EPL Soccer Picks: Take Man U as a Three-Way Winner Over QPR

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 12, 2015 2:14 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 2:14 PM GMT

Manchester United sits in fourth place in the EPL and needs to win matches like this one at QPR this weekend to keep pace with league leaders Chelsea and Manchester City. The mad Red Devils are the bet in this one.

Odds Overview
QPR vs. Manchester United, Saturday 15:00 (NBC Sports Live Extra, Premier League Extra Time [USA], 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT): Now fourth-place Manchester United (10-7-4, 34 GF-21 GA) heads to White City, London to face 19th-place Queens Park Rangers (5-4-12, 23 GF-37 GA, -14 GD) at Turf Moor on Saturday in a game that seems easy to handicap at first glance but becomes a tougher sell for the favorite Red Devils with their weak road record combined with the fact that the Hoops actually play pretty good football at home.

Soccer odds have made visitors Manchester United -175 favorites in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace with host QPR priced at a juicy +425 with the Draw at +320 (bet365).

The Total Goals is set at 2½ Over -125 (Under +100, bet365) while the Both Teams To Score odds have the Yes and No both priced at -110 (William Hill). Some other prop wagers: Draw No Bet is lined at a super-steep -500 for Manchester United and +375 for QPR (BetVictor); and, To Win To Nil, with United set at +160 to register the clean sheet with heavy underdogs QPR at +750 to notch the shutout (William Hill).

 

Manchester United FC
Manchester United (2-6-2 Away, 12 GF-13 GA) has been almost awful on the road this season, with 6 draws and 2 losses and making up 80% of the club’s away results so far. But the Red Devils somehow still remain steadfast in fourth place in the English Premier League standings—behind Chelsea, rivals Manchester City and upstart Southampton—and are probably now more intent on righting the ship away from Old Trafford after failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League as Sir Alex Ferguson drove off into the glorious red sunset and David Moyes struggled as manager. Now, it‘s Louis van Gaal who’s in charge at Manchester United and with 16 weeks of football left, the 63-year-old Dutchman will be in his player’s ears telling them that they can indeed catch favorites Chelsea and City and make the 2014/2015 EPL season a dream season.

And with attacking players like Robin Van Persie (8 goals), Wayne Rooney (8 goals), Radamel Falcao (2 goals), Ángel Di María (3 goals) and Juan Mata (5 goals), among many others, and an impressive goalkeeper in David de Gea—whom the Manchester Evening News reports will be signing a new contract to stay with the club after rumors of interest from Real Madrid—this team could indeed make a run in the remaining 16 games and shock the United Kingdom soccer world. But, as has been for some time, one of the big issues with United is with its defenders, so until the new manager can prove his team can win on the road and establish more of a routine lineup and use the talent he has, the Red Devils may be looking up at the Blues, the Sky Blues and the Saints. And losing 1-0 at Old Trafford to those Saints—as United did Sunday in a game where Falcao was not-so-conspicuously absent and the team generated the same number of shots on target as my cat—doesn’t help in the points column or in terms of confidence.

But here against lowly QPR on the road is a game Manchester United needs to win, and should expect to win, especially with the dominating track record it has against the Hoops. And coming off that very disappointing home loss to Southampton, the Red Devils will be intent on getting at least some shots on goal which means taking a look at the Under 2½ seems wise here in a game which may have few quality attempts. And strange for a team with so many high-priced creative attacking midfielders like Di María and Mata.

 

Queens Park Rangers FC
QPR (5-4-2 Home, 18 GF-13 GA) lost 2-1 at Burnley in Week 21, its 10th-straight loss on the road and the Hoops became the first team since Sunderland in 1964/1965 to lose its first 10 road contests of the season. Luckily for lovable manager Harry Redknapp and QPR, this team plays good at home at Turf Moor, where the Hoops have earned all 19 of their 19 points, meaning QPR would probably be destined for relegation already if not for the solid performances at home. With Saturday’s loss QPR fell back into the relegation zone.

The Hoops have just one big scorer in striker Charlie Austin (9 goals) and the 25-year-old Englishman is a fan favorite at Loftus Road. But QRP needs more production from Leroy Fer (3 goals), Bobby Zamora (1 goal), Eduardo Vargas (1 goal), Dynamo Kyiv-loanee Niko Kranjcar (1 goal) and Steven Caulker (1 goal), among many more. QPR goalkeeper Robert Green and the Hoops have allowed more goals (37) than any other team in England’s top flight, something for good for those who bet the Asian Handicap, Totals and Both Teams To Score Markets.

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Best Betting Approaches and Trends
The series trends are all Manchester United in this one, with the Red Devils a comical 10-1-0 (26 GF-8 GA) against QPR and a perfect 6-0-0 (15 GF-3 GA) here at Turf Moor through the years, although the bulk of those trends were created with games played in the 20th Century. But still, in Manchester United’s last two games at QPR, it has emerged 2-0 winners and with the Hoops having not scored a home goal against the Red Devils since March of 1996, backing the hungry favorites against a weak sister is the call here so add them to your soccer picks. One potentially wise approach here would be to employ that aforementioned Asian Handicap and lay the -1 with United as QPR has played some high-scoring games at home and the Red Devils have the advantages in form, goalkeeper and scoring threats and should win by 1 or 2 goals in a low-scoring and potentially boring affair on South Africa Road in Shepherd’s Bush, London.

With QPR scoring at home so much, it’s too hard to advise wagering on the To Win To Nil prop, and with Manchester United having blanked the Hoops 2-0 in the last two meetings here, the Both Teams To Score is a gamble. In the end, the Red Devils have never lost to QPR and where they are at in the table and in their own heads dictates that they start playing better on the road and getting three points in games against bottom-10 opponents. And this is just one of those games and expect van Gaal to be a little more aggressive in his approach as first-year manager as the heat quickly rises in the wake of falling from third to fourth place over a literally pointless weekend against Southampton in Red Mancunia. But luckily for Manchester United, the schedule-maker has gifted it this date with QPR and this is one the Red Devils can‘t afford not to show up for and come out with some kind of attack that actually results in actual shots on goal. And with all of those stars now in his cupboard, there’s no excuse for the new manager to being a little better in utilizing his pricy roster.

 

Prediction: QPR 0 Manchester United 2

EPL Free Picks: Under 2½ +100, Manchester United -175, Manchester United -1, -105 all at Bet365

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