EPL Week 17 Soccer Picks: QPR vs. Bromwich Albion

Kevin Stott

Monday, December 15, 2014 5:25 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 5:25 PM GMT

West Brom has held the upper hand in this series lately, but QPR has done well at Loftus Road over the last 10 matches. But with 9 of the L12 going Over in this series, is betting the Total here a must?

Odds Overview
Queens Park Rangers vs. West Bromwich Albion, Saturday 15:00 (NBC Sports Live Extra (US), 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT): This English Premier League Week 17 fixture from Loftus Road Stadium in London sees 18th-place Queens Park Rangers (4-2-9, 16 GF-27 GA) play host to 14th-place West Bromwich Albion (4-5-7, 15 GF-20 GA) in what will be an important game for manager Harry Redknapp and the Hoops who are still living dangerously week-to-week mired in the dreaded relegation zone.

Soccer odds have made host QPR slight +137 Favorites over visiting West Brom (+190, bet365) with the Draw priced at +229 in the Three-Way (Winners) market. The Draw No Bet odds see QPR listed at -162 (BetVictor) and WBA at an interesting and seemingly value-laden +130. The Total Goals is set at the familiar 2½ with the Under juiced at -125 and the Over priced at +110 (BetVictor) and with 6 of the 7 Premier League games played on Saturday (Week 16) going Under, one can see why.

Some interesting bets out there: A Correct Score of 1-1 is priced  at +600 (6/1, BetVictor); The Halftime/Fulltime (Draw/Draw) is at +425 (BetVictor); The Winning Margin of West Brom by 1 has odds of +380 (Boylesports); and, the popular Both Teams To Score marketplace has the Yes priced at -125 (bet365) and the No at -110.
 

West Bromwich Albion FC
West Bromwich Albion (2-2-3, 3 GF-7 GA, Road) and manager Alan Irvine have more losses than wins and draws and has allowed more goals than it has scored but the Baggies still aren’t in a bad place in the Premier League table  (14th place) heading into this low-profile fixture in London and this could be a very important game for West Brom in the whole scheme of things, but with just 3 goals on the Road all season and just 1—in a 1-0 win vs. Leicester on November 1—in their last 3 league games, expecting the Baggies to win is really hard when you’re unsure if they can even score. West Brom only has two players with multiple goals—21-year-old Burundi striker Saido Berahino (7) and Craig Dawson (2)—as we near Christmas and like many in the bottom half of the table, the Baggies have a roster loaded with some players being unproductive offensively and others not getting much playing time.

In Week 16, West Brom defeated Aston Villa, 1-0 for only their second victory in their L10 games as Craig Gardner scored his first goal for the Baggies and goalkeeper Ben Foster notched the clean sheet, ending the Claret and Blue’s 5-match unbeaten streak. Worth noting, Portuguese winger Silvestre Varela was impressive in his debut for West Brom.
 

Queens Park Rangers FC
Like West Brom, Queens Park Rangers (4-2-2 Home, 14 GF-10 GA) has one big scorer (Charlie Austin, 8 goals), one guy with 2 goals (Leroy Fer) and a couple with just 1. And Bobby Zamora is sitting on 0. Like many near the bottom of the league table, the Hoops have had to have their goalkeeper, Robert Green, step up big week-in and week-out and the Englishman really has so far but unless this team starts getting scoring from some other places and can find a way to win some games on the Road, the word “relegation” will likely be used in many stories concerning QPR in the first half of 2015. Happy New Year, R’s.

Manager Harry Redknapp is a perfect fit for now at Loftus Road, and QPR has tough enough at Home so far this season and the Hoops have had to be with an embarrassing 0-0-7 (2 GF-17 GA) record away so far. Yeah, you read that right. Without its stellar play here at Loftus Road, QPR would pretty much already be destined for relegation. On Monday, in the last match of Week 16, the Hoops were at Goodison Park to play Everton (NBCSN, 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT) in a game played after publishing time.
 

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
This game fits the draw mold (0-0 or 1-1) and is definitely not a match in which to fiddle with the First or Anytime Goalscorer markets as there should be little scoring and there will be no value if Berahino and/or Austin are the goalscorers. And although the long-term historical trends support backing the Over in this one, the thought is that one or two goals could be squeezed out but it will be hard to find that third goal to make it go Over. And it may be a little bit cold (but not too bad) in Shepherd’s Bush, London (Clear, 44° F, 7° C) next Saturday—on  the last day of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere—but the thing that really sticks out handicapping this game is that fact that the Under is an amazing 6-1 in the L7 West Brom games with a total of only 10 goals being scored (1, 0, 3, 1, 2, 2, 1) for an average of just 1.47 gpg—more than 1 goal under the posted Total but still going against recent trends in this quirky, on-and-off-depending-on-relegation EPL series. Also, QPR has played in 2 straight Unders.

In those aforementioned past 12 meetings in this series, the Over is a dominating 9-3 while West Brom is 7-3-2, outscoring QPR, 25-17 in the process. And the L5 have all gone Over the posted 2½ Total (WBA 2-1, 1-2, 2-1, 3-3, 5-1), averaging 4.2 gpg. And the Baggies have won the L3 meetings (6-2 goals), but those games were from all the way back to the 2007/08 seasons. The last time these two met was here last season where WBA won, 2-1. The Baggies also won 3-2 at Home last season against QPR, so the West Brom Draw No Bet +130 (BetVictor) seems safer than backing the hosts, although putting your money on a team with 3 Road goals doesn’t sound like the wisest idea in the world. But by betting the Draw No Bet line you get some protection in case of a tie with the side and knowing the Baggies don’t score much on the Road and that they have to play tight defense means a bet on the Under also provides some perceived protection in case West Brom lays an egg and gets blanked 1-0 or 2-0 by the hosts.

Clubs in the Premier League have to be getting tired now after playing so many league games after some holiday midweek fixtures last week (Week 15), and with this match meaning much now to both teams despite their offensive weaknesses, the thought is it will be more like a 0-0, 1-0 or 1-1 affair than a high-scoring one like in seasons past. The two Englishmen likely in goal are dependable enough and quality attempts on target could total less than 10 here so balancing an Under wager for your Soccer picks with either a Draw or a West Brom Draw No Bet seems a decent approach in a game few will be watching and talking about.

 

Prediction: QPR 1 West Bromwich 1


Free Soccer EPL PICKS: Under 2½ -120 (BetVictor), West Brom Draw No Bet +130 (BetVictor)

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