EPL Week 19: Soccer Odds, Previews, Prediction & Picks

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 3:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014 3:13 PM UTC

The English Premier League’s Holiday cram session continues with Week 19 marking the halfway point and a couple of matches looking like good bets to play the Over with the Totals set at 2½ goals.

Sunday, December 28, 2014
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United
(Odds: Tottenham +220, Manchester United +120, Draw +280; 2½o -145; NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra (US), 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT): Seventh-place Tottenham Hotspur (8-3-6, 22 GF-23 GA heading into Week 18 action) welcomes 3rd-place Manchester United (9-5-3, 30 GF-18 GA) to White Hart Lane in London as the English Premier League hits the halfway point of its 38-week season after this round of games. Soccer Odds betting market have made the Red Devils solid Road Favorites (+120) here and with Manchester United 5-3-2 in the L10 in this series (20 GF-11 GA) and the club now in 3rd place, the numbers make sense. But this one is a tough handicap on the Three-Way Line as Spurs (4-1-4 Home, 11 GF-10 GA) could very well win, the game could end tied and United (2-4-2 Road 11 GF-12 GA) and Robin van Persie could quite easily emerge victorious as Tottenham is a very unpredictable side.

In those 10 games—all Premier League contests—31 goals were scored (3.1 gpg) and the Over went 7-3. As a matter of fact, the Over is 5-1 L6 in this series in games averaging 3.5 gpg and the L5 games have all seen both sides score, so, the Both Teams To Score (BTTS) prop wager is well worth consideration in this one (Yes -187, No +137; bet365). Last year in this fixture in North London, the two teams played to a 2-2 Draw and with both sides desperate for the win and the valuable 3 points before at halfway mark, this game should be wide open and both teams should score a goal for a sixth straight time.

Prediction: Tottenham 1 Manchester United 2

Free EPL soccer pick:  Over 2½ +145 (Bovada), Both Teams To Score (Yes -187, bet365)

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Southampton vs. Chelsea
(Odds: Southampton +350, Chelsea -130, Draw +280; 2½u -115; NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra (US), Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky Go, Sky Go Extra, NOW TV (UK); 9:05 a.m. ET/6:05 a.m. PT): St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Hampshire will be the site of this high-profile match between (heading into Week 18) first-place Chelsea (13-3-1, 38 GF-13 GA) and 5th-place Southampton (9-2-6, 28 GF-13 GA) in a true test for José Mourinho and his precision-like squad. Chelsea (5-3-1 Road, 18 GF-10 GA) has the Premier League’s best defense and despite the spurt of Holiday games, is well-equipped to deal with this situation with a deep and talented roster—courtesy of owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s oil money—and two of the best goalkeepers in the world in Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech. So, profit from fossil fuels equates to being able to have one of the best and deepest squads on Mother Earth and for Chelsea’s loyal fans, it’s good being a Rent Boy sometimes.

The Blues are 6-3-1 over the L10 vs. Southampton, outscoring the Saints 20-8 along the way and the last time these two met here at St. Mary’s Stadium, the Blues and Cech notched a 3-0 shutout and 4 of those L10 games have resulted in Chelsea clean sheets. This series trends to the Over (7-3 L10) with an eye-popping 7 straight going Over the Total with 3, 4, 3, 4, 4, 3 and 4 goals being scored in those 7 but despite the Science screaming Over, the Art sort of whispers Under as Chelsea will be playing its 3rd game in 7 days (Monday, Friday, Sunday) and may be a bit tired, including the element of travel. Toss in the fact that Southampton has also allowed a league-low 13 goals—like the expensive Blues—and that the Saints know this is their one chance to beat Chelsea, and this should be tighter than past contests where Southampton was a much less impressive team than it is today.

In the end, either Diego Costa (20/21, Anytime Scorer, Bovada) or Didier Drogba (5/4) or Eden Hazard (3/2) will get that first and pivotal score for the Blues and enable the visitors to park the bus in Hampshire in what will possibly be an extremely important match in the whole scheme of things in England’s top flight of soccer come Springtime.

Prediction: Southampton 0 Chelsea 2

Free EPL soccer pick: Chelsea -120

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West Ham United vs. Arsenal
(Odds: West Ham +275, Arsenal Even, Draw +250; 2½o -150; NBC Sports Live Extra (US), 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT): Boleyn Ground in London is the site of this derby between upstart and  (heading into Week 18) 4th-place West Ham United (9-4-4, 29 GF-19 GA) and 6th-place Arsenal (7-6-4, 30 GF-21 GA) in what should be an extremely fast-paced, entertaining and pivotal match Sunday. The Hammers (6-1-2 Home, 14 GF- 7 GA)—along with Southampton—have been the surprise of the EPL so far this season and with a win here can potentially jump into 3rd place depending on what happened in Week 18 and in the balance of Week 19’s slate. But it certainly won’t come easy as the Gunners (3-3-3 Road, 14 GF-12 GA) have owned West Ham of late.

Arsenal is 8-2-0 in the L10 vs. West Ham (24 GF-6 GA) and the L5 in the series have all gone Over the Total (4, 4, 6, 4, 3). In this fixture at Boleyn Ground last season, the Gunners won 3-1 but despite the addition of Alexis Sánchez, the Hammers should provide their biggest challenge at Home to Arsenal in several years in a game with massive meaning to a club looking in from the outside at the bigger clubs in the Premiership for so long. This game will reveal much about West Ham, but the fact oddsmakers have made the Gunners Even on the Road shows they aren’t quite convinced yet that the Hammers can hang with Arsenal. This one should be really fun and if the Gunners slip, Arsenal TV will well be worth the price of admission on Monday evening.

Prediction: West Ham 2 Arsenal 2

Free EPL soccer pick:  Over 2½ -145

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Monday, December 29, 2014
Liverpool vs. Swansea City
(Odds: Liverpool -165, Swansea City +450, Draw +300; 2½o -120; NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra (US), Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky Go, Sky Go Extra, NOW TV (UK); 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT): The last game before the halfway point in the season sees 10th-place Liverpool (6-4-7 21 GF-24 GA) play host to 8th-place Swansea City (7-4-6, 22 GF-19 GA) at Anfield in a game Brendan Rodgers and the Reds will desperately need to win no matter what happened in Week 18 at Burnley. Liverpool has been poor at Home (3-4-2 Home, 9 GF-8 GA) but the Swans (2-2-4, 8 GF-12 GA) have been below average on the Road despite being four spots ahead of Liverpool in the table entering the 10 Boxing Day matches for Week 18 on Friday.

There isn’t a deep wealth of series trend information, but the L3 in the series have all gone Over the Total with 16 goals being scored (5.33 gpg) after the first three meetings all went Under with only 1 goal being scored in the 270+ minutes of soccer between the then-new opponents. Liverpool holds the 2-3-1 edge in those 6 meetings and when these two met last season here in Merseyside, Liverpool won 4-3 in a high-scoring affair and, because of the past two meetings, the Both Teams To Score prop (Yes -125, bet365) is worth a look with the Reds Raheem Sterling (3 goals) and Swansea’s Wilfried Bony (8 goals) most likely involved in scores for their respective teams.

In the end, host Liverpool’s desire and desperate need for the win and the 3 points here along with some momentum and confidence potentially gained win against the Clarets at Burnley along with with the (usually) friendly site (Anfield) and the Swans poor record away from home, and backing the Reds with your  soccer picks at the relatively small price (-165) in this situation seems like the thing to do along with betting the Over—at 2½ if you can find it—for an equal amount. No matter what, this will be a must-win match for Liverpool and it has the slightly better squad despite the deceiving spot now it now holds in the standings.

Prediction: Liverpool 2 Swansea City 1

Free EPL soccer pick: Liverpool -165, Over 2½ -150 (Bovada), Both Teams To Score (Yes -125; bet365)

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Bonus EPL parlay: Hull City Pick -150/Manchester City -2 -120/Stoke City -115 (Bovada)


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