Sunderland vs. Leicester City: Play Black Cats +250 to Earn 3-Points in EPL Table

Nikki Adams

Friday, July 31, 2015 2:30 PM GMT

Friday, Jul. 31, 2015 2:30 PM GMT

Leicester City take on Sunderland on match day 1 of Premier League betting. Find out what soccer odds are currently trading and where we've spotted value soccer picks.

Leicester City Hopeful For 2015-2016 Season
Last season's promoted side, Leicester City did the most anybody could have expected of them: survive to live another season in England's top flight. They did it better than most expected, actually. Finishing in 14th place behind an 11-8- 19 mark with 41-points, they were a full six points clear of the drop zone. Along the way, the Foxes deposited some eyebrow-raising results; namely, beating Manchester United 5-3 on September 21. They also held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw  and both Everton and Liverpool to a 2-2 draws, while beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in FA Cup.

Importantly, the Foxes closed the season on one of their best runs of form, winning seven of their last nine games. The only setbacks came with a 3-1 loss to Chelsea (eventual Premier League champions) and a scoreless draw to Sunderland.

Unfortunately, manager Nigel Pearson, who led the team to a second straight season in Premier League, had become more of a liability than an asset with his brutish, thuggish behaviour on and off the pitch. He was promptly fired in the offseason. Claudio Ranieri now is set to spearhead the club's fortunes in the coming season. How well the Foxes fare under Ranieri remains to be seen, but if his stint in Greece last season were any indication Leicester City fans have cause for concern.

 

Sunderland Survive Yet Again
Another season. Another dangerous flirtation with relegation saved by a late rally. For a second straight season, Sunderland finish with 38 points exactly and avoid relegation. To say, it was a disappointing turnout by the Black Cats is an understatement. That said, Dick Advocaat's now at the helm to see the season through from start to finish (one assumes). Perhaps, there's room for optimism amongst Sunderland's faithful.

In 2013, the Black Cats finished with 38 points behind a 10-8-20 mark. Then it was enough to clinch 14th place and put them five points clear of the drop zone. In 2014, the Houdini-like Black Cats escaped the cut with a 7-17-14 mark and 38 points, three points clear of the drop zone. Both those  campaigns featured inspired runs down the stretch that saw the Black Cats claw their way out of the relegation zone and into safety.

Dick Advocaat was hired in March and in his nine games at the helm the Black Cats went 3-3-3, including a pivotal scoreless draw against Arsenal on the last day of the season that ensured Premier League survival was theirs. The Dutchman has been busy in the offseason, shoring up the defence mainly. Sunderland scored the fewest goals in the league at 31 (a mark matched by Aston Villa), and they conceded 53 goals as well (fifth worst in the league).

 

Match Betting Tips and Picks:
The pair settled on a scoreless draw in both of their meetings last season, which augurs well as they set to renew top-flight hostilities on match day 1 of Premier League. Both should fancy their chances to get at least a point in this game (the draw is trading at +240 soccer odds), if not win it outright.

That said there are a lot of ins and outs in both camps, which sets up this match on a rather unknown note. Leicester City have the home advantage and they are trading as the notional favourites at +105 soccer odds, but with Claudio Ranieri providing the tactical nous we're not so sure about the Foxes chances.

Dick Advocaat comes across as a much better coach and what he accomplished already with the Black Cats down the stretch last season sets him up for a rather good start to the 2015 Premier League season. Indeed, at +250 soccer odds to win outright, the Black Cats appear to be the value soccer pick in our books.

Soccer Picks: Sunderland +250 to win at Bet365

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