Watford vs. Arsenal: Two Soccer Picks Worth Adding to Your Betting Ticket

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 4:47 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 4:47 PM UTC

Watford is a defense first, everything else second type of team, but can they hang with the Gunners? Let’s take a look at all the angles and numbers and make a soccer pick or two.

Odds Overview
Watford vs. Arsenal [Saturday 17:30] (NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra, Telemundo (US); Sky Sports 1/HD UK, Sky Go UK, Sky GO Extra (UK); 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT): Recently promoted side Watford (2-4-2, 6 GF-7 GA) welcome 2nd-place Arsenal (5-1-2, 13 GF-7 GA) to Vicarage Road Stadium in Hertfordshire for this Matchday 9 English Premier League game on Saturday. Oddsmakers here have made visitors Arsenal -175 favorites here over host Watford (+500) with the Draw priced at +300 soccer odds (bet365). The Total Goals in this contest set at 2½ with the Over juiced at -150 and Under priced at +114 (Sky Bet). Some Props wagers for this EPL fixture from Watford: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ -162, ‘No’ +120 (Sky Bet); Draw No Bet: Arsenal -400, Watford +275 (Sky Bet); and, To Win To Nil: Arsenal +187, Watford +1000 (bet365).


Arsenal FC
Arsenal (3-0-1 on Road 8 GF-5 GA) and Manager Arsène Wenger find themselves again in the thick of the EPL race, sitting in 2nd place with 16 points, just 2 points behind league leaders Manchester City (18). The Gunners (+250 to win EPL, bet365) acquired GK Petr Cech over the Summer Transfer Window from London city rivals and defending league champions Chelsea, and with the veteran Czech keeper Arsenal now has a complete team from GK forward including a number of talented players on the attack including Chilean sensation Alexis Sánchez (Anytime Goalscorer, +140, bet365)—linked with Real Madrid this morning, as everyone in their Lifetime at one point will surely be—Olivier Giroud (-110), Theo Walcott (+140), Mesut Özil (+333), Aaron Ramsey (+275), Santi Cazorla (+275), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (+275) and Joel Campbell (+220), among others. Here, on the Road against a club it hasn’t faced in almost 10 years, expect a tentative offensive approach from Arsenal, although the Gunners should win the Possession battle here at Vicarage Road on Saturday by about a 60% to 40% margin. On Wednesday, Manager Wenger confirmed that Sánchez, Laurent Koscielny, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini all returned to training and will all be fit for this match against Watford.


Watford FC
Watford FC (1-2-1 at Home, 1 GF-1 GA) has played four English Premier League games here at Home at Vicarage Road this season and the scores have been 0-0 (vs. West Bromwich Albion on Matchday 1); 0-0 (vs. Southampton on Matchday 2); 1-0 (vs. Swansea City on Matchday 5); and 0-1 (vs. Crystal Palace on Matchday 7). So, 2 goals in 4 goals or a 0.50 gpg average. Almost invisible. The fans at Vicarage Road must be thrilled. Top Flight English football in Watford (6000/1 to win EPL,bet365) but just 2 goals in 8 halves of play? As Billy Preston once sang, “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.” So what does Watford Manager Quique Sánchez Flores now with just two goal scorers—one of whom (Miguel Layún) has since been loaned to Portuguese side Porto—midway through October? Keep playing lockdown Defense and hope that GK Heurelho Gomes can keep up the good work. Odion Ighalo (+275 Anytime Goalscorer, bet365) has 5 of Watford’s 6 goals and along with Troy Deeney (+275), Victor Ibarbo (+300)—on loan from Cagliari—Adlene Guedioura and 19-year-old Obbi Oularé (+300)—who recently signed a 5-year deal with the Hornets—Watford has some guys who can score goals. And here and now is when they should start. On the Injury front, the Hornets are hoping Ikechi Anya (Calf) and RB Allan Nyom will be fit for Arsenal while MF Valon Behrami returns after a 3-game Suspension. Watford AMF José Manuel Jurado (Hamstring) is still sidelined and will miss this match.


Series Trends and Best Betting Approaches
These two clubs haven’t played since the 2006/07 Premier League season, and smaller market Watford have actually held their own against the Gunners over the years. Arsenal is 7-1-8 against the Hornets in Premier League play (24 GF-27 GA) and the Gunners are 3-0-5 (11 GF-17 GA) here at Vicarage Road in league play through the years. Arsenal is 10-1-9 in the 19 overall meetings in all competitions with Watford, outscoring the Hornets by just 1 goal, 34-33. Arsenal has W4 straight in the series in EPL play (9-3 goals) with the last two Wins coming back in the 2006/07 season where Arsenal won 2-1 here at Vicarage Road in Week 20, while the Gunners also won at Home at the Emirates over Watford, 3-0 in Week 8.

In the Hornets L8 games in all competitions, there have been a total of just 12 goals (1.25 gpg), with 7 of those 8 games going Under the posted Total, For Watford to hang in games, it has to play Defense, thus the extremely low scores and backing Watford Unders until it loses 2 straight is recommended. Overall, Watford games have seen just a total of just 11 goals in 8 Premier League games (1.38 apg), so backing the Under with the small plus is the soccer pick here as Cech may very well register a Clean Sheet, also making the Arsenal To Win To Nil (+187, bet365) Prop wager worth consideration a. Knowing that 3 points in games like these are imperative in trying to ultimately catch and possibly defeat Manchester City for the league crown, Arsenal should find a way to squeeze out a goal or two here through either through Sánchez, Giroud, Walcott or Özil, and backing them on the Asian Handicap seems like the only (side) approach here with the visiting Gunners priced at a steep -300 (bet365) in the 3-Way (Winners) marketplace.

Predicted Final Score: Watford 0 Arsenal 1

Premier League Soccer Picks: Under 2½ +120 & Arsenal -0.75 -137 at BetVictor

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