Soccer Picks: Bet Manchester United 3-0 vs. Sunderland for Saturday's Premier League Action

Kevin Stott

Friday, February 27, 2015 2:05 PM GMT

Man. U. welcomes slumping Sunderland to Old Trafford for this Week 27 EPL fixture in a series in which the Red Devils have absolutely dominated. Let’s look at the odds and make some wise picks.

Odds Overview
Manchester United vs. Sunderland, Saturday 15:00 (NBC Sports Live Extra, Westwood One Sports (USA); 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT): Fourth-place Manchester United.

(13-8-5, 44 GF-26 GA) will be glad to welcome 16th-place Sunderland (4-13-9, 22 GF-36 GA) to Old Trafford for this Week 27 English Premier League 27 fixture on Saturday in a game between one team fighting for a UEFA Champions League spot and some redemption and confidence and another simply trying to Hold On For Dear Life and avoid Relegation from England’s top flight of football. Life in the fast lane...

Oddsmakers have made the host Red Devils big, expected -300 favorites with visitors Sunderland getting a healthy +800 as the underdog on the take-back with a +400 Draw at Bovada in the extremely popular Three-Way (Winner) marketplace. The Total Goals in this match is set at 2½ with Over juiced at -125 and the Over priced at +110 (bet365). The Both Teams To Score odds here have the Yes priced at -150 with the No set at +110 (Sky Bet), so, one could read through the numbers that goals will be expected here, making both the Total Over and that BTTS worth mulling.

Some random props for this game: To Score 2 Or More Goals: Ander Herrera 30/1 (Paddy Power); Double Chance: Manchester United Draw -1333; Manchester United/Sunderland -550; Sunderland/Draw +240 (bet365); and, some Asian Handicap numbers from the Home favorite Red Devils’ perspective: Manchester United -1 -170; Manchester United -1.25 -116; Manchester United -1.5 +107; Manchester United -1.75 +137; Manchester United -2 +200 (BetVictor).

 

Sunderland AFC
Sunderland (2-6-4 Road, 10 GF-18 GA) is tied for the least wins in the EPL (4) and Manager Gus Poyet will be trying to do everything in his power to keep the 16th-place Black Cats from being Relegated this season. Hey, Black Cats may have Nine Lives, Bubba but soccer teams in England’s Top Flight only have one. Win or go down. It’s simple. And sort of like Evolution itself, for you crazy Believers. Like many teams in the bottom half of the Premier League table, Sunderland has had some trouble scoring goals as the 22 in 26 weeks of play heading in here sadly reveals. Steven Fletcher (4 goals, +400 Anytime Goalscorer, bet365), Adam Johnson (4 goals, +550), Sebastian Larsson (3 goals, +1100), Connor Wickham (3 goals, +400), central midfielder Jordi Gómez (2 goals, +700) and Jermain Defoe (2 goals, +300) are the only Sunderland players with multiple goals, so GK Costel Pantilimon has to be twice as good just to try to keep the Black Cats in some matches, as he did in their last outing, a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion at Home in a game Pulis thought his team should have won and one in which Johnson had a potential game-winning goal disallowed. (That sentence went Over.) Maybe someone like George Honeyman (+550) or Danny Graham (+550) can bolster this Sunderland team, but here in Red Mancunia against a team it has historically had trouble with and one coming off a disappointing loss to Swansea City, the Black Cats look to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

Manchester United FC
Manchester United (10-1-2 Home, 28 GF-10 GA) has become like a never-ending Soap Opera, but the Red Devils are still a team that’s hard to beat—especially here at Home at Old Trafford—again in The Thick of Things of the Premier League, and don’t have to worry about wasting any value Time or Energy playing in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League like English Premier League league-mates Manchester, Chelsea, Arsenal (Champions League) and Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur (Europa League) do right now. Like his predecessor David Moyes, Manchester United Manager Louis Van Gaal is under fire a bit—okay more than a bit—at Old Trafford, but in reality, this team may disappoint, but seldom loses like they did last in Week 26 at Liberty Stadium against upstart Swansea City,

2-1. The Red Devils have a number of expensive and unhappy parts and with LvG constantly tinkering with Tactical Formations and Starting XI’s, it’s been hard for the Red Devils to get

any flow in their game. So far, van Gaal’s Trusty Notebook has yielded little sense.

Here against Sunderland, United will hope that striker Robin van Persie (10 goals, Anytime Goalscorer -105, bet365), Wayne Rooney (9 goals, +120), the much-maligned (and maybe rightfully so) Ángel Di María (3 goals, +187), Radamel Falcao (4 goals, +137), Juan Mata (5 goals, +187), Marouane Fellaini (3 goals), Chris Smalling (3 goals, +1200) and Ander Herrera (3 goals, +350) can get this team out of its hopefully temporary scoring funk and put some goals up at home and get the 3 points and the W the way this club used to under Sir Alex Ferguson. For me, Herrera, Fellaini and maybe even James Wilson (+150) should be getting more playing time while Falcao is looking like a major bust and seems to kill momentum on the United attack too often.

 

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
As covered above, the Manchester United is are coming off a tough 2-1 loss at Swansea City last weekend so expect the Red Devils to really be ready here on Saturday, and driven by some healthy Fear and Anger. Few things in Life motivate like Fear and Anger. Maybe Hunger, but this team will and should be a bit bitter about the way its played, the way it has been managed—although some wiggle room should be given in that Dutchman van Gaal is new in the EPL—and the way it looks to pretty much be out of the Premier League title race in late February, sitting on 48 points while Noisy Neighbors Manchester City  (55 points) and first-place Chelsea (60 points) look to be The Only Two Dogs In The Fútbol Fight in Jolly Old England this time around the track. All about the Blues and the Sky Blues for now.

Overall, Manchester United is 50-28-38 (205 GF-178 GA) against the Black Cats and 34-14-13 (121 GF-64 GA) against Sunderland here at Home at Old Trafford in English Premier League play. When these two danced in Week 2 at the Stadium of Light, the game ended in a 1-1 draw, and in this fixture in Manchester last season, Sunderland actually upset and shut out the Red Devils, 1-0, helping to sully Moyes’ reputation. So, some Revenge served up with some more Fear (of losing to 18th-place Sunderland) again. These are some of the emotional things involved here that cannot be seen by simply looking at the soccer odds on your Cell Phone or Computer Screen. Losing two straight at this point in the season would put a dent in the Red Devils ego, and as choppy as they have been, they ain’t got no time for Ego Dents.

Perhaps the best approach here for our soccer picks is to utilize the Asian Handicap and lay a goal or maybe more (Manchester United -1 -170, BetVictor) to get the odds down to a more appetizing bite. The Manchester United To Win To Nil (+110, Sky Bet) also looks interesting with David De Gea in goal, but my favorite funky idea here would be to take a (small) shot on Ander Herrera To Score 2 Or More Goals (28/1, Paddy Power) and have some fun recreationally with a weird prop bet, backing a guy who could get a deserved goal and maybe a lucky one if given the playing time by LvG Saturday versus Sunderland. One never knows. And Herrera is a nice +350 in the Anytime Goalscorer marketplace if you think the 28/1 longshot is pushing it. Which it most certainly is My Fine Furried Friend. Carry on.

 

Prediction: Manchester United 3 Sunderland 0

Free EPL Soccer Pick:  Manchester United -1 -170 (BetVictor), Manchester United To Win To Nil +110 (Sky Bet), Ander Herrera To Score 2 Or More Goals 28/1 (Paddy Power)

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