Breaking down the odds
Unanimously, sportsbooks across the board install the Gunners as the slight +100 favourites to win outright over Tottenham Hotspur, listed at +250 to mastermind the upset on the away. But it’s barely a four-mile trek from White Hart Lane to the Emirates Stadium, so while technically the Spurs will be playing an “away” game, it’s hardly that. There’ll be enough Spurs fans in the stands to make them feel right at home as always.
That said this intense storied rivalry has gone the way of the home team in the last four meetings in domestic action, a fact that suggests betting on Arsenal is indeed the best choice for your soccer picks. As well, the home side has won both halves in three of their last four meetings – a prop bet that can be found at Bet365 listed at +210 (Arsenal to win both halves).
Typically, the clash lives up to expectations, delivering high-octane and free-scoring affairs. Over the course of their last four games, the two sides combined to produce 20 goals – albeit that number is skewed by Arsenal’s back-to-back 5-2 wins at the Emirates, first in February and then November of last year. Clearly, the Gunners and Spurs match up well on unbridled offense. It’s hardly surprising therefore that online sportsbooks favour the Over 2.5 at -143 at Bet365 while tipping the Under 2.5 at +110.
The chance that this derby would end once again on a 5-2 score line is slim; that is if the +8000 odds are any indication? The expected Arsenal win is best priced on a 2-1 score line at +750 while a 1-0 score is listed at +800 at Bet365. A 3-1 win is going for +1400 at William Hill. Curiously though, the shortest odds are being offered on a 1-1 draw at +550 (the overall draw is listed at +260 at Bet365 and at +230 at William Hill).
Going back to those memorable 5-2 encounters at the Emirates last year, the most dramatic of which the February tilt when the Spurs took the quick 2-0 lead only to squander it before the first half was over, allowing the Gunners to draw level with two goals in just three minutes and then, in the second half, allowing another three goals to go on to a dramatic 5-2 defeat. Taking a page from that encounter, a draw-Arsenal result is offered at +400 at Bet365 and, furthermore, given the fact that Tottenham have failed to hold on to leads at the Emirates on two separate occasions – both the 5-2 defeats – William Hill is offering a special bet on a comeback from behind win by Arsenal at +700.
Arsenal vs. Tottenham preview and predictions:
Arsenal began their season barely striking an audible chord with a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates but they bounced back with a positive showing in Champions League action (over a rather lacklustre Fenerbahce, mind) and a victory over Fulham in Prem. Though the opening game raised many questions, the subsequent clean sheets and strong offensive accounts have quelled those for the time being.
Arsenal have the “home” advantage here as well they have overall skill and depth in the midfield that on paper gives them a slight edge over Spurs (an edge that would be enhanced further if the Bale transfer to Real Madrid goes through before this clash, leaving the Spurs Bale-less at the Emirates). More good news for the Gunners, Jack Wilshere is expected to be fit for this game.
Where the Spurs have an edge over Arsenal is on defense, their goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is world class. So far this season they haven’t allowed a goal in three games – two domestic and one Europa League game that they won 5-0. Offense for Spurs has come from Soldado though alone in domestic action, in 1-0 victories over Crystal Palace and Swansea City. Spurs can’t rely on Soldado only for the Arsenal game surely. They’ll need a more comprehensive showing.
Soccer Verdict: There is sports betting value to be had on both sides of the coin however if the Bale transfer does indeed go through, it’s advantage Arsenal hands down. But Arsenal has also been playing some sublime attacking football since their shocking 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa and that tips the scale in their favour even further against Tottenham.Soccer Free Picks: Arsenal to win at +100 at Bet365