Betting on Premier League: Gameweek 26

Betting on Premier League: Gameweek 26

This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.

Gameweek 25 was one of the lower scoring gameweeks of the season, as 20 goals were scored in the first 10 matches (I wrote this before Tuesday's match). I've kept track throughout the season and for the most part, the total number of goals for a gameweek has stuck around the mid 20s outside of the random gameweeks that had 15 matches or ones that only had six. It's not too surprising since that averages out to about 2.5 goals every match with a few outliers. There was a scoring boon earlier in the season, which is why I started keeping track, and now it's been fairly normal.

Still, there's a chance midweek travel could catch up to some of these teams, especially ones that aren't rotating a lot, like Liverpool and Tottenham. While a lot of the low-scoring teams are near the bottom of the table, the number of high-scoring matches has dwindled, which is something worth targeting in the odds. I've had a nice run on "win to nil" bets, and that correlates with lower-scoring matches because more teams are going scoreless.

Maybe this trend won't continue, but it's worth trying.

LAST WEEK

I almost had everything spot on last week, but while I questioned Liverpool being a -200 favorite against Everton, I assumed revenge would come into play after Virgil van Dijk was injured in the prior meeting. Clearly, that's not something to take into account if you want to win money. Still, I highlighted both teams not to score, which hit because Liverpool couldn't find the back of the net. Otherwise, my strategy of betting both teams to score or not to score, as well as winning to nil, continues to work, for the most part (no thanks to Brighton).

THE WEEK AHEAD

I'm going back to the well with the first match of the weekend, as Manchester City to win to nil is +100 against West Ham. Man City have hit that bet in eight of their last 10 league matches, and while West Ham are scoring almost every match, it's hard to go against the league leaders. They've had a favorable schedule, but they held both Arsenal and Tottenham scoreless in recent matches, while Liverpool needed a penalty to make the score-sheet. I'll probably take this bet in every Man City match the rest of the way unless their back line suddenly falls apart.

Brighton have found a style in which they control matches but struggle to score, which is what happened against Crystal Palace on Monday. That'll likely be the case against West Brom, who have played a bit better defensively in recent matches, with four total goals being scored in their last three matches. If Brighton win to nil at +220 seems risky given their goal scoring, you can still get under 2.5 goals for -139, which is decent unless West Brom score on their only two shots of the match.

Leeds-Aston Villa is a game between two sides that may be without their best players. Leeds have struggled without Kalvin Phillips all season and Villa never looked threatening without Jack Grealish in their recent loss to Leicester City even though Bertrand Traore managed to score. If both players are in, the odds should be closer to even, and if one of those players starts and the other sits, I'd go with the side that has their best player available.

Palace won their most recent match, but they've been outplayed by a wide margin in each of their last three without Wilfried Zaha. Prior to bagging two goals on two shots against Brighton, they had failed to score in five previous matches without Zaha, a combined 12-0 score line. When these teams met earlier in the season, Fulham controlled possession, but they didn't know what to do with it, giving up 10 shots on target with a goal and assist to Zaha.

If Zaha misses out again, I'm planning to go heavy on Fulham, who have won two of their last three and taken points in each of their last four, giving up one goal in that period. Fulham to win is just +128, but throw in a win to nil and it's +250. Under 2.5 goals is -180 and more of a parlay piece. If you want to go all out, Fulham to win 1-0 is +540 and 2-0 is +850. If you bet both of those and hit either one, the return is better than the +250 win to nil bet.

Sticking with my weekly strategy, both teams won't score is -105 for the Burnley and Tottenham match. This bet has hit in four of Burnley's last six matches and nine of their last 12. Tottenham won the first meeting 1-0 when the teams combined for seven shots on target. If you don't think Burnley are going to win, Tottenham are +165 to win to nil, but given that they have Europa League midweek, I don't think they're a lock to win.

It's not the match everyone will be looking at Sunday, but Liverpool are a -265 favorite at Sheffield United. Sure, the Blades sit last in the table, but they're still battling most matches and played Liverpool tight in the first meeting, a 2-1 win for the Reds. As I've said before, the odds still show Liverpool as a dominant team, which is clearly not the case after another loss last weekend. In the same spot last season on Sept. 28, 2019, Liverpool were a -275 away favorite and won 1-0. The odds shouldn't be almost the same this season, which leads me to great odds for Sheffield United +1 at +140.

If you want to bet on the bigger teams, you're kind of guessing between Leicester City and Arsenal, and Chelsea and Manchester United, all of whom have midweek UEFA matches.

That's kind of how I see Monday's Everton and Southampton match, as well. Everton just beat Liverpool, but they've been extremely inconsistent this season, notably losing their last three home matches, two against Newcastle and Fulham. I'm not confident in the way Southampton are playing because of injuries, but I think taking them on a draw no bet at +143 is reasonable. Everton have been bad at home and Southampton need to rebound from a poor run of form.

THE BETS

Manchester City to win to nil against West Ham +100

Brighton to win to nil against West Brom +220

Fulham to win to nil against Crystal Palace +250

Southampton draw no bet against Everton +143

Parlay: WestBrom/Brighton under 2.5 (-139), Arsenal win/draw against Leicester City (-177), Sheffield United +2 against Liverpool (-250), Burnley +1 against Tottenham (-117) = +603

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam, a 2019, 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's assistant soccer editor. He also runs RotoWire's Bracketology, as well as writes on other various college basketball content. He has previously worked at ESPN and Sporting Kansas City, and he is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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