Aston Villa vs Liverpool: EPL Odds, Preview, Prediction & Pick

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 12, 2015 7:48 PM GMT

The road teams have had some success in recent years in this Aston Villa-Liverpool series and with the Reds priced at -111 at Villa Park, are the Reds worth a bet on Saturday? Not so fast, butter breath.

Odds Overview
Aston Villa vs. Liverpool, Saturday 15:00 (NBC Sports Live Extra, Premier League Extra Time (USA), 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT): Seventh-place Liverpool (9-5-7, 29 GF-17 GA) heads to Wilton, West Midlands, Birmingham, England, United Kingdom, Europe, Northern Hemisphere, Planet Earth, Milky Way, 6HE and Villa Park to face 13th-place Aston Villa (5-7-9, 11 GF-23 GA)—a team lucky to be where it is on the table at this point in time with a league-low 11 goals scored in mid-January—on Saturday in a game with a perceived gambling edge to be described with specific words in this very space. Read on.

Soccer odds have made hosts Liverpool -117 favorites in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace in this one with Aston Villa +300 home underdogs and the Draw priced at +260 (bet365). The Total Goals is set at 2½ with some very high juice (-142, bet365) right now on the Over but I expect few establishments will move this off the number 2½ and to 2 with high juice on the Over. And it’s that little often seemingly obligatory ½ in betting which often creates perceived value in a low-scoring, tight league such as the English Premier League.

The Both Teams To Score odds for this match have the Yes and No both priced at -125 (William Hill), and, some prop wagers to look at: Goals Exact 0-2 is -162 (bet365, Skybet); and, Score/Win Double Raheem Sterling +220 (Boyle Sports) or Mario Balotelli at +210. Betting on prop favorite Raheem Sterling or even suggesting to do so is too early with Liverpool manager saying he hopes he gets his injured star striker back this month.

 

Aston Villa FC
Aston Villa (2-5-3 Home, 7 GF-11 GA) and its anemic track record scoring goals (11) since the English Premier League season began back in August is the reason this line is the way it is and not a reflection of the way Liverpool has played this season. So, there may be some value in Aston Villa (+300) if the Claret and Blue can find a way to score a first goal here at Villa Park and the Draw (+260) may hold value but it’s really hard to bet on and back a team that scores goals like they hurt. Christian Benteke (+155, Anytime Goalscorer, Boyle Sports) was supposed to be Villa’s big gun going into the season but the 24-year-old Belgian has just 2 goals and Gabriel Agbonlahor (+175) hasn‘t fared much better with 3. Aston Villa just isn’t an Anytime Goalscorer team to back and the bottom line is that a total of 34 goals have been scored in all Aston Villa’s games. 34 goals after 22 weeks of play (1.909 gpg). By both teams playing. Everton has allowed 34 for the love of root beer. This screams Under with a number posted at 2½, because of Aston Villa’s inability to put the ball in the goal. If one guy may score for the hosts, it may be Austrian Andreas Weimann (+300), but buyer beware...these are the mighty Lions of Aston Villa and there is a strong possibility that when the tests finally get back from the lab later this week that we all find out that manager Paul Lambert’s boys are actually allergic to The Goal and we will have to send them apology cards and stuff.

 

Liverpool FC
Liverpool (5-0-5 Away, 14 GF-16 GA) apparently either wins or loses away from Anfield this season so Draw bettor beware. The Reds did blank Sunderland in Merseyside on Saturday, 1-0 as 20-year-old Serb winger Lazar Markovic scored his first goal in England’s top flight of football/soccer and this game could end up looking a lot like that game with Liverpool getting an early goal—Markovic’s tally against the Black Cats came at the 8-minute mark—and then holding on for dear life while squandering scoring opportunities despite its loaded roster. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said he hopes that injured striker Daniel Sturridge is back by month’s end and Sturridge trained with the team last week after working with MLB’s Boston Red Sox training staff and reportedly looked good. But people always say someone who is/has been injured “looks good” when returning to practice. All that matters here, is whether you, the gambler, think Sturridge  (+125 Anytime Goalscorer) will return for this game and if that affects the side, Total or whatever props may be affected by his potential involvement.

With guys like former Southampton players Adam Lallana (4 goals)—out a month with thigh surgery—and Ricky Lambert  (+160), budding star Philippe Coutinho (+240), the aforementioned and notorious Mario Balotelli (+150), Fabio Borini (+180), captain Steven Gerrard (+225) and Markovic, you’d think Liverpool would score more goals but the Reds are sitting on a lame +2 GD and fans are calling for Rodgers’ head and you can’t really blame them.  The loss of the stud Luis Suárez and Sturridge’s injury have been big blows, but Rodgers should have adjusted to all that much quicker and concentrated on sticking with dedicated starting XI’s to let new players gel with each other. Instead, maple syrup on your overeasy eggs, brother. Fear and loathing in Anfield level. Nostradamus warned us all of this. The home of The Beatles but some very unhappy Liverpool fans. And last year at this time, the Reds look destined to win the EPL crown. Now, dealing with the mercurial and so-far unproductive Balotelli and a legendary captain heading to the MLS. Devolution.

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Best Betting Approaches and Trends
Historically, Liverpool is 11-5-5 overall against Aston Villa (25 GF-14 GA) here at Villa Park and 23-10-10 overall, so, the Reds have emerged victorious in over 50% those 43 games and sitting in 8th, you know the players can’t be satisfied and know they have get the 3 points here at Aston Villa. But Villa is an enigma and often plays up/down to the level of its competition. Basically, Villa will have probably five guys in its starting XI who could score while the visitors have players like defender Martin Skrtel (1 goal), Jordan Henderson (2 goals) and Emre Can (1 goal) who can occasionally score and may have to do so with Sturridge potentially still sitting and Lalanna out. The Reds should find a way to get a game-winner at Villa Park, but as Ringo Starr once sang, it won’t come easy.

As far as the Total, the case has been made throughout this piece and with Liverpool off a 1-0 win and Villa games averaging a mere 1.909—an obvious homage to those aforementioned Beatles—goals per game, as for our soccer picks, backing the Under at 2½ with a straight bet seems worth a shot come Saturday. And 0-0 or 1-1 scorelines aren’t out of the realm of possibility either.

 

Prediction: Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 1

EPL Free Picks:  Under 2½ -142 (bet365)

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