Match Day 18 EPL Picks To Enjoy A Winning Christmas Weekend

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 7:39 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 7:39 PM GMT

Leicester City pull off the unthinkable, going into the Christmas Break leading the EPL. Can they continue punching above their weight? Here’s a complete rundown of Match Day 18 for your soccer picks.

Recapping Match Day 17
These are dizzying times in the Premier League. Leicester City are sat lotus atop the table with an 11-5-1 mark and 38-points. To put it into perspective soccer bettors can well appreciate: this time last season, with 17 matches played, Chelsea were sat atop the league with a 13-3-1 mark and 42 points. The difference in the pair’s bottom line at the exact same vantage point of a season amounts to just four points. Yet, Leicester City continue to be devalued in Premier League futures betting markets, prompting many to wonder what will it take for the Foxes to be considered credible contenders? Surely, by defying the soccer odds up to this point in time – BBC Sports reported one soccer bettor in the UK presumably made £8000 on a bet for Leicester City to enter the Christmas Break at the top of the Premier League table – they must have earned the right to be considered a serious threat, if not to win the league then at least to finish Top 4 or 6.

With Arsenal defeating Man City in Monday’s lone Premier League fixture, rounding out match day 16, the Gunners move into second place, just two points behind Leicester City. It’s worth noting that Arsenal’s last two Premier League title wins came when they entered Christmas Day in second place. Something to keep in mind when placing your Premier League future’s picks.

Elsewhere, Manchester United were shockingly upset by Norwich City at the Old Trafford. The loss marked their second straight Premier League loss since failing to advance into the Champions League knockouts and saw them slip to fifth overall in the table.

On a bright note, Chelsea bounced back to winning form with a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Stamford Bridge, snapping a two-game losing streak that marked the final nail in Jose Mourinho’s coffin. What the takeaway from that result is, which was interim coach Gus Hiddink’s first game at the helm of the Blues, remains to be seen. It was a win over the hapless Black Cats after all.

In any event, let us look at Match Day 18 and the Premier League odds currently trading at bet365 for your soccer betting thrills. It’s just around the corner.

 

 

Man City vs. Sunderland
Of the Top Three in the Premier League (Leicester, Arsenal and Man City) going into Christmas Day, Man City, arguably, have the most straightforward clash on Saturday, Dec 26th with Sunderland. Man City host the hapless Black Cats, who are riding a three-game losing streak into match day 18, at the Etihad where they are just 7-0-2 on the season. Granted the Citizens are coming off a loss, but it was to credible opponents Arsenal. This has bounce back written all over it, but at -500 soccer odds soccer bettors will have to look beyond winning markets.

Man City lead the league with 25 goals scored at home while Sunderland lead the league with 24 goals conceded on the road, which has us leaning towards score betting markets. For instance, the OVER 2.5 at -225 at bet365. As well, we like the NO option for both teams to score, which is trading at -138 soccer odds.

Soccer Picks: Over 2.5 at -225 at bet365 and No for both teams to score at -138

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Man United vs. Stoke City
Despite a two-game losing streak, Manchester United are installed as the road favourites for Saturday’s date with Stoke City. That’s a touch interesting, don’t you think. The Potteries is a tough place to conquer. Recently, it saw Chelsea laid to waste twice – a loss on penalties in League Cup and a 1-0 loss in Premier League action. It also saw Man City succumb to a shocking 2-0 loss. Given the current dip in form by the Red Devils, the Potters must fancy their chances. They are coming off a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace on match day 17, but it was only their second home loss since August. In their last eight home games across all competitions they’ve gone 5-1-2, which is nothing to sniff at. Indeed, Man United will have a much tougher time than the soccer odds would have you believe. As such, we’re looking at the outright home win or a combination of a win and draw on our soccer picks here.

Soccer Picks: Stoke City to win +225 or Stoke win/draw at -163

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Liverpool vs. Leicester City
Obviously, this is now going to be the popcorn match of week 18 to spot. Can Liverpool dump Leicester City from its lofty perch atop the table with a win at Anfield Stadium? By the soccer odds, it’s a definite possibility. Liverpool are favoured at home at -105 soccer odds while Leicester City are disadvantaged at +275 soccer odds. Really, it’s nothing new where the Foxes are concerned. Odds makers repeatedly disadvantage them on the Premier League odds board, yet they continue to turn the soccer odds in their favour. It’s also worth noting that Liverpool are riding poor form at the moment without a win in their last four games, including a lacklustre 3-0 loss to Watford on the road in week 17.

The positive trend is something hard to ignore, not to mention the abandon and joy they seem to be playing with before their delirious fans and for their coach Claudio Ranieri. Whatever the formula for their success is, it’s working. How can we bet against that on our soccer picks? Of course, being atop the table against all the odds brings a whole new pressure into the locker room, something the Foxes have yet to gain experience in dealing with. So long as it doesn’t get to them and they keep playing the way they have been, particularly on the road where they’ve scored a healthy 21 goals from their league-leading 37 goals scored, they should be in good stead.

Leicester City are riding a four-game winning streak into match day 18, extending their undefeated form on the road to 12 straight games in the Premier League. In their last four games, they’ve outscored opponents 12-4, including two clean sheets against Swansea City and Newcastle United. Of the teams they defeated on their travels, the most notable include West Ham United and Everton to name a couple.

Soccer Picks: Leicester City +275

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