by Zack Lambert (@bigbird8224)
November 20th, 2020
Chelsea 1H -0.5 (+105): Only four points separate 5th place Chelsea and 13th place Newcastle, but the teams are otherwise separated by a talent gap much wider than those four points let on. A slow start to the Blues’ season holds them this low, but a resurgence of form for Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, and the defense make for a team gaining momentum. Though the club are without key players like Havertz, Chilwell, and Pulisic, Newcastle will go without Ryan Fraser, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie, and maybe even Callum Wilson. Chelsea will do well to get out and beat up on Newcastle early to set the tone for the most grueling portion of the season.
Aston Villa ML (+115): I kind of had to talk myself into this one but I’m going to stick with it regardless. I don’t like taking teams whose star is coming off an international break with a lot of minutes but since Jack Grealish didn’t even leave the country, I don’t mind it as much. Yes, Villa did start to drop off a bit before the break with losses to Leeds and Southampton and Yes Brighton is much better than their six points suggest, but I still believe in the Villains. The McGinn, Grealish, Watkins, Barkley diamond on the left side is really dangerous and Trézéguet is no slouch coming from the right either. Villa has done well at the back this season and I just don’t think Brighton will create enough to keep up considering how well Villa’s middle five are playing.
Spurs/Manchester City O3 (-105): This one is somewhat obvious, right? Spurs are the second highest scoring team in the league with 18 goals and have maybe the hottest tandem on the planet in Kane and Son. Manchester City is just Manchester City. No Aké and no Ben Mendy means that Cancelo will be playing out of position at left back for Gareth Bale to pick on. This is going to be a wild back and forth goal scoring affair and I’m more than happy to jump on the over. By the way, buying up to O3.5 nets you a +145, something to consider.
Manchester United -1.5 (+105): Manchester United has yet to string together a number of performances in a row that are any sort of consistent or really even good, but kicking off the return with a game against West Brom might be just what the doctor ordered. No Callum Robinson, no Sam field, and no Hal Robson-Kanu means that United will be able to tee off on maybe the worst team in the Premier League. I wouldn’t be surprised to see United tee off for four or five goals in this one to release some frustration. To further my case, West Brom have allowed 17 goals so far this season, tied for the league high with Leeds.
Fulham/Everton O2.5 (-140): It’s far from the best value on this docket but the total set at 2.5 here seems too low for my liking. Yes, Everton have fizzled out in recent weeks with three straight losses and Fulham are, well, Fulham, but only 2.5 goals in a match with these two clubs? Everton matches have hit three goals six times this season and Fulham are capable of scoring against bad defenses, which Everton have. With Pickford in net my confidence is only boosted and having the regular attack back for the Toffees helps as well. 2.5 goals is too low and we need to take advantage of it.
West Ham ML (+135): It takes a lot for me to put money on West Ham for any reason, but getting a positive number against Sheffield is the best reason I’ll ever get. Sheffield’s attack is the worst in the top flight and their lone point from a draw with Fulham leaves them as the worst team in the entire Premier League. As much as I fancy Sander Berge and Ethan Ampadu, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice are miles better and should dominate the midfield. Antonio is slated to be back at center forward and the defense is in shape for the Hammer, so I’m set to invest. West Ham have played out of their minds in recent fixtures with their last five involving a 3-0 win at Leicester and two draws with Spurs and Manchester City. The team is actually improving despite my prior thoughts about David Moyes’ control of the club.
Arsenal ML (+115): Look, I can’t decide on anything here. The total can fluctuate wildly with both of these teams and when I say there’s no guarantee here I actually mean it. I’ve been looking at over 100 options to bet on this game and the best one I can come up with is Arsenal’s moneyline and I’m not even feeling good about that. Leeds can score a ton but they went on a run of shutouts recently. Arsenal’s offense is terrible right now but with Aubameyang, Pépé, Saka, and all the great attackers on Arsenal they’re liable to explode against a bad defense. Taking the better team to win is a smart thing to do most of the time and I’m pretty sure that team is Arsenal.
Liverpool/Leicester O3 (-110): So this explanation is a lot simpler than either game plan that either coach will be rolling out. Leicester and Liverpool have some really attractive forwards and even without Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the pitch that still stands. Liverpool and Leicester are 1st and 3rd in the league for a reason and it hasn’t been defense this season. Both teams are outscoring opponents regularly. Söyüncü, van Dijk, Gomez, TAA, Henderson, Thiago, Ndidi, and Castagne are the big name defenders that will be missing from either side and that’s going to help everyone else get forward and create goals. Regardless of outcome this will be the match of the weekend.
Crystal Palace ML (+180): So the fact that Crystal Palace is in a pick ‘em with Burnley and the Cottagers are actually favored in this match is really, really confusing to me. Burnley has the least goals on the season, they’ve only picked up two points this season, and haven’t scored in four matches. Palace, on the other hand, are eighth in the Premier League with 13 points, they’ve won two of the last three with six total goals in those matches, and most importantly of all, they’re not Burnley. The Eagles are a much better side than Burnley and you should take them to win the match.
Southampton 0, +0.5 (-120): Man, this slate is full of really good games, but it’s full of tough ones as well. Wolves and Saints is a really good match right now with both teams coming off high marks and I’m looking forward to watching, but the bookies got this one right. No Danny Ings makes the scoring an unsure thing and possible knocks to both sides make the entire game a large experiment. My hypothesis is that it’s close and the Saints, who are in the best form of their existence, are the ones who stay tight. The club is relentless right now and a win over Wolves would put out a statement. I’m not sure if a win is possible but a split of the spoils is more than possible.
Other Best Bets from Around Europe
RB Leipzig -0.5
Union Berlin Pick ‘em
Napoli/AC Milan O2.5
Villarreal/Real Madrid U3
Atlético Madrid ML
Real Sociedad -0.5
Betis 0, +0.5
Metz 0, +0.5