EPL Betting: Manchester Clubs to Dominate Week 2

by Chris Scheeren
on August 18, 2017

The opening week in the English Premier League certainly didn’t disappoint.  It began with a special Friday kick off between Arsenal and Leicester in a seven-goal thrilling Arsenal comeback victory.  The weekend was just as good, albeit stunning, with holders Chelsea inexplicably losing at home to Burnley and Liverpool allowing a whopping three goals in a surprising draw against relegation candidate Watford. Speaking of relegation candidates, Huddersfield Town entered the season as the foremost candidate for the dubious distinction, but if their simply splendid 3-0 win AT Crystal Palace is any indication, the relegation candidate might, in fact, be the home squad…

Other results were more expected; Manchester City took a while to get going but finally broke down Brighton late in a nice 2-0 road win, and Manchester United looked dominant.  Even more encouraging for United supporters, the acquisition of Romelu Lukaku looked absolutely heaven-sent in their 4-0 romp over West Ham (the glorious return of Chicharito to the EPL, not so much…)

It was a fantastic opening weekend in the Premiership, but it is important to remember, it was just one week of 38.  There’s a lot of football remaining, and it is wise not to overreact to drastically from our first glimpse of the action.

Here’s a look at three potential headlines we might be reading on Monday morning.

#1. Manchester Squads Continue to Dominate

Both Manchester teams looked brilliant in Week One, and there is no reason not to expect a repeat performance in Week #2.  United will head to Swansea for the early Saturday morning game (7:30 am on the East Coast) to start the week of action, and City will bookend it with the Monday Night’er at home against Everton (3 pm EST on NBC Sports).

Odds for Swansea vs. Manchester United: (all odds courtesy Bovada.lv)

Swansea +1.5 (-125)       ML: +900 Total: Over 2.5 (-115)
Manchester United -1.5 (+100) ML: -325 Total: Under 2.5 (+105)
  Draw: +385  


Odds for Manchester City vs. Everton:

Manchester City -1.5 (-120) ML: +-355 Total: Over 3 (+100)
Everton +1.5 (+100) ML: +950 Total: Under 3 (-120)
  Draw: +450  

The fact that Manchester City is less than even money laying a goal and a half against a solid Everton squad is all you need to know about the oddsmaker’s love for Pep Guardiola’s 2017-2018 City squad.  They may not be top grade defenders, but man are they explosive with goals capable of reigning down in bunches from a myriad of players.  My favorite wager in the game is the Over 3 Goals, as I like City to score, but also likely to concede.  Worst case scenario, I figure we escape with our money back in our pockets on a push.  The last two times these two teams met, it was a wacky 4-0 romp at Goodison Park whilst City was in the midst of real crisis last season.  Everton has managed to get three points at home against City in the last two seasons and has played them well on the road also, earning a pair of draws in their last two trips to Manchester.

Does that mean this game could be closer than expected??  Vegas sure doesn’t think so, nor does Paddy Power, who has installed City as commanding EPL Championship favorites at 3/2 odds. But their recent head-to-head history does make me wary of laying that extra half goal.  I’m staying in safer waters with the round Over Wager on the 3 goal number.

As far as their intracity rivals, I see no such worries for the Reds.  The addition of Lukaku was enormous in the opener, and the link from him and Paul Pogba (who was outstanding against West Ham) are only going to get better and better.  I am not sure why folks are so much higher on City than United, but I have a feeling the next few weeks will flatten out that perception.  I like Manchester United to win this game with at least a two goal margin to cover the spread.

#2. Chelsea Head Man Antonio Conte on the Hot Seat

English football is notoriously fickle, and another loss to start the season point-less could have the Chelsea faithful rumbling just two games into their title defense.  Conte is already under some pressure from his apparent fallout with Diego Costa which has left the Brazilian star awkwardly absent and playing no football.  Add in the red card suspensions from the opener for Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas, and the Chelsea squad is dangerously thin ahead of an already-tough trip to Tottenham.

Spurs finished in Champions League position last year, and have their sights set on a first ever EPL title in 2018.  Harry Kane and Dele Alli are a nice place to start.  Tottenham woke up last week after a dirty stomp from Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey earned him a red card in a previously scoreless game.  Tottenham scored twice to easily win two to nil.  They will look to be even sharper this weekend at home against rival and current holders, Chelsea.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea Odds:

Tottenham -1/2 (+105) ML: +100 Total: Over 2.5 (-115)
Chelsea +1/2 (-125) ML: +265 Total: Under 2.5 (-105)
  Draw: +240  

There is some enticing value in the draw here, but I have a sneaking suspicion something ain’t quite right in Chelsea.  Their last title defense was one of the more abysmal in Premier League history.  This one is starting with the same stink.  The 3-2 opening home loss to relegation candidate Burney was stunning on its own, but the fact Burnley led 3-0 at the half is even more striking.

Fun Fact: When is the last time Chelsea trailed 3-0 at home at halftime in a Premier League Game???

This week can’t be any worse, but I also don’t think it’ll be better.  I’ll take Spurs at home (well, their temporary one at Wembley, anyhow).

#3. Burnley Keeps the Party Going

Burnley won just one away game in all of the 2016-2017 EPL season.  They opened this season with the most stunning away win in recent memory.  It could be a sign of things to come, but more than likely, it is a nice moment in an otherwise modest season.  The regression to the mean is probably soon, but not as soon as Saturday.

West Brom was solid in an opening 1-0 win over Bournemouth, but they are on the road this week where they won just three times all of the last season.  Meanwhile, for all of Burnley’s troubles on the road, they were really tough at Turf Moor – one of the toughest teams in all of the league in fact.  Burnley won 10 of 19 games at home, and their four defeats came to Top Six teams.  Add in their sky-high confidence after winning at Stamford Bridge? I like Burnley to sit surprisingly atop the table with a full six points after this weekend.

Burnley vs. West Bromwich Odds:

Burnley: Pick -130 ML: +-150 Total: Over 2 (-120)
West Brom: Pick +105 ML: +200 Total: Under 2 (+100)
  Draw: +205  

I like the value in the home squad to win at +150, and also the Over 2 at -120, especially with the round number introducing a strong push possibility if not outright victorious.

It should be a fantastic week of Premier League action.

Every game is televised in the States on the NBC Sports App, with several games playing live on NBC Sports, and Stoke vs. Arsenal on NBC, Saturday at 12:30 pm EST. Good luck!
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