Leicester City vs. Everton Premier League Opener Odds & Picks

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 7:07 AM GMT

Leicester City and Everton Have their Premier League Opener this Saturday. How are these teams standing and where is the betting value in this upcoming soccer match?

Everton (21-9-8) pays a visit to King Power Stadium in Leicester to play English Premier League newcomers and 2013-14 Football League Champions Leicester City on Saturday (NBCSN/NBCSN Live Extra, 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT) as the regular season in England’s top flight of soccer gets underway with the Foxes, QPR and Burnley being promoted and likely looking to just stay up with the big boys when this season is done and dusted.

For Leicester City (5,000/1 to win EPL, LVH SuperBook) to avoid being one of those three dreaded relegation teams at the end of the season, manager Nigel Pearson’s squad will have to pull off some upsets or earn some draws and settle for the point in games like this against the improving Toffees (100/1), who finished fifth last season and will be playing in the UEFA Europa League this year under brilliant and now re-signed manager Roberto Martínez. Everton will be aiming for at least a fourth-place finish and that precious Champions League spot they just missed out on last season this time around.

Whether or not the upstart Toffees can finish in the top four in the Premier League or not will depend on having a team like Arsenal or Manchester City slip up and anyone watching the EPL over the past decade knows those kind of airy hopes are seldom rewarded. But anger is a wonderful motivating factor and Martínez will definitely attempt to use that to his advantage with a team and club which obviously respects him.

 

Martínez and Everton Have All the Right Parts
Everton was smart to lock up Martínez and all of its wishes came true last week when Chelsea was dumb enough to let striker Romelu Lukaku’s tongue dictate his exit from Stamford Bridge and to Goodison Park as the 21-year-old Belgian signed with Everton and made these Blues to whom he was loaned last season his new and permanent Blues. Martínez needed a scorer to solidify things and management gave he and the club’s fans a massive present with this now proven scorer and future Premier League star in the powerful Lukaku (+160).

The Toffees will surround Lukaku with a game bunch who can all get the occasional goal themselves in Steven Naismith (+225) Kevin Mirallas (+250), Conor McAleny (+280), Christopher Long (+280), Hallam Hope (+290), Leon Osman (+380), Leighton Baines (+450), the newly-signed future star Ross Barkley (+600)—who at 6/1 may provide some value but this should be a tight and low-scoring affair—Phil Jagielka (+900) and another new signee who was a successful loanee (Manchester City) last season in Gareth Barry (+600).

 

Leicester’s Chances
The home team here Leicester City (+200) will be eager to reward to home crowd here at Filbert Way with an Opening Day win but Everton (+145) is coming off of a great season and it will be hard to fade this campaign and tough to beat here at King Power Stadium. These two teams have tied in 7 of their last 10 Premier League meetings so the Draw (+220) is priced relatively low for good reason by the oddsmakers. The Foxes will need Leonardo Ulloa (+260, at William Hill), David Nugent (+210), Jack Barmby (+270), Jamie Vardy (+280), Gary Taylor-Fletcher (+350) and Riyad Mahrez (+380), among others, to have big days on Saturday to upset this rising side in the EPL.

Leicester can definitely win this one, make no mistake, as the home-pitch advantage in soccer/football is immense but Everton (61 GF-39 GA, +22 GD) shouldn’t be caught off guard in the season opener against a recently promoted side. With one of the most underrated goalkeepers in the world in Tim Howard, the Toffees can hang with anyone in the league at this particular point in time. It’s that simple. Ask Chelsea. Or rivals Liverpool.

 

Recent Series History and Expectations Here
This series has been pretty even-steven over the last 10 in Premier League play (Everton 2-7-1, 12 GF-12 GA) but those games were played when Triceratops roamed the planet (1994-2004) and when Pluto still actually was one. And ain’t nobody got no time for no stale statistics Stanley. But 7 Draws in 10 games is no doubt noteworthy even if played in the late Cretaceous period, brother.

If you think that Leicester can score against the aforementioned American goalkeeper Howard, the Both Teams To Score odds (Yes) are now priced lowest at -127 (No, +100), but it certainly won’t be easy for the newbies to put one in the net against this disciplined defense. The Everton Clean Sheet odds (+200, bet365) are pretty appetizing when contemplating the fact that the Foxes are a new team playing against a solid GK in their home and season opener after being promoted. No pressure at all.

In the end, the way to safely approach this contest would be to take the visitors Everton on the Draw No Bet (-150) line (aka Pick in American markets) and avoid losing a small portion of your precious bankroll on a potential tie. I do expect the Toffees to win this game, so those with bigger onions than my pearl-sized ones would probably be wise to take a shot on Martínez ‘s talented squad with the nice little plus (+145) on the three-way line. Everton knows this season it really needs to win games like this and get all three points to hang with the Usual Suspects atop the Premier League table.
Prediction: Leicester City 1 Everton 2
Free Soccer Pick: Everton Draw No Bet -150 (at BetVictor) or Everton Pick -140 (from Bovada)

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