Crystal Palace vs. Stoke City Soccer Odds, Picks & Prediction

Kevin Stott

Monday, December 8, 2014 6:24 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 6:24 PM UTC

Stoke City heads to South Norwood, London and Selhurst Park on Saturday to face Crystal Palace in a match in which at first glance seems like a good chance to take a small shot on the Draw line odds.

Odds Overview
Crystal Palace vs. Stoke City, Saturday 15:00 (NBC Sports Live Extra (US), 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT): Two clubs in the bottom half of the English Premier League table will meet at Selhurst Park in London on Saturday night in what for them—host Crystal Palace (3-5-7, 18 GF-23 GA) and visiting Stoke City (5-3-7, 17 GF-20 GA)—could be a very important match for both in the scheme of things come May when relegation rears its ugly head and jettisons three teams from England’s top flight of football like some character being ejected from a car in a James Bond movie. Ask the Canaries of Norwich City about this annual purge.

Soccer odds market have priced host Crystal Palace at +162 in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace with Stoke City at a nice +175 and the Draw set at +225 (bet365)—a good indication of how tight linemakers think this game could be. The Total Goals is at 2½ Under -162 (Over +125, bet365) while the Both Teams To Score odds are set at Yes -120, No -110 (Ladbrokes).

Some prop wagers worth a glance: Correct Score (Draw 1-1) is +600 (BetVictor); and Half Time/Full Time (Draw/Draw) is lined at +375 (bet365) and could very well get there with either 0-0 or 1-1 scorelines.

Stoke City FC
Stoke City (2-2-4 Away, 8 GF-11 GA) is always one of the feistiest clubs in the Premier League and always a tough one for bettors to go against, despite the 7 league losses to date—just ask Arsenal, which fell 3-2 to the Potters last Saturday at Britannia Stadium. Manager Mark Hughes has Stoke doing what they always do this season, playing solid defense, but as usual, the Potters could use a little more firepower on the offensive end to try to take some pressure off goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. The 13th-place Potters (18 points) have three players with over 3 goals to date: striker Jonathan Walters (4), veteran 33-year-old striker and Stoke-in-a-can, Peter Crouch (3) and Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf (3). Charlie Adam and Bojan Krkic each have 2 goals but for the Potters to finish in the top half of the standings their going to have to get some more scoring out of non-strikers and guys like Victor Moses (10 starts, 1 goal) and Steven Nzonzi (15 starts, 1 goal) and be on the plus side of the GD come spring.

One game that stands out on Stoke’s schedule when handicapping this one is its 2-1 upset win on the Road in London—like this—over Tottenham Hotspur on Nov. 9. You’d think if the Potters can go into Londontown and knock off Spurs (6-3-6) that they could do the same with Crystal Palace but past results don’t always translate the way you’d expect them to.

Crystal Palace FC
Crystal Palace (2-1-4 Home, 8 GF-10 GA) has earned just 7 points at Home in 7 games and the Eagles haven’t scored a goal yet in the month of December so it’s hard, pretty much impossible, to try to make a case for a Crystal Palace win here at Selhurst Park, despite the club’s success in this series against Stoke City (below). Having a manager like Tony Pulis is almost like having a 12th player on the pitch but when you’re a smaller club trying to compete with the Chelseas and the Manchester Uniteds and the Arsenals of the world, manning a decent roster to compete with those Super Club is virtually impossible in This Day and Age. Most of these clubs in the Premier League are just backup bands for The Beatles and Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.

One problem for Crystal Palace is goal scoring. The Eagles have just 8 goals in 7 Home games and half (9) of the team’s 18 goals have come in 3-goal games against Everton, Newcastle United and Liverpool, so, Palace apparently digs Merseyside and the Geordie Shore. Who knew? Captain Mile Jedinak (5 goals) is the club’s leading scorer while Frazier Campbell (3), central defender Brede Hangeland (2) and striker Dwight Gayle (2) are the only other Eagles with multiple goals. So, goalkeeper Julián Speroni has to try to always be at his best and the 35-year-old Argentinian has done an admirable job and notched a clean sheet in last Saturday’s 0-0 Draw vs. Tottenham. And Speroni has allowed 1 goal or less (1-1-1-1-0) in Crystal Palace’s L5  EPL games against some fairly decent opposition (Manchester United, Liverpool, Swansea City, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur).

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
With Speroni and Begovic and some cold and potentially drizzly weather forecast for South Norwood, London on Saturday night (Clear, 40° F/4° C, 80% Precipitation), goals and quality shots may be hard to come by and you can see by the heavy juice (-162, bet365) on the Under (2½) in the Total Goals set by the oddsmakers this looks to be tight and low- or maybe no-scoring. So, betting the Both Teams To Score, Anytime Goalscorer props or the Over here all seem pretty dangerous with so little action on and near the goal(s) a possibility. Who would and who could score the first with maybe the only and potential game-winning goal in a match like this? Only one name pops into mind here: Peter Crouch.

Betting Draws is like pulling for average weather and this game does fit the (Draw) mold perfectly. But with Palace scoreless this month in 2 matches and only 1 of 9 (11.11%) meetings between the two clubs here at Selhurst Park ending in a tie, that seems a bit too risky and too precise although 0-0 or 1-1 could very well happen here. There will definitely be better games to bet on than this one.

Crystal Palace is 6-1-2 (18 GF-9 GA) in those aforementioned 9 games here and the Eagles are an impressive 11-3-4 (33 GF-19 GA) overall against Stoke, but those numbers and trends are all, for the most part, old like Stonehenge and are hard to apply to these two teams playing here this season. When they did meet in this fixture last season, Palace won 1-0 and that scoreline could very well appear once again, but as far as leaning to a side and making a Soccer pick  in this potential snoozer, the visiting Potters (+175)—confident off their win against Arsenal—seem more capable of pulling out the win, if there is one, because of their proven ability to win games like this as they did at Tottenham and because of guys like Crouch and Begovic who seldom get the kind of love they deserve playing tucked quietly away in Stoke-on-Trent.


PREDICTION: Crystal Palace 0 Stoke City 1

Free Soccer pick: Under 2½ -162 

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