Soccer Picks Manchester City vs. Stoke City

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 7:52 PM GMT

Manchester City take on Stoke City in Premier League betting at the weekend. Find out what odds are currently in swing and where the value is to be had.

Manchester City runaway favourites

Sportsbooks send Man City into their clash with Stoke City as the whopping favourites at -600 to win outright, a market price about par for the course this season against the league’s middleweights and lightweights at the Etihad.

The Sky Blues have been nigh indomitable at the Etihad  this season, boasting an 11-0-1 mark ahead of week 27 EPL betting and since the start of the season they have been amongst the top favourites to win the title outright, currently listed at preferential +110 soccer odds. But recent form has been somewhat suspect and that has taken the shine off their betting value.

So far only Chelsea were able to extract maximum points at the Etihad and as recently as week 24 EPL betting, which was also the last league game Man City played at home. Immediately afterwards, Man City went on to a disappointing scoreless draw away to Norwich City.

Man City assuaged some of the concern permeating through markets with a resounding 2-0 victory over Chelsea in FA Cup action, a match hosted by the Sky Blues at the Etihad and in which they were matched at tentative +105 soccer odds at Bet365 to win outright.

However, just as things started to look up for Man City, Barcelona weighed in and found them wanting following a 2-0 defeat at the Etihad in Champions League R16 action on Tuesday. Now, Man City face the unimaginable task of reversing the tie at Camp Nou in a few weeks time, a feat theoretically still possible but one that nobody is entertaining seriously, not least odds makers that have summarily demoted Man City in Champions League futures markets to +6600 to win outright.

It’s understandable that these hiccups could be worrisome but – let’s face it – it was always going to be a matter of time before Man City’s home winning streak and otherworldly scoring sequence would end. That it coincides big injury problems, namely to Sergio Aguero – a seemingly bottomless well of goals – and Fernandinho isn’t an accident. It’s one of several problems at the crux of the matter.

Man City will aim to return to winning form when they host Stoke City and fortunately the prognosis is good across sportsbooks. Not only is Manuel Pellegrini’s side heavily favoured at -600 to win outright but Stoke City is a extremely disadvantaged at +1400 to win outright. Even the draw is listed large at +600 soccer odds at Bet365.

Stoke City are currently 14th in the table with a 6-9-11 mark and 27 points but they are far from secure in English top flight with three places and three points separating them from the drop zone. Home form has been better than their road form that stands at 1-3-9.

The Potters are riding back-to-back draws ahead of their clash with Man City at the weekend, a 2-2 draw to Southampton and a 1-1 draw to Swansea City – the former of which ended a five-game losing streak on the road. Taking a share in the spoils at the Etihad would be a golden nugget for the Potters and nothing to scoff at all when many clubs have come and gone away empty handed. But the likelihood they would take any points is slim to none.

Soccer Betting Verdict: This appears to be a rather straightforward matchup for Man City and, in turn, a straightforward sports betting affair. A home banker in no uncertain terms but at -600 to win outright a bet on Man City promises little value. Better value can be found in totals betting by taking the Under 2.5 at +188, which is our recommended soccer pick.

Soccer Free Pick: Man City to win outright at -600; Under 2.5 at +188

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