Soccer Picks Southampton vs. Tottenham

Nila Amerova

Thursday, December 19, 2013 6:49 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 6:49 PM GMT

Southampton and Tottenham collide in EPL week 17. Find out what the odds makers have released for this intriguing tilt and where we feel the value soccer picks are hidden.

Tottenham Spurs reeling

Tottenham Spurs descend on Southampton at the weekend, still smarting from a brutal slaying by Liverpool that set them back in the league’s table and resulted in the belated firing of AVB.

The 5-0 thrashing at White Hart Lane marked their second in a matter of a few weeks after the unforgettable 6-0 thrashing by Man City at the formidable Etihad Stadium in Manchester. The unmemorable day for Spurs saw Luis Suarez up to his lofty standards, opening the scoring in the 18th minute that unfurled the floodgates upon the hapless Spurs, marking their worst home defeat in almost two decades.

The firing of AVB was inevitable, evinced by the soccer odds for his dismissal trading furiously across sportsbooks since the Man City debacle; delayed by a short-lived stint of somewhat positive results that included a 2-2 draw to Man U at White Hart Lane and victories over Fulham, Sunderland and Anzhi in Europa League. That those results were against questionable sides and therefore of dubious merit was overwhelmingly revealed in the defeat to Liverpool.

In spite of recent events and the hiring of interim coach Tim Sherwood while the club interviews potential candidates, sportsbooks send the Spurs into their upcoming engagement with Southampton at rather decent soccer odds of +180 to win outright on the road. Their stock clearly not affected at all drastically by the comings and goings at White Hart Lane.

The Spurs are sat pretty in seventh place in the league on 27 points and with a modest 8-3-5 record that includes a rather healthy 5-1-2 record on the road. In fact, the Spurs have played better on the road than they have before their fans and that might go some way towards explaining their deceivingly favourable soccer odds.

Southampton’s wheels coming undone?

What began as a rather promising and surprising start to the season appears to be over as Southampton have come down to reality with a bit of a thud. They are enjoying a poor run of form of late, managing only two points in their last five games on the back of a 1-1 draw to Man City and Newcastle United. At the crux of the problem is a tough schedule that highlighted an inability to stand up to the big clubs – defeats to Chelsea, Aston Villa and Arsenal mar recent form – without which a sustained campaign to finish in the top of the table and clinch a spot in Europe is going to be challenging. It also undermines their bid for a Top 4 finish, which is now listed at a staggering +4000 in Premier League futures betting markets at Bet365.

Southampton are down to ninth in the table with a 6-6-4 record and 24 points. Home form however remains a source of consolation and optimism with just one defeat through 16 laps; they are 4-3-1 overall at St. Mary’s Stadium and 4-1-1 in their last six at home – the lone defeat to Aston Villa. Most recently, they held the Man City juggernaut to a 1-1 draw, which is no mean feat, all things being considered.

In spite of this encouraging home form – and, let’s not forget, the Spurs’ questionable form and current state of mind that is bruised following the weekend – sportsbooks refuse to corner this match in their camp. Although they install them as the favourites, they are on the short side of even money at +145 at Bet365 to win outright. The draw meanwhile is tipped the largest at +230 soccer odds.

Soccer Betting Verdict: Despite the rather conservative market on this matchup this is a prime opportunity for Southampton to get their domestic campaign back on track and that’s why this is a home banker at +145 soccer odds in our opinion. Granted, the Spurs have played well enough on the road and have done well against so-called middleweights. But recent events suggest the team is going through a transitional period that most likely will be a deciding factor towards preventing a positive result. What’s more, offense has been a worrying aspect of their game throughout the season. How is interim coach Sherwood going to solve that problem in such a short time against a disciplined defence that has allowed just six goals at home this season? 

It’s all very well firing coaches, but if wholesale changes to the systems that are in place don’t occur then it’s hard to imagine the Spurs coming away with a win here. Of course, it remains to be seen what Sherwood will do. How he’ll play his Spurs. But what we do know is that the pressure is now greater than ever before and this match all of a sudden is more significant than it would have been otherwise. As such, we recommend Southampton at +145 to win for your soccer picks as well as the Under 2.5 at -133.

Soccer Free Picks: Southampton to win outright at +145; Under 2.5 at -133

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