent.
Recommended bet: Man United
11/6: Chelsea F.C. vs. Burnley F.C.
Chelsea is humming right along with a surprise 5-point lead over Man City on the November table, but thin (-410) odds on Blues to defeat Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Saturday will force punters to look at goals instead. Clarets (+1200) showed few signs of coming alive with the football until the club managed to pierce Saints’ forward pressure for 2 goals on October 23rd. The football club then went on to defeat visiting Brentford 3-1 with veteran Chris Wood leading a flourish in the 1st-half.
Meanwhile, Blues are coming off 2 out of 3 slow slogs on the attack vs. Southampton and Malmö, but the club is scoring so many “show” tallies in lopsided wins that FanDuel’s bookmakers are offering (-150) odds on O(2.5). Negative eversion for Burnley’s attack could produce a sleepy clean-sheet win this time, producing a win for the longer-odds pick.
Recommended bet: Under (2.5)
11/6: Crystal Palace vs. Wolverhampton
West Ham, one of the Premier League surprises, currently stands above Manchester United on the EPL table with 20 points in 10 matches. Hammers are also above Arsenal, a team of rapid improvement that hasn’t allowed a meaningful opposing goal in 3 straight matches. But don’t forget about Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton, clubs that have upended London’s odds-makers several times in the last few weeks. Wolverhampton was fixed as a money-line underdog in most of a recent stretch vs. mid-tier Premiership rivals, but Wanderers have earned 13 points in domestic league play since falling to Spurs on penalties in an EPL Cup meeting. Meanwhile, Eagles of CPFC are fresh from conquering Man City in a matchup that is a clear candidate for upset-of-the-cycle.
The odds on Wolves for this Saturday are poised to flummox bookmakers once again. Crystal Palace is much harder to beat now than Eagles were in late summer, but CPFC hasn’t won an 11-on-11 road contest since defeating Hornets 3-1 on August 7. Palace’s 3-0 upset of Tottenham was aided by an 11-on-10 edge for most of the second half.
Recommended bet: Wolves
11/7: West Ham vs. Liverpool
Liverpool and West Ham could easily be the most-anticipated pairing of a 3-day weekend in Premier League football. In some respects, the clash is a classic case of an immovable object meeting an irresistible force.
Liverpool’s form, versatility, and status make them the “object” and an odds-on contender for the Premiership crown in 2021-22. Salah’s side maintained a perfect 3-0 UEFA record while conquering Watford and MUFC by identical 5-0 scores in a streak of October glory. However, Reds have since drawn 2-2 with Brentford, dampening Salah’s (-145) prop-betting odds to score and the action on Liverpool’s (-140) odds to win on Sunday.
West Ham’s momentum subsequently provides the “force”, which is threatening to pull the Premier League side out of annual “minnow” status and into the ranks of the elite, not only in English football but in western Europe. Hammers are exhibiting surprising depth throughout a UEFA Europa League campaign that’s going better than supporters could have dreamed, all while establishing a new level of quality in league play. Incidentally, West Ham’s position in 4th place on the EPL table could be improved on as easily as downgraded as the season continues.
Reds are infamous for not taking tournament matches seriously, but it wasn’t a reserve Man City lineup that West Ham knocked out of the Football League Cup last week. Pep Guardiola utilized FIFA stars Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Kyle Walker, and John Stones as Sky Blues nevertheless labored to contain West Ham’s counterattacks while whiffing on 18 on goal strikes.
Over(3.5) picks will prove more popular than “Both Teams to Score” prior to the match at London Stadium, if only because FanDuel’s thin prop odds of (-190) are prohibitive of profit-value in the latter market. But the prediction of goals is a wise one, given Liverpool’s experience in the manager’s chair and West Ham’s ill-timed UEFA contest with Genk on Thursday, less than 70 hours before the crucial kickoff with Reds. Liverpool’s helmsman Jürgen Klopp is too seasoned not to take advantage of Hammers’ likely fatigue following a trip to Belgium. A slow-paced match would allow West Ham to utilize stoppages and set pieces and turn inferior talents into “bodies” in the box.
After watching West Ham post a clean sheet against Man City, the Liverpool coaches are likely to take every possible step to ensure forward numbers and a fast-moving football in the 1st half. Liverpool may not win, but Reds will attack with all they’ve got.
Recommended bet: Over (3.5)
Kurt has authored close to 1000 stories covering football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, prize-fighting and the Olympic Games. Kurt posted a 61% win rate on 200+ college and NFL gridiron picks last season. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.