Soccer Picks: West Brom vs. Norwich City

Nila Amerova

Friday, December 6, 2013 3:20 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 3:20 PM GMT

West Brom take on Norwich City in week 15 of EPL betting on Saturday. Join us as we breakdown this matchup and serve up a few select soccer picks.

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West Bromwich Albion look to get back on track

West Bromwich Albion are after back-to-back losses and down to 13th in the table on the back of a 3-6-5 record on the season with 15 points. However – this might surprise some – they aren’t as bad as their record would suggest. On the contrary, the Baggies have been playing some delightful football of late, even against some of the league’s established heavyweights when the soccer odds were stacked heavily against them.

A combination of bad luck and tough scheduling sees them sat where they are, boasting a deceivingly poor record. Twice forced to take on three top clubs over the span of a four-week period (or thereabouts) – beginning with Man U, Arsenal and Liverpool in October~ish and then Chelsea, Newcastle United and Manchester City in November~ish, the Baggies received no favours from the schedule.

As trying as that stretch was for the Baggies, they did manage to take points more often than not, and, at times, against overwhelming market expectations across sportsbooks, with a 2-4-3 mark. That is nothing to scoff at, mind.

Most impressively, they beat defending champions Man U 2-1 at the Old Trafford and condemned both Arsenal (home) and Chelsea (away) to draws, 1-1 and 2-2 respectively; all of which sent seismic shockwaves through sports betting markets and were an extension of this season’s chaotic nature where no outcome is certain and every point is up for grabs. 

While they did succumb to Liverpool (4-1 at Anfield) and to Man City (3-2 at home), that they found the net three times against two of the nation’s top title threats as well as two of the league’s top defences points to a thriving attacking line, which augurs really well, especially against the Canaries who are still reeling from a midweek date with Liverpool.

In fact, sportsbooks send West Brom into their upcoming date with the Canaries as the hot favourites at -125 to win outright at Bet365, a price that is just right in our opinion based on current form and as well as their accounts against the bigwigs, which gave them plenty of positives to take away and utilise to their advantage.

Suarez sinks teeth into Canaries

The Canaries are still reeling from Liverpool’s 5-1 evisceration in midweek action, their second such humiliation on the season after Man City’s attacking ebullience handed them a 7-0 defeat. Suarez arguably put on one of the most superb individual performances in the recent history of the game, scoring four of the five goals that snuffed the life out of the wretched Canaries, each of which was a dazzling revelation of extraordinary brilliance, while serving as a timely reminder of his lethal striking prowess.

While the outcome fell in line with market expectations across sportsbooks, it still left its mark surely. So how are the Canaries to bounce back from such a merciless trouncing?

To say it was just one game would be to blithely overlook the Man City game. (And all their other big losses this season, though, admittedly, all were to the top clubs and the soccer odds were stalked massively against them.)

To chalk it to just Suarez tapping into an otherworldly realm would be extremely self-serving, a blatant denial of their conspicuous shortcomings. They could turn to some of their positive results against similar outfits. For instance the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace or 3-1 win over West Ham. Problem is those wins came on their stomping ground and not on the road where they shown as much intensity and brusque purpose as a slug slithering through grass.

Truth is the Canaries are hardly a force to be reckoned with this season both home and on the road – not against the established heavyweights and, certainly, not even against clubs of supposed similar ilk. They boast one of the league’s worst road records as well as one of the highest goals-against tally, both stats serving as a useful measure of the validity of their future odds to be relegated by season end, which are listed t +260 at Bet365.

While the prospect of West Brom does loom less daunting than a date with Liverpool or Man City on the road, to expect, all of a sudden, the Canaries to turn into the great scavengers of the Premier League’s mid to lightweight outfits and the sight of the yellow birds advancing to send shivers of fear down the collective spines of their opponents is rather a fanciful stretch. Not for nothing are sportsbooks sending Norwich City into London as the +375 underdogs to win outright.

Soccer Betting Verdict: Everything about this clash suggests that this is a home banker and, thus, West Brom do appear to be the smart soccer pick here. Now, this doesn’t mean that the Canaries will be pushovers. After humiliation – such as they suffered – it’s possible to see a better account because the motivation is greater following a low than it is a high sometimes. Therefore it’s possible they might remember professional pride is on the line and bring some fight to London. Therein lies the problem however, they are on the road. Where unfortunately they aren’t a trustworthy soccer pick. Well, not up to this point.

Soccer Picks: West Brom to win outright at -125; Over at -125

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