Soccer Picks: Aston Villa vs. Sunderland

Nila Amerova

Thursday, November 28, 2013 1:21 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 1:21 PM GMT

Aston Villa and Sunderland collide in week 13 of Premier League, a match that sportsbooks wholeheartedly cast in favour of the Villans. Find out whether we agree with the bookies and what value picks we’ve spotted.

Aston Villa are solid favourites

Aston Villa are listed as the solid favourites to win outright at Villa Park at the expense of hapless Sunderland that prop up the league in 20th place. But what is the real difference between these two sides? And are the Villans, who are only five rungs up the ladder, really that much better to warrant such favourable odds?

Sportsbooks send the Villans into this clash as the solid favourites at -110 to win outright all the while listing Sunderland at disadvantaged +300 soccer odds and the draw at +240.

Aston Villa are after a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion on the road, a West Midlands derby that was highly anticipated in sports betting circles. What made the point-making draw all the more impressive for the Villans was the fact that they stormed back in the second half with two unanswered 

Recent form augurs well for Aston Villa as they are unbeaten in their last three games – with two draws and a win. To look at the table however is to see Aston Villa in 12th spot on the back of a 4-3-5 record and 15 points through 12 rounds of Premier League action. That it’s only a five-point drop into the relegation zone as well is cause for concern and would suggest there isn’t much difference between them and the league’s stragglers.goals to demand a share in the spoils.

The immediate impression is that of a club with questionable form. But closer inspection reveals a rather tough schedule at the crux of the matter. Indeed with seven of the league’s top eight in the early goings of the season – including the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and 

Manchester City – is it any wonder that Aston Villa are where they are right now?

[gameodds]2/249699/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Aston Villa did manage to beat Arsenal at the Emirates in the season opener. They even stole a 3-2 victory over Man City at Villa Park. But the wear and tear of such a tough schedule was always going to be more than they could handle and so it came to be as they went on to more defeats than victories against the Prem’s elite  – 2-1 to Chelsea, 1-0 to Liverpool, 2-0 to Tottenham and 2-0 to Everton. 

So the obvious question begging an answer: Is Aston Villa really that bad or are they only as bad as their schedule list? A slightly lighter schedule from now until the New Year looms ahead with only two top teams in five games so it remains to be seen how Aston Villa will account. For the purpose of this game however taking the measure of Aston Villa against comparable teams is the best approach.

Aston Villa have a positive record against lesser outfits in Premier League; in fact, towards the end of last season they beat Sunderland 6-1 at Villa Park. This season, of the six home matches they’ve played, they won two but only one was against a lower side (the other was the 3-2 win over Man City) and that was the clash against Cardiff City just over two weeks ago.

Sunderland boast a 2-1-9 record in Premier League action. They have yet to clinch a road win this season following a 0-1-5 record on their outings. Recent form however is somewhat encouraging – a 2-1 win over Southampton in League Cup and a bizarre 1-0 win over Man City in Premier League.  But are those enough to suggest a complete turnaround is on the horizon just yet. Or to put it more bluntly, recommend Sunderland on the outright win or draw at Villa Park?

Soccer Betting Verdict: All things being considered, Aston Villa do seem to have the edge over Sunderland. The Black Cats mostly have been abysmal this season. A couple of positive results simply isn’t enough to hang one’s hat on. Therefore we recommend as an addition to your soccer picks, we anticipate Aston Villa win at -110 at Bet365. Because Aston Villa play an attacking brand of football, very open style we also like the Over 2.5 at +108.

Soccer Free Picks: Aston Villa to win outright at -110; Over 2.5 at +108

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