Liverpool vs. Aston Villa Soccer Picks, Odds & Predictions

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:24 PM GMT

Premier League soccer bettors rejoice as Aston Villa pays a visit to Anfield to play Liverpool on Saturday with games resuming after a short international break. 

The Reds will also have a UEFA Champions League Group Stage game just three days later on Tuesday (Sept. 16) against Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad in Merseyside on its minds, but the reality that Liverpool won’t have to travel as well as the fact that they are playing Group B’s biggest underdog in their opener are both pluses for manager Brendan Rodgers and his boys.

Liverpool (opened 10/1 to win EPL, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) has the third-best scoring offense in England’s top flight so far while Villa (opened 2500/1 to win EPL) actually has the league’s top-ranked defense, having allowed just one goal so far in its three matches. But those rankings are meaningless this early in the 2014-15 season and when one is playing potential relegation teams like the Claret and Blue has in Stoke City (2500/1), Newcastle United (1000/1) and Hull City (5000/1). The Reds should be a real wakeup call for manager Paul Lambert and underrated Lions goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

 

What’s a Better Look Here for Gamblers, a Side or the Total Goals?
While Villa and its record and defense seem to be in a groove, the three starting fixtures against Stoke (won 1-0), Newcastle (tied 0-0) and Hull (won 2-1) isn’t the same thing as playing Southampton (won 2-1), Manchester City (lost 3-1) and Tottenham Hotspur (won 3-0) like Liverpool has. One team has basically ran with the bulls while the other team has run with the housecats. And rightfully so with Liverpool’s nickname being the Reds, and the color red being associated with capes and bullfighting while Villa are the Lions, aka the cats. But best watch out because Aston Villa is also (never really) known as the Villans and they may snatch your money if you bet against them and they shock host Liverpool on Saturday and remain undefeated.

Oddsmakers have made Liverpool huge -450 favorites on the Winner/(Three-Way Moneyline, bet365) with the Draw priced at a robust +500 and underdog Villa priced at a monster +1000. The Total Goals marketplace in Liverpool games—as well as Arsenal games—is a place I like to focus and wager on and bet365 and a majority of sports book offer a 2½ goal Total line (with high juice) and, to me, that’s where some potential value lies. Taking the Over 2½ -187 with a team that attacks with the pace Liverpool does—with youngster Raheem Sterling leading the charge and the team’s energy level—always seems like an edge as the Reds by no means make a habit of shutting teams out and their willingness to throw themselves forward on the break often leaves them vulnerable on the counter-attack.

A Total of 3½ (Over +137) is also available in many places, but the difference between a 2½ and a 3½ for me is huge in any professional soccer league. Like the difference between a housecat and a lion—there’s one I could actually handle and own. Many sports books will post a Total of 3 here, but search live soccer odds for that 2½ (early) and pay the premium if you can.

 

Can Aston Villa Go in and Upset Mighty Liverpool in Merseyside?
Anyone watching closely has seen that the Reds (25/1 to win UEFA Champions League, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook; +350 to win Group B, bet365) haven’t exactly played top-notch soccer. Yet, in the end, Liverpool still has 6 points and a nasty chunk of its schedule out of the way. Against the Reds, Villa will need players like Charles N’Zogbia and Gabby Agbonlahor to start playing better, but the Claret and Blue’s win over Stoke in the season opener was their first away from Villa Park in nine games, and, with oddsmakers pricing the “No” for Both Teams To Score in this match at -129 (BetVictor), it reveals that maybe one team won’t score and we all know who that’s supposed to be brother. So, Liverpool Clean Sheet (Yes -125, bet365) and To Win To Nil (Liverpool To Win To Nil -110, bet365) markets would be worth your while if you think Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet can post another sheet as did last time out against then-undefeated Spurs.

 

Recent Series Trends and the Most Logical Approaches to This Fixture
Liverpool Overs are 3-0 so far this season (3, 4, 3 goals), and playing a 4-3-3 with guys like veteran captain Steven Gerrard, future stud Emre Can and Jordan Henderson in the midfield with the dynamic Sterling and the prolific Daniel Sturridge (22 EPL goals last season, #2 in league) on wings and new signing (AC Milan) Mario Balotelli up top at striker, this team will score goals. Plenty of them. And as mentioned before, both the pace the Reds create and the exposure it sometimes leaves as a byproduct is usually good for at least a goal a game. Liverpool will really enjoy the taste of Champions League and the lucrative payday it brings with it and the storied club and its fans desperately want another top four finish in the Premier League again this season and the players will start playing better as a unit after the vacuum-like effects created by superstar Luis Suárez’s (EPL-leading 31 goals last season) departure over the summer.

Trend-wise, Liverpool is 5-2-3 over the last EPL 10 meetings with Aston Villa (14-11 goals) with the Total split at 5-5 (O-U). The Reds did notch four clean sheets in those 10 games, so the aforementioned props involved a potential Liverpool shutout ring even stronger. Of note to anyone thinking of backing this unbeaten Lions (+1000) club here at Anfield: Villa is unbeaten (1-2-0) in its last three trips to Liverpool (2-2, W 3-1, 1-1). No doubt Lambert will be reminding his players of that fact to help their confidence. Liverpool has also played five straight EPL Overs (3, 4, 3, 3, 6 goals)—dating back to last season—in games averaging 3.80 goals. And there have also been exactly 4 goals the last two times these teams have played in Merseyside so anyone putting their soccer pick on the rarer-than-rare Total Goals Exact, at 4, (+550, Betway), well, good luck because that’s being awfully precise. But my prediction falls on 4 to so it’s gotta land somewhere, right?

As discussed above, the Over 2½ (-187 ) is likely the safest way to go and if you don’t want to lay 2 goals (+135; Aston Villa +2 -165, Bovada) or 1½ (-140; Aston Villa +1½ +115), but still want to get a piece of Liverpool (-450, bet365), maybe parlay the Reds with the high odds with some other big chalks like Chelsea (-400 against on Saturday) and/or Manchester United (-400 against QPR on Sunday).

Free Soccer Prediction: Liverpool 3 Aston Villa 1 at Pinnacle 

Free Soccer Pick: Over 2½ -187  (Bet365)

Free Soccer Pick for Best Anytime Scorer Pick: Mario Balotelli, Liverpool

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