Bet 'Over' 2.5 as Everton Hosts Arsenal

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 8:01 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 8:01 PM UTC

One of the better matches on the schedule in Week 2 of the new English Premier League season sees Arsenal (1-0-0) traveling to Merseyside and Goodison Park to face Everton (0-1-0) in a game in which the visitors will be looking for revenge after getting blanked here by the Toffees last season (NBCSN, 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m PT).

The Gunners and manager Arsène Wenger finally spent some money this summer in the transfer market and brought in guys like Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) and Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United) to the Emirates, while the Toffees signed manager Roberto Martínez and future star Ross Barkley to contracts and also landed their dream player in young Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea) who was loaned out by the Blues to Everton to great success (15 goals) last season.

Mixed Bag in Openers for Arsenal, Everton
Everton looked like it was going to get all three points in its season opener at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium last Saturday, but Foxes substitute Chris Wood delivered the equalizer in a 2-2 draw. Arsenal also looked like it would have to settle for a draw later in the day at Emirates Stadium in North London against a game Crystal Palace squad before 23-year-old Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey delivered what’s now become the expected goal from him to give the Gunners a 2-1 win and three points to start off the new 2014-15 season.

Whether or not Arsenal (6/1, LVH SuperBook) or Everton (100/1) can actually top one of the two Mancunians or reloaded Chelsea (7/4) for the Premier League crown or maybe even Liverpool (10/1)remains to be seen, but both will be intent on at least a top four finish and a valuable berth in UEFA Champions League play next year—something the Gunners have this season and something the Toffees just missed out on and will use as a motivating force to do better this season with all of the pieces now seemingly in place. But this is a season of 38 games and what’s suppose to happen usually never does.

How to Play The Anytime Goalscorer Prop
With both teams honestly a little unhappy how they played in their season openers and neither bound to underestimate the other, scoring first will be the thing to gain the momentum, and, in Arsenal’s case, hopefully quieting the Goodison Park crowd down a notch from 10 to 7 and actually scoring against Tim Howard and the Toffees—something it couldn’t do in their last meeting here—and the road team has more than enough firepower to get that done in this match.

With the aforementioned Sánchez (+229, BetVictor in the Anytime Goalscorer market), Olivier Giroud (+200) and 21-year-old striker Yaya Sanogo (+229), Arsenal has a number of nice betting options although it seems the return on most could honestly be a little bit higher. Other scoring options for the Gunners include Aaron Ramsey (+229), Santi Cazorla (+300), Lukas Podolski (+229) and Mesut Özil(+260)—the latter two reportedly not traveling with the club with club for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League qualifying first leg at Besiktas. With the way he has simply been scoring seemingly in every game, my choice here would have to be superman Ramsey.

Everton’s top three choices, in terms of soccer odds, are Lukaku (+145), Steven Naismith (+212) and winger Kevin Mirallas (+229), but the Toffees don’t really seem to have one scorer they, or gamblers/punters can rely on to get that goal every game despite the signing of the big man Lukaku.

Arsenal Games Seem to Trend Over
For some odd reason, Arsenal games seem to have a quicker pace than others in the league and are very chaotic, and the total at 2½ always seems worth a shot. Both teams Opening Day games went Over the posted 2½ totals and the last two times these two have played the scores have been 3-0 Everton (in EPL last April) and 4-1 Arsenal in the FA Cup in March. So, 8 goals over the last two games and potentially hungry new signees Sánchez—a La Liga transplant—and Lukaku foaming at the mouth for their first goals, there should be many a scare for both Howard and Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. The Over was suggested here for Arsenal’s game last week and until Gunners games hit a patch of three straight Unders, I will continue to recommend Overs at 2½ (-117, BetVictor) with whatever juice (vigorish).


The Gunners Have Dominated the Series Lately
Despite losing to Everton 3-0 in their last league meeting here at Goodison Park in this fixture last season, Arsenal had gone nine straight meetings—eight EPL and one FA Cup game—without losing to the Toffees (5-4-0), but the high number of draws over those last 10 and Arsenal’s fairly slim 14-10 goal edge over those contests shows it has been tighter than the numbers reveal. And the Gunners actually haven’t beaten Everton in Premier League play since the first day of spring (March 21) of 2012, so why does it make any sense to take a shot on the underdog here in this situation?

The revenge factor as well as the healthy price as the actual favorite for Arsenal (+155, Bet Victor) makes also taking a shot on Wenger’s boys worth a look—and I do think Arsenal is simply the better club right now—but Everton (+180) and the Draw (+240) could very well pay off in a game that should be close throughout. With my predicted final below of Arsenal winning 2-1, both the Match Result And Both Teams To Score (Arsenal, +360 Ladbroke’s) and the Correct Score prop of Arsenal 2-1 (+1000, 10/1 at BetVictor) could provide nice returns for minimal wager amounts.

The bottom line is that this will be a tough game and taking the total 'Over' is likely the safest soccer pick. There will no doubt be drama.

PREDICTION: Everton 1 Arsenal 2

SOCCER PICKS: Over 2½ -117 (BetVictor), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Anytime Goalscorer +229 (BetVictor)

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