Soccer Picks West Ham United vs. Arsenal

Nila Amerova

Friday, December 20, 2013 6:27 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 6:27 PM GMT

West Ham United take on Arsenal on Boxing Day, in an extraordinary round of midweek EPL betting. Join us as we breakdown the early soccer betting markets and deliver our choice free picks. 

West Ham United at the disadvantage

West Ham United have the unfortunate pleasure of facing both Man U and Arsenal in succession. That these pivotal games come during the season of giving is just tragic irony, wouldn’t you say. If there is going to be any giving done, it’ll certainly be the Hammers donating precious points to both. The Hammers’ faithful can be forgiven for believing the soccer gods are conspiring against them, determined to keep the dark threatening clouds of relegation hanging over their heads through the merry season.

West Ham United are precariously perched in the table on the back of a 3-5-8 mark and 14 points. Just a point separates them from both Crystal Palace and Fulham, and the dreaded drop into obscurity.

Going against West Ham United in sports betting markets is overall form obviously, underscored by their hefty soccer odds in both games: they are listed as the whopping +750 underdogs on the road to Man U and the equally large +550 underdogs at home to Arsenal at Bet365. The sportsbook message loud and clear: they are a long shot soccer pick in both instances. Should they manage to take any points in either match, it would constitute a massive upset make no mistake.

West Ham United are however after a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in midweek League Cup action, a result that could prove to be a catalyst for a resurgence of some sort, although recent comings and goings in the Spurs’ camp probably played a large part in the defeat.

It’s no secret however that Manchester United have shown chinks in their armour this season with Newcastle United and Everton both serving notice at the Old Trafford, as well Cardiff City holding the Red Devils to a draw in Wales, amongst several others.

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If (and this is a BIG IF) the Hammers were to pull off a positive result at the Old Trafford this weekend with a draw at +425 soccer odds or even the unthinkable win at +700 soccer odds at Bet365, who’s to say they might not extend that run of form and turn the soccer odds in their favour when they host Arsenal on Boxing day? It’s a leap of course, best left to soccer bettors that have a high-risk tolerance.

More likely than not the Man U vs. West Ham United will go to plan as well as the subsequent West Ham United vs. Arsenal clash, where the visiting Gunners are listed as the -175 favourites to win (or therein depending on the sportsbook of choice) on the road.

Granted Arsenal have a pivotal clash with Chelsea at the Emirates this weekend, a game that is a must-win for the league leaders if they are to underscore their lofty perch atop the table. To date Arsenal have failed against rival threats, losing to both Man City and Man U in recent weeks. So Arsené Wenger and Co. will be desperate to silence critics with a solid performance against Chelsea.

Regardless of the outcome of their weekend clash, Arsenal’s chances won’t change against the Hammers. Their perceived favouritism in online sportsbooks should remain intact, even if they lose to Chelsea. In fact, if they do lose, their favouritism might actually increase, as then the West Ham fixture will gain importance: become a fortuitous opportunity for Arsenal to bounce back and gain three precious points in order to keep their bid for the Premier League title alive.

Soccer Free Picks: It’s a cruel twist of fate to face both defending Premier League champions and current league leaders in succession. Really a tough draw for the Hammers, one that is going to be a tall order for them in every sense, particularly when form leaves much to be desired and confidence is not where it needs to be to in order to successfully stare down a heavyweight. As such, the only practical soccer-betting angle is to go against the Hammers in their next two matches, including their home clash with Arsenal. To put another way, Arsenal at -175 soccer odds is the correct soccer pick. To add additional value, take the Over 2.5 at -125 and Arsenal to win both halves at +138.

Soccer Free Picks: Arsenal to win outright at -175; Over 2.5 at -125 and Arsenal to win both halves at +138. 

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