This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
The midweek league matches are coming to a close, but seven of the top clubs are competing in European matches over the next month. And while it'll hopefully lead to fewer injuries for the smaller clubs, that doesn't mean they'll start beating the big boys. The teams competing in Europe are built to compete in Europe, which is why they're deeper. Manchester City can rotate a few guys every match and not miss a beat. Even a team like Arsenal can dip to their bench, though some would say the Gunners skip beats with their regular starters.
Midweek matches are a nuisance, but I wouldn't put anything into them when making bets. If a player like James Maddison or Son Heung-Min gets injured in Europa League, it's another story, but if the UEFA teams come away unscathed, I'm not going to downgrade them because they played midweek. That said, it's still worth monitoring how much certain players are on the pitch because that could affect playing time in the league.
I lost yet another parlay because I'm trusting teams that don't deserve to be trusted (Manchester United and Everton). However, I came out in the positive because my win to nil bets won again. It may be a small sample, but I'm 4-1 in win-to-nil bets and 7-4 in betting that both teams will or won't score. Compared to my other bets, those are good enough to focus on for upcoming weeks.
THE WEEK AHEAD
A lot of people will want to bet Friday's standalone match, but it's one of those matchups where anything can happen. Leeds are hungry to rebound, while Wolves have taken points in each of their last three. When they met earlier in the season, Leeds had 68 percent possession but Wolves got a second-half winner from Raul Jimenez. If Kalvin Phillips is out for Leeds, I'd lean Wolves, but taking them at +160 to win isn't that enticing.
Another match I'd wait to bet on is the Merseyside derby. While I'm all about fading Liverpool as a -200 favorite, this is a revenge spot for the ugly challenge made on Virgil van Dijk that ended his season, and they also controlled that meeting despite a 2-2 result. If anything, I'd look at both teams to not score at +112, only if Dominic Calvert-Lewin misses out again. Without him against Fulham, Everton looked lost and couldn't do anything.
Southampton need to turn things around, but another injury to Kyle Walker-Peters puts them in a hole at full-back yet again. Unlike the bigger clubs, Southampton have almost no bench, and that's the main reason things have fallen apart the last few weeks. Chelsea are maybe on the list of teams not to trust, but against a beat-up side they'll have a massive talent and experience edge, making them a decent play at -137 to win.
As said last week, I'm taking both teams to not score for every Burnley match the rest of the way. It's -121 against West Brom and this is another match either side could win. Burnley are coming off a nice win, but they have a slew of injuries and may be without Ben Mee, who makes everything click along the back line. That injury has me tentative for this bet, but I have to stick to my principles and bet this no matter what.
Fulham hosting Sheffield United is another match that has one team going scoreless written all over it. Both teams won't score is -137, which is one of the higher numbers I've seen this season. Fulham just beat Everton, but they're always prone to being held scoreless and Sheffield United aren't much better. While this matchup finished 1-1 earlier in the season, both goals came in the final 15 minutes of the match.
Both Arsenal and Man City played midweek, which means they're on equal terms. Unfortunately for Arsenal, they aren't close to as good as Man City, and that's what has happened in recent meetings. In addition to being the most in-form team in Europe, Man City won the prior three league meetings by a combined 7-0 scoreline, and they also dominated the League Cup win back in December, a 4-1 victory. Arsenal are home and in play for a goal, so if you don't like Man City to win to nil at +165, you can get Man City -1 at +150 or over 2.5 goals at -134. We know Man City will win, it just depends on if you think it'll be 3-1 or 2-0. Take your pick.
There are decent odds in the Brighton and Crystal Palace match if you think each team continues what they've done the last month. I've faded Palace in every match without Wilfried Zaha because in those five instances this season, they've yet to score. Brighton -129 to win is intriguing, but you can get them at +170 to win to nil. Brighton have allowed just one goal in their last six matches, and that's not because of schedule. While it was a scoreless draw last match against Villa, they dominated, racking up 26 shots compared to four. Given how much Villa attacks and unleashes from distance, that's an impressive number for Brighton, and I expect that to continue against Palace, who are changing their back line every match.
Chelsea to beat Southampton -137
Burnley/West Brom both teams to not score -121
Man City to win to nil against Arsenal +165
Brighton to win to nil against Crystal Palace +170
Parlay: Burnley win/draw against West Brom (-400), Fulham/SheffieldUnited under 2.5 goals (-175), Brighton/Crystal Palace under 3.5 goals (-455) = +141