Soccer Picks: Sunderland vs. Manchester United Tips & Odds

Nila Amerova

Monday, September 30, 2013 8:04 PM GMT

Manchester United and Sunderland collide in week 7 of Premier League action, surely a match that will see Man U make a happy return into the win column. Well, so the odds makers seem to think as they install Man U as the firm road favourites to win outright in soccer betting markets.

Seems strange to ask such a question where Man U is concerned but here goes anyway: Do the sportsbooks have it right? Could the winless Black Cats actually heap more misery on a struggling Man U?

[gameodds]2/245993/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Oh, how the mighty have fallen

Let’s face it things weren’t going to be the same for Man U after losing the greatest manager in the history of the game. But few we’re ready to believe things would be so bad so soon. Man U are sat snug as button in 12th place cushioned in between Welsh counterparts Cardiff City and Swansea City. Heck, even Everton (Moyes’old club) is ahead of Man U in the table, not to mention Hull City and Southampton for Pete’s sake. Oh, how the mighty have fallen indeed.

The latest debacle on the Man U front, a 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in week 6 ushered in fresh spate of criticism and pressure for Moyes to shoulder. While normally September is too early in the season to make sweeping judgements, three defeats in the last six games doesn’t bode well for the defending champions. Nor for that matter their new manager who despite the public’s nervousness, steadfastly maintains his dour demeanour in the unravelling face of his side’s title defence campaign – incidentally, an option for your soccer picks that is now available at +650 at Bet365.

In fact, few saw that West Brom win coming at all – and at the Old Trafford no less – considering their stuttering start on the season. Why, this is a side that opened the season with a 1-0 defeat to Southampton and then a scoreless draw to Everton before slipping up again 2-0 to Swansea. (Note: they didn’t even score in their first three Premier League games.)

They finally broke the scoring deadlock with a 1-1 draw to Fulham and then went on to beat Sunderland (who hasn’t?) 3-0. And following that first victory on the season West Bromwich went on to beat Man U at the Old Trafford – defies common wisdom and reason, doesn’t it?

In any event, Manchester United travel to Sunderland as the solid -175 favourites at Bet365 to win outright and at -166 at William Hill. Normally, we wouldn’t bother considering the draw or defeat in such a fixture – Man U would be the only sound pick to recommend.  But these days, well you just don’t seem to know what to expect from Man U anymore. Certainly, they seem a far cry from Fergie’s boys that treated the Premier League as their personal playground and lapped the league in triumph.

Still, Sunderland beating Man U is a stretch. The same Sunderland that just had its manager fired. The same Sunderland that is riding a four-game losing streak including a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend and is propping up the league in earnest. That Sunderland to beat Man U is hard to imagine happening.

But should the unthinkable happen, how long do you think Moyes will keep his job for then? Not to be funny, but PaddyPower has 5/1 odds available right now on Sir Alex Fergusson to come out of retirement in order to resume his role as Man U manager. Only Pep Guardiola is listed shorter at 3/1 odds, but he seems to be having a grand time at Bayern so the probability he would actually leave his post are slimmer than the odds suggest.

But we digress here. Manchester United simply have to win this match and at -166 at William Hill they are worth shading in as your sports pick. Nothing about Sunderland right now suggests they are ready to mastermind an upset over Man U, even if it is a struggling Man U.

Soccer Free Picks: Man U to win outright