This Season’s Record: 107-100-29 (-5.6 Units)
Matchweek 19 Record: 3-3-3 (+0.0 Units)
Aaannddd we got nowhere. Somehow Palace didn’t score with 31 shots against Cardiff at home and a late Huddersfield goal turned a United cover to a push, making my week dead average. Spin zone: it’s good to find some sort of stability. Let’s get to a quick Outside the 18.
Outside The 18
- City lose to Leicester City for their second loss in a row and their third in four matches. They’ve given Liverpool the path to the title and it’s now the Reds’ to lose. This makes the January 3rd matchup at the Etihad a must-win for City if they want any chance at the title.
- Juventus drew to Atalanta in only their second match in which they dropped points this season in Serie A.
- Napoli/Inter Milan was marred by controversy after Inter fans shouted racist monkey chants at Napoli defender Koulibaly. Obviously there is NO place for these kinds of things in the sport. Inter fans have been banned for the next two home matches, which isn’t nearly enough if they want to cut this stuff out of the game.
Let’s get to Matchweek 20!
Saturday, December 29th
English Premier League
10:00 am EST
Huddersfield @ Fulham – It was going to take a lot for me to pick Huddersfield this week as they’ve been horrible this season. They’ve lost six straight, four of which against bottom 10 opponents, and have only won one match away from home all season. Fulham haven’t been too much better as a whole, but are beginning to turn things around with new manager Claudio Ranieri. They’ve grinded out two draws in their last two matches, a vast improvement from a team who has conceded the most goals this season by a pretty vast margin. To add to that, Fulham haven’t been as bad as you’d think at home this season and Huddersfield have only gotten 5 points from a possible 27 away from home. If I had to pick my poison, I’m picking Fulham with a good price. Fulham (-0.5, +105).
Cardiff @ Leicester – Leicester will be home again just one match after their huge upset win over Man City on Wednesday. They face a Cardiff side who, for now, find themselves three points outside of the relegation zone and coming off of a big draw at Crystal Palace. But Cardiff have been inconsistent as of late, with either a good result or a big loss. That’s a warning sign especially for a team who is coming off of a big away draw and have to go to another away match just days later. I don’t like betting on Cardiff and I like the one goal line here for Leicester. This will be one of my two unit plays this week. Leicester City (-1, -110) *2 UNITS*.
Everton @ Brighton – here we have two clubs who enter this match coming off of much needed results. Brighton held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at home, where they have been a top ten side this season so far while Everton responded to their 6-2 loss at home to Spurs with a 5-1 win of their own at Burnley. But that was Everton’s first win away from home since 10/6 to Leicester and it’s hard to get back-to-back wins away from home in the Premier League. I think Brighton can hold off Everton here at home with a draw or even grab three points. Brighton (+0.5, -130).
Wolves @ Tottenham (NBCSN) – I had some serious trouble picking this line of 1.5. But here’s why I like Spurs. They’re on fire, have their star players scoring lots of goals, are at home again and now have an actual shot in the title race sitting in second. They run into a Wolves team who have found themselves in some poor form as they’re without a win in their last two and had a tough draw against Fulham on Wednesday. I don’t want to take a team who’s on the other side of back-to-back away matches and I like Spurs at home here. Tottenham (-1.5, +105).
Newcastle @ Watford – Watford have not lost to a non top-7 side since their loss to Newcastle on November 3rd while Newcastle haven’t beaten a team inside the top 10 outside of that win on 11/3. Newcastle are coming off of a brutal road loss to Liverpool and have not shown much over the last month offensively (3 goals in 6 matches). I like Watford as home favorites here and I’m willing to put two units on it. Watford (-0.5, -120) *2 UNITS*.
12:30 pm EST
Arsenal @ Liverpool (NBC) – Liverpool now have a sizeable lead over Spurs and City atop the table and don’t seem to be slowing down. I really don’t know how Arsenal will be able to contain Liverpool’s front three with how their backline has been playing lately especially at Anfield where Liverpool are averaging 2.5 goals per game. To add to that, they’ve only conceded twice in their 9 home matches and remain undefeated at Anfield. I just can’t fade Liverpool here even if it has a high chance of a push. Liverpool (-1, -125).
Bonus Saturday Pick:
Italian Serie A
12:00 pm EST
Napoli (-1.5, -125).
Sunday, December 30th
English Premier League
7:00 am EST
Chelsea @ Crystal Palace (NBCSN) – Palace will be hosting this London Derby against Chelsea in good form after beating Leicester and City recently, but they stumbled against Cardiff on Wednesday. They have been good at home lately, bucking their bad home form to start the year, as they’re undefeated in their last three at Selhurst Park. They face a Chelsea side who have been grinding out results lately with the help of their star man Eden Hazard. At most places thee spread has been sitting at 0.5 with Chelsea the heavily-juiced favorites but I was lucky enough to find a spread of 1 when shopping around. This really suits Palace at home in a Derby where they have only lost by more than a goal at Selhurst Park once in the last 8 years. I’ll take the heavily-juiced spread for Palace in this one. Crystal Palace (+1, -140).
9:15 am EST
West Ham @ Burnley – Are West Ham for real? I wasn’t buying them until they beat Southampton 2-1 at home on Thursday for a big away 3 points to put them into 9th place. They’ve now won 5 of their last 6 matches including their last 3 away from home. Burnley meanwhile are looking absolutely horrible. They have already conceded more goals this season than they did all of last season and we are only halfway through. They’ve only won 1 of their last 12 matches, with 9 of those being losses and are conceding goals at an astonishing rate. I like West Ham with the well-priced favorites tag. West Ham (-0.5, +120).
Man City @ Southampton – What on earth has been happening to City? Well they haven’t had a full squad for most of the season, were missing Fernandinho who is arguably their most crucial midfielder and have been unlucky with a few goals they’ve conceded. But that’s still no excuse for what we’ve been seeing from them these last four matches. They now sit in a complete must-win situation for almost all of their matches this season. They go against a Southampton team who showed good flashes before their loss on Thursday to West Ham, but don’t come near the quality of City. City know they need to get three points especially with their match against Liverpool coming up on the 3rd. Take them no matter what the line is! Man City (-1.5, -110).
11:30 am EST
Bournemouth @ Man United – United are in flying form under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer while Bournemouth are trying to regain the form that had them in the top 10 earlier in the season. They have one win in their last four matches and two wins in their last nine, with the other seven being losses. But they’ve covered against good sides this season including Manchester United back in November where a last minute goal was needed for a United win. I like this contrarian play with the points for Bournemouth as they’ve played good teams tight all year, it may be Solskjaer’s first real test as a manager and Bournemouth played United really well in November. Bournemouth (+1.5, -110).
That’s all for Matchweek 20! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE PAGE!!!
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.