Aston Villa vs. Manchester City: Odds, Preview & Prediction

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 6:35 PM GMT

Get ready for an easy soccer pick as defending English Premier League champions Manchester City head to West Midlands and Villa Park to play Aston Villa in a match screaming 'road favorites!'

Manchester City at Aston Villa
NBC/NBC Sports Live Extra, 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT, Saturday
When looking at the English Premier League table when handicapping this match between third-place Manchester City (3-2-1, 11 points) and sixth-place Aston Villa (3-1-2, 10 points), it seems the team’s are very close and that this would be Aston Villa’s chance to pull off a big upset at home and leapfrog the Sky Blues in the standings. But these are two teams at two very different levels and I don’t think even the friendly confines of Villa Park will carry enough weight—and hope—here to knock off the defending champions who probably have first-place and unbeaten Chelsea (5-1-0, 16 points) on their minds. And that kind of motivation is often forgotten by many handicappers, that so-called “Fear Factor,” and the way José Mourinho has the Blues playing, 18 other clubs besides Manchester City in the Premier League are probably a little bit intimidated by what Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois have brought to this new-look Chelsea team. And that Fear Factor will help Manchester City get the win and the butter for its backers here.

 

Manchester City Solid Road Favorites Against Villa Park on Saturday
The Sky Blues are fairly healthy -185 favorites (Bovada) with host Aston Villa priced at a robust+550 and the Draw also priced high at +300. The Total here—like almost all EPL matches—is2½ goals with the Over juiced at -140 and the Under at +115. In the last 10 meetings in this series the Over is 7-3 with a total of 33 goals being scored (average 3.3 gpg) so with Manchester City’s extremely talented and deep roster and the total hanging at 2½, I recommend backing the Over 2½ -140 here as Manuel Pellegrini’s side has scored 11 goals in its last two outings, the last being a 4-2 romp over Hull City over the weekend where the club’s newest strange “old” find, Frank Lampard, scored for the fourth time already in his limited role for City. And whether it’s Joe Hart or Willy Caballero in goal for Manchester City, Manchester City To Win To Nil prop wager (+175, SkyBet) is worth consideration as the Villains have just four goals in six games despite their temporary lofty spot in the league table.

 

Are There Any Anytime Goalscorer Props Worth Betting in This Game?
Despite former Chelsea legend Lampard’s sudden prowess for putting the ball in the back of the net, it’s important to realize from a gambling standpoint that Lampard will usually not be starting games for the Sky Blues and that he has been hot lately, so betting on him to score now may be really bad timing. And then there’s the ugly Lampard price: +155 (Boylesports) are just horrible odds for an older (36 years old) guy who will likely come in as a substitute. If you’re looking for really solid and logical Anytime Goalscorer players to back on Manchester City, you really can’t go wrong with the top two favorites, strikers Sergio Agüero (+115) and Edin Džeko (-105). And toss in 18-year-old potential phenom José Ángel Pozo if you’re feeling strong, although his odds also seem a little off (+140), and should probably be more like in the +170 to +200 range. And, Stevan Jovetic (+114) seems like the type of guy who may get that third or maybe even fourth goal for Manchester City, which I think pushes the Total Goals over all by themselves.

Aston Villa’s top two favorites to score according to the oddsmakers are, of course, Christian Benteke (+250, Boylesports) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (+310), but I would never recommend making an Anytime Scorer bet—let alone the less-desirable First Goalscorer or Last Goalscorer props—on a team that is averaging less than a goal a game, especially when playing a team which has one of the strongest and most dependable defense in England’s top flight of football for at least the last five seasons (Manchester City).

 

What Are the Best Approaches Here and What Are the Three Best Bets?
This is one of those Green Light games where logic seems like it will work and where the better team, although on the road and in a hostile environment, and will easily prevail, going up 1-0 and then 2-0, sucking the life out of the Villa Park crowd. Besides betting Manchester City on the three-way line at -185, taking the champs and laying a goal (-1 +120, Bovada) also seems very intelligent and even a one-goal Sky Blues win will get your money back on a Push. TheOver 2½ -140, as talked about above, is also a pretty smart bet in my mind as City has two strikers addicted to scoring and a cast of others and youngsters and slowly healing vet Yaya Touré (+185 Anytime Scorer) who are all capable of scoring goals and hungry enough to do so.

This one could possibly get ugly and Manchester City scoring 4, 5 or even 6 goals is a possibility here in the West Midlands against Aston Villa which actually has a revealing -3 GD (4 GF-7 GA) despite the team’s perceived nice start. One point (MC 11, AV 10) separates these two clubs in the table heading inhere, but the differences in talent and coaching and depth and desire makes this an easy selection and one that stands out on an otherwise pretty mundale EPL betting soccer odds board this coming weekend. Manchester City is a remarkable 8-0-2 in its last 10 against Villa, outscoring them 27-6, and although Aston Villa did beat the Sky Blues here last year 3-2—creating a revenge factor—Manchester City had outscored the Villains 14-1 in five straight victories over Paul Lambert’s club before last season’s loss here at Villa Park. Embrace logic.

Free Soccer Prediction: Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 3

Free Soccer Picks: Manchester City -185, Manchester City -1 +120 (Bovada), Over 2½ -111 (BetVictor)

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