Premier League Betting: West Ham vs. Manchester United

Nila Amerova

Friday, March 21, 2014 6:45 PM GMT

West Ham United and Manchester United clash at the weekend with both sides looking to bounce back from defeats in the last lap. Here’s a primer on this pivotal clash complete with soccer free picks.

West Ham United at the disadvantage
Sportsbooks send West Ham United into their tilt with Manchester United at the significant disadvantage. Listed at +375 soccer odds at Bet365, the Hammers are quintessentially written off at the expense of the Red Devils. But do the markets have it right when Manchester United have been conspicuously off colour of late?

 Why, just last week the Hammers were enjoying a top ten perch in the Premier League table, on the back of improved form which included three straight wins over Aston Villa, Norwich City and Southampton. That was until back-to-back defeats – to Everton and Stoke City – saw them slip down to 12th spot, only to be overtaken by the very same two clubs in the table.

As things currently stand, the Hammers boast an 8-7-14 mark on the season with 31 points through 29 laps and have a game in hand. It’s quite possible they could still finish in the top half of the table this season, a happenstance that is matched at +650 futures betting odds at Bet365.

Indeed, the Hammers took a bit of a step backwards in the last two rounds but they might fancy their chances even if odds makers don’t, particularly as Man U are flush off midweek Champions League action. A right cracker, mind, in which Man U reversed a 2-0 deficit to Olympiakos from to win 3-2 on aggregate in the reverse at the Old Trafford but also a famous win that represents an emotional high and could yield a bit of a hangover. Sometimes it’s hard to come down from such heroics and muster up even a soupcon of enthusiasm for a run-of-the-mill domestic fixture. Even if a top six berth hangs in the balance.


Manchester United heroics
Manchester United were under a lot of pressure going into midweek Champions League action, a quarterfinal berth seeming beyond them given the fact that they were trailing 2-0 in the tie to Olympiakos and recent form was nothing to write home about. But they rose to the occasion to deliver a sensational 3-0 win at the Old Trafford and secure advancement.

That’s the good news: at the time of asking, they answered. The bad news however is that Van Persie, whose first ever hattrick in Champions League lifted the Red Devils to victory, was injured, stretchered off the field just minutes before time. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be fit for the weekend but it’s no secret that Manchester United sans Van Persie lack a bit of edge on attack.

That said sportsbooks confidently send Man U into the weekend clash as the firm favourites at -120 at Bet365. Some pundits are of the opinion that Man U warrant a much better price tag, fancier soccer odds than those that are currently available across sportsbooks. An opinion that is now gaining momentum thanks to their big win over Olympiakos.

Fact is however that Man U have been inconsistent in domestic action. With a 14-6-9 record and 48 points, they are sat pretty in seventh place, three points adrift of the Toffees who have two games in hand. Most recently, they are after a lacklustre 3-0 defeat to Liverpool. That inconsistent form goes some way towards explaining their rather soft soccer odds.

Yet, there is definitely value in backing Man U on your soccer picks if that is your inclination. Arguably, more so at this current price even.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":261309, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

West Ham United vs. Manchester United betting tips and picks: The glaringly obvious issue has been Man U’s inability to take the measure of the current top set in the league. Against the bottom half of the table, it’s a different story. There they’ve fared rather well and have had few problems winning. So, if that holds true against West Ham United, backing Man U at their tempting -120 soccer odds could have soccer bettors cheery at the weekend.

That said, we can’t write off West Ham United either and at +375 soccer odds to win outright or even at +260 on the draw they are an appealing soccer pick to put a damper on the Man U party. Keep in mind West Ham did manage a draw against Chelsea earlier this season. As well, they beat Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton. So don’t be surprised if they add another notch on their belts. Because let’s face it a win over Olympiakos doesn’t necessarily mean that their Premier League woes are over.

Soccer Free Picks: Draw +260