Soccer Picks: Stoke City vs. Liverpool

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 8:49 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 8:49 PM GMT

Stoke City and Liverpool collide in EPL week 21 betting. Join us as we deliver our soccer betting verdict and choice picks for this clash for your consideration.

Briefly top of the table

Liverpool sunk to fourth after a top of the table Christmas, a brief stint that marked the first time at such a dizzying height since 2008. The supreme ascent followed a 3-1 victory over Cardiff City on December 21, a day that saw Luis Suarez up to his lofty standards scoring a brace in the first half to lift Liverpool to victory and give his side Premier League bragging rights. Alas, the sojourn was brief as Liverpool sank to the occasion with back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea, two of the top favourites in the title race across all online sportsbook platforms.

That said the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Boxing Day was one of those rare occasions when a side comes away to the good in defeat. In fact, Liverpool were the more impressive side. And had it not been for poor referee calls and bad luck they might have drawn the match, if not won it entirely.

What ifs, though, mean very little in the grand scheme of things. To put a price on it: Liverpool are as high as +900 to win the title at Bet365, fourth behind Man City (+100), Chelsea (+333) and Arsenal (+400).

With the turn of the New Year, Liverpool bounced back on a 2-0 win over Hull City and followed up that solid start on the second half of the season with a 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic in FA Cup action. Clearly, the festive season’s wobble could be chalked to title jitters. After all, it’s been a long time since the Reds traversed such territory.

Going into week 21 EPL betting, Liverpool are 12-3-5 and boast 39 points, six points adrift of Arsenal at the top of the table and four points behind Chelsea in fourth. Liverpool will be looking to close the gap on the top triplet with a win at Stoke, which can be backed at fancied -163 soccer odds or therein depending on the sportsbook of choice.

Bet365 is offering a home win at +450 soccer odds but that price does seem rather large given Stoke City have suffered just one home defeat to date. The Potters’ solid home form is an encouraging 4-5-1 to date and includes a 3-2 win over Chelsea and a scoreless draw to Man City and a 1-1 draw to Everton. Indeed, Stoke City will fancy their chances even if sportsbooks don’t, especially on the draw that is listed at +275 at Bet365. In a highly competitive and wide-open league a point for Stoke City could prove to be a golden nugget.

Besides, Liverpool aren’t exactly infallible on the road. They are actually rather erratic, not unlike Manchester City in that regard, with a 3-3-4 record. At Anfield they are tough to beat. On the road however they are a hit and miss. Some of the outfits that have taken points off them on the road (aside from the top clubs) include Hull City, Newcastle United, Everton and Swansea. Considering this list, pencilling in Stoke City as your soccer pick doesn’t seem to be quite the stretch odds makers would have you believe it to be.

Soccer Betting Verdict: Undoubtedly, this is Liverpool’s match to win or lose, especially now that they’ve shown they have credible title designs. That said their road form does leave much to be desired and that takes some of the shine off their fancied -163 soccer odds to win. On paper, they should win this match. But matches aren’t played on paper and it remains to be seen whether they’ll come through on their odds. Put another way: don’t be surprised if Stoke City thwart Liverpool on the road. 

Soccer Free Picks: Draw at +275 at Bet365

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