Stoke City host Arsenal on Saturday, marking week 28 EPL Betting. With soccer odds already in full swing, here’s a primer on this clash complete with soccer free picks.
Arsenal mind the gap
Since Arsenal slipped down to second place in the Premier League table several attempts to reclaim top spot have gone begging. Against Stoke City, one of the league’s middleweights, they are presented with yet another opportunity to ascend the ranks or, at the very least, maintain the point-gap with league-leading Chelsea. Will they capitalise on this opportunity against a very beatable Stoke? Or will the opportunity slip through their fingers?
If sportsbooks were any indication, they would capitalise. Odds makers send Arsenal into their engagement with Stoke as the firm -163 favourites to win outright at Bet365, a curious vote of confidence given the fact that they’ll be playing away from the Emirates, away from which they appear to have lost their edge in recent weeks. They are 0-1-1 in their last two away games: a 2-2 draw at Southampton and an unmemorable 5-1 routing at Anfield.
Despite being just a point adrift of Chelsea in the title race there’s no denying Arsenal’s stock has diminished. They are clearly not the same team that led the league for most of the first half of the season. Key injuries, dip in form and a lack of energy and enthusiasm have exacerbated this declining market value. Normally, such firm soccer odds on Arsenal would be acceptable and even pounced on without question but their dispiriting form of late has prompted their worth in each and every single match to be painstakingly examined.
That said Arsenal are after a 4-1 routing of Sunderland at the Emirates, a much-needed, high-scoring victory which should go some way towards restoring waning faith in soccer betting circles. As well, they are taking on the Potters next and not some household name or credible title threat. Surely, Arsenal would reward backers by coming through on expectations.
Stoke hardly strike an intimidating pose sat 15th in the table and flirting like a coquette with relegation. Overall, the Potters are 6-9-12 on the season with 27 points, three points clear of the drop. Home form stands at 5-6-2 compared to an abominable road output of 1-3-10. Most conspicuously, they’ve only scored 17 goals in 13 games while at the same time conceding 14 at Britannia Stadium.
So if it’s only down to paper then it does seem sportsbooks are correct to tip Arsenal as the firm favourites while listing the Potters as the hefty +450 underdogs at home.
The interesting bit though is that Stoke have orchestrated major upsets in their Kop this season, upsets that have sent seismic shockwaves through sports betting circles. The 3-2 victory over Chelsea springs to mind, as well as 2-1 victories over both Manchester United and Aston Villa. Oh and lest we forget they also pulled off draws against both Man City and Everton. Clearly, when it comes to facing the big clubs, Stoke are more than up for the task. The question is can they do it again?
Soccer Betting Verdict
There is nothing wrong with the market on this match: it simply reflects the current status quo in the league’s ranks – a top club taking on a middle-to-lightweight club. And if things go to plan, Arsenal should prove to be the correct soccer pick at -163 to win outright.
Matches aren’t played on paper but on the pitch. Case-and-point: Stoke’s results against the league’s household names and season’s heavyweights. Of course, it’s debatable whether they would pull off yet another unthinkable result. Nonetheless, their track record of success is enough to warrant serious consideration about the potentially upsetting home win at +450 or even the draw at +280 soccer odds. Helping this notion along is Arsenal’s recent waffles on the road.
Stoke aren’t getting the recognition they deserve for their eyebrow raising results but it doesn’t mean you can’t. Best bit, it could prove profitable. So if you are looking to back the upset, it’s hard to argue against this matchup’s potential to deliver.
That said we’re going to stick with odds maker’s here and recommend Arsenal at -163 to win outright as the value soccer pick. Why? Call it a hunch. Better yet Arsenal owe their fans a face-saving performance on the road and since the start of the season they haven’t gone without a road win for more than two weeks. They are due.
Soccer Free Picks: Arsenal to win outright at -163