EPL Week 16 Soccer Picks Favor Southampton over Burnley

Kevin Stott

Monday, December 8, 2014 5:46 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 5:46 PM UTC

Southampton has been near the top of the Premier League table all season and winning games like this at Burnley will be imperative for the Saints to stay in the mix, making the visitors the bet here.

Odds Overview
Burnley vs. Southampton, Saturday 15:00 (NBC Sports Live Extra (US), 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT): This English Premier League Week 16 match at Turf Moor in Burnley, Lancashire between upstart Southampton (8-2-4, 24 GF-10 GA) and host Burnley (2-6-7, 10 GF-24) basically comes down to a game between one side playing for a potential UEFA Champions League spot and the other likely playing for its ultimate survival in England’s top flight of football.

Soccer odds market have made visiting Southampton the Favorites on the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace with the Saints priced at -137, host Burnley at +400 and the Draw at +260 (bet365). The Total Goals in the game is, as almost always in the Premier League, set at 2½ Under -125 (Over +120, BetVictor). The Both Teams To Score odds are Yes +100, No -136 (William Hill).

A couple of random prop bets with some decent perceived value from this distance worth contemplation: Southampton Clean Sheet is a fair plus (+120, Stan James), and Burnley is no offensive juggernaut, although the Clarets have scored in their last 5 games at Home here at Turf Moor; and Correct Score (Southampton 2-0) at a healthy +750 at BetVictor and at +700 at bet365.

Southampton FC
Southampton (3-1-3 Road, 7 GF-6 GA) has had a dream start to the 2014/2015 English Premier League season behind a staunch defense but this is point in the season where the rubber will start meeting the road for manager Ronald Koeman and his squad. The Saints have gotten to where they are right now—fourth place in the league table with 26 points (Southampton hosts Manchester United on Monday in Week 15’s final match)—by playing some fantastic defense with goalkeeper Fraser Forster leading the charge for a club which has allowed a league-low 10 goals after their first 14 games. But this game, despite how it looks on paper (or computer or whatever you’re looking at), will be extremely tough for Southampton as now-in-the-damn relegation zone Burnley is fighting for its EPL existence and the Clarets have scored in each of their last 5 home games—although it was just 1 goal all 5 of those times. At least they’re consistent.

The Saints will look to leading scorer Graziano Pellè (6 goals), three-goal scorers Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin and guys like Jack Cork (2 goals), Shane Long (2 goals), Nathaniel Clyne (2 goals) and maybe even Chelsea-loanee Ryan Bertrand (1 goal) to try to get that hopeful and all-important first goal here at Turf Moor, which will set the tone. And with just 7 goals in 7 Road games heading into this fixture, being resourceful on offense and creating as many quality opportunities as possible will be huge here for Southampton which needs to get all 3 points in games like this to continue to try to stay around where it has been in the Premier League standings and keep on shocking the soccer world.

Burnley FC
Now 19th-place Burnley (12 points) returned to the Premier League only to have to instantly worry about staying up but that’s always the way it is when you’re the octopus put in a big tank with all of the sharks and stingrays and stuff. Life‘s cool surviving in the tank until the guy running the aquarium decides he likes the lungfish more than you and then one day he scoops you out with a big-ass net and replaces you with the lungfish. Burnley (1-4-3 Home, 6 GF-11 GA) is the octopus. And whether or not it gets to stay in the Big Aquarium that is the Premier League will depend on getting a result or a win in matches like this from now until May. And every team in the league does and will go into games thinking they can and should beat Burnley—both Home and Away.

And with only 10 goals scored heading into this one, offense is an issue for this team and with a total of 34 goals in 15 Burnley games—(2.26 gpg) Totals bettors should take note. To stay in games Burnley has to play good defense and the Clarets just don’t possess the star-laden, high-dollar roster that other teams are fortunate enough to have. Danny Ings (4 goals) and George Boyd (2 goals) are Burnley’s only multiple goal scorers with Michael Kightly, Ashley Barnes, Scott Arfield and Ross Wallace accounting for the other five. Only 10 goals. And it’s getting near Christmas. Maybe manager Sean Dyche can leave Santa Claus a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a note on Christmas Eve asking for a striker or three.

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
These two clubs have completely opposite GF-GA numbers heading into this Saturday game—Southampton 24 GF-10 GA, Burnley 10 GF-24 GA—and one team, the Clarets have just 2 wins in 15 outings while the Saints have won over half (8) of their games to date. So logic and emotion says take the better team with the better numbers and better recent track record despite the fact that this looks like a perfect opportunity for a 1-1 or maybe even 0-0 game and taking a shot on the seldom-bet Draw.

In the L10 meetings in this series, Southampton holds a 3-5-2 edge (15 GF-13 GA) while in the L5 at Burnley, the Saints hold a slight 2-2-1 edge (10 GF-9 GA) and have lost just once. The last time these two played (in 2012), Southampton won 2-0 at Home while the last time these met here at Turf Moor—that same season—the game ended 1-1. And the last time that Burnley actually defeated Southampton was way back in 2008—when Alicia Keys’ “No One” was a hit—in a 3-2 Clarets win on exactly this date—December 13th, so strange forces may be at work. Or it may just be a coincidence. We’ll all know on Saturday night, brother.

The game should have medium to minimal quality scoring attempts and with cold December weather creeping in to the United Kingdom and teams now having played their third game in a period of like 8 days, the Under 2½ is recommended for a small to moderate amount Soccer pick despite the fact that host Burnley has found a way to score here at Home—albeit just once each time—in five straight games.

After playing defending league champions Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United (Monday) back-to-back-to-back, Southampton probably had this date circled on the schedule before the schedule was even released. And with all they lost over the summer transfer period, the Saints could have only dreamed that they would be in third or fourth place and sitting on 26 points behind Chelsea and Manchester City heading into this game. There is a good reason why this team has been where they have been on the table for August, September, October, November and now, December. Southampton plays great defense, plays as a unit and is overall a pretty good team. And pretty good teams should find a way to beat Burnley this season, both Home and Away.

PREDICTION: Southampton 2 Burnley 0

Free Soccer Pick: Southampton -157, Under 2½ -133

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