The midweek matches did not disappoint. Man City got a 4-1 win looking look like their old selves, Palace won 1-0 after being down a man for 61 minutes, United beat Spurs 2-1, Liverpool win the Merseyside Derby convincingly by the tune of 5-2, Newcastle get a surprising 2-0 win at Sheffield and Arsenal disappoint yet again with a 2-1 loss at home to Brighton.
Let’s see how I fared…
This Season: 97-86-35 (+11.6 Units)
Matchweek 15: 3-2 (+0.8 Units)
What a matchweek we have ahead of us this weekend as we get a Manchester Derby and several big clubs with tough road matches.
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English Premier League
Saturday, December 7th
7:30 am EST
Chelsea @ Everton (TV: NBCSN) – Two teams out of form, one with a new manager and the other with one win in their last four in all competitions. Chelsea are slight favorites in this match but I can’t bring myself to bet on a match with so many variables. On one hand I think Chelsea should win but on the other, Everton are home underdogs in the match after their manager was fired. PASS.
10:00 am EST
Liverpool @ Bournemouth (TV: NBCSN) – Liverpool are coming off a huge win in the Merseyside Derby and Bournemouth had a bad loss against Palace where they were man up for almost the entire match. The Cherries have also lost their last four matches. But they’ve been pretty good overall at home this year and this feels like a trap/let-down match for Liverpool here. The spread of 1.5 is also concerning considering Liverpool’s tendency to keep things within a goal this season. I’m also passing on this match. PASS.
Crystal Palace @ Watford – Palace has been a sneaky good team to pick in certain situations. This, is one of those situations. They’re 7-5-3 (win-loss-push) against the spread this season and their only losses this season have come against teams in the traditional top six, Leicester and Sheffield. Watford have been the opposite. Sitting at the bottom of the table and fresh off of their manager getting sacked, Watford have gone 3-10-2 against the spread this season and haven’t won a home match all season. Need more reason to bet on Palace? They’re on a two-match win streak, are playing some really solid footy and their odds in this game are egregiously generous. Crystal Palace Pickem (+120) and Crystal Palace Moneyline (+200).
Burnley @ Tottenham – Both teams are coming off losses against Manchester teams, but one more understandably than the other. Spurs did not play well on Wednesday against Manchester United and suffered their first loss in the Jose Mourinho era. But what concerns me the most about this team right now is the fact that they have conceded 1.75 goals per game and they have yet to really play a normal 90 minutes in Jose’s short tenure. I said it last week and I’ll say it again. Until we start to see some consistency from Spurs and their matches, I’m staying away from betting on or against them. PASS.
12:30 pm EST
Manchester United @ Manchester City (TV: NBC) – The 179th edition of the Manchester Derby will take place on Saturday in primetime. Both teams got much needed wins this week after having disappointing draws over the weekend but it was City who impressed the most in their 4-1 win at Burnley. They looked like their old selves playing the free-flowing football we’re used to seeing under Pep Guardiola and it looks like Jesus has filled in for Aguero just fine. The spread sits at 1.5 which to me, is a bit too big for me to take City and recent results have me hesitant to take United (last two matches were two-goal City wins). Instead, I’m going to make a play on the total. Both of these teams have had some issues conceding so far this season. They’ve combined for seven clean sheets in 30 total league matches this season, City’s last six matches have had at least 3 total goals (avg of 3.7 total goals per game) and United’s last four have had at least 3 goals (avg of 4.25 total goals per game). Also, in their last four meetings they’ve averaged a total of 3.5 goals per game. I think they’ll be going for goals in this match knowing each other’s weakness and I love the over/under at 3 even with the high likelihood of a push. Over 3 goals (-125).
Sunday, December 8th
9:00 am EST
Leicester City @ Aston Villa (TV: NBCSN) – I think it’s safe to say that Leicester are for real this season. They’ve scored the second most goals in the league and have the best defensive record by five goals. They’ve now won eight straight matches in all competitions and four straight on the road. They have 10 wins against the spread which is the second best in the league, but they have a league-low 2 losses against the spread. Meanwhile Aston Villa have only earned 1 point in the league this season from teams in the top ten of the table. I’m going to keep riding Leicester until they let me down. Leicester City -0.5 (-115).
Southampton @ Newcastle United – Don’t look now but Newcastle are on a bit of a run. With only one loss in their last six matches and 11 points earned in that span, the Magpies have shot up to 11th place. They’ve also turned their home form around, going six straight unbeaten at St. James’ Park. Southampton have also been a team who has turned their form around with no losses in their last three and they’re riding a two-match win streak. My only concern with those wins though is that they have come against the two worst teams in the league and they were both at home. They haven’t been bad away from home, sitting 10th in the away table, but they’ve now gone four straight without a win in those matches. If this wasn’t a pickem I’d probably stay away, but Newcastle at home as a pickem in this situation is too good for me to pass up on. Give me the Magpies. Newcastle United Pickem (-115).
Sheffield United @ Norwich City – Since Norwich’s shock win against Man City, the Canaries have gone an abysmal 1-2-7 only earning five points in those ten matches. Sheffield meanwhile have been one of the highest-performing teams this season going a spectacular 12-3 against the spread. In fact, Sheffield has been a pickem or underdog 13 times this season and have gone 11-2 against the spread in those matches. Away from home they’re undefeated through seven matches and will be playing a Norwich team who has gained only four points from teams in the top ten this year. Last season in the Championship, they played twice and Sheffied got a 2-2 draw at Norwich and a 2-1 win at home. I’ll gladly take Sheffield if Vegas is going to continue to undervalue them. Sheffield United Pickem (-130).
Wolves @ Brighton (TV: NBCSN) – Wolves have also been one of those teams who have been grinding to results this season, with only two losses all season and they’re undefeated in their last ten league matches. But unlike with Sheffield, Vegas knows this with Wolves so they usually tend to value them appropriately. But Wolves are only a pickem here against a Brighton squad who have only beaten one team outside of the relegation zone. Also, Wolves as a pickem or underdog this season have gone 6-2-2 (win-loss-push) against the spread and away from home in that situation are 4-1-2. Much like with Sheffield, I’ll gladly take Wolves at a pickem here. Wolves Pickem (-110).
Monday, December 9th
3:00 pm EST
Arsenal @ West Ham (TV: NBCSN) – Arsenal are in some serious trouble right now. They haven’t won a match since their Europa League win against Vitoria on October 24th and it’s been since October 6th since they won a match in the league. They’re playing a West Ham team who came back down to reality after their win against Chelsea over the weekend with a loss against Wolves. West Ham rank 17th in the home table while Arsenal rank 15th in the away table with only one win this season away from the Emirates. These are two teams I’m trying to fade right now and since they’re playing each other, I’m staying away. PASS.
That’s all for my Matchweek 16 preview! The Manchester Derby should be amazing on Saturday in primetime so hopefully you can grab a pint and enjoy. Don’t forget to share, subscribe and listen to the podcast!
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.