Betting on Premier League: Gameweek 34

Betting on Premier League: Gameweek 34

This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.

There have been some big upsets in recent Premier League play, but it's not much different than when fans filled stadiums. In fact, a lot of the upsets have come by home teams, possibly showing home-field advantage still exists even with the absence of fans. Then again, it's only been two weeks, so it's hard to put too much into the numbers. The Premier League has always been a league in which anyone can beat anyone and that remains the case.

Chelsea can go from beating Manchester City to losing to West Ham in less than a week, while Manchester City can go from beating Liverpool 4-0 to failing to score in a loss to Southampton a few days later. That's how it's always been in the league and that's how it'll continue to be.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Given those major upsets, that's the first place to look for the coming week. No, I'm not saying Brighton (+510) or Burnley (+850) will beat Liverpool, but maybe Crystal Palace (+650) or Sheffield United (+535) can take down Chelsea, who have had problems against lower-tier teams all season and just lost to West Ham. It doesn't matter that the Blues are more talented, they were swept by West Ham and also have losses to Bournemouth, Newcastle and Southampton.

Some of the more intriguing numbers come Tuesday, with Norwich City +440 against Watford and Leicester City +220 against Arsenal. Sure, maybe home-field advantage still exists, and Norwich have yet to score in league play since the restart, but Watford already lost 1-0 to a depleted Burnley side and that could easily happen in this matchup. 

If you don't like taking risks, Norwich are +128 to win or draw. Whenever you have two bad teams playing each other and one of them is more than a +200 underdog, you have to at least take a chance on the underdog. In the same situation last week, Newcastle destroyed Bournemouth despite being an away underdog. If you like this trend, Crystal Palace are +225 against Aston Villa on Sunday. Neither team can score, so I'm not sure why Villa are that big of a favorite.

As for Leicester, they figured some things out against Crystal Palace and there's a chance that leads to another good performance against Arsenal. Of course, I'd wait on the status of James Maddison and Ben Chilwell, who are both doubtful because of injury. Either way, I'm still wary of backing Arsenal even though they just won at Wolverhampton. The Gunners are on a nice winning run, but they have maybe the most difficult schedule in the coming weeks with Tottenham, Liverpool and Man City up next after Leicester.

Oddly, Watford are still getting love for the weekend match against Newcastle, who are a +330 underdog. It's likely that number will drop throughout the week and even better for Newcastle, Allan Saint-Maximin could be healthy after a few extra days of rest. Even if these teams were considered equal, Newcastle's recent form doesn't translate to them being a +330 underdog. 

If you don't think home-field advantage exists with no fans, there's an away team parlay that sticks out with Liverpool -182 against Brighton, Tottenham -157 against Bournemouth and Man United -315 against Aston Villa. Throw those together for +236 odds.

OVER and UNDER

I speculated last week that there would be some tired legs and higher-scoring matches, but that didn't come to fruition. Again, it's been mostly run of the mill for the Premier League. Newcastle and West Ham combined for four goals, but Wolves failed to score against Arsenal and three of four matches finished with two goals or less Sunday. 

Sticking with that under trend, you might as well ride it out in the Watford/Norwich match, who have combined to score two goals in eight league matches since the restart. You can grab the under 2.5 goals (-118) at almost even odds, making that a smart play when the odds will probably only get worse. 

In the opposite mold, I think taking over 2.5 goals at -121 between Crystal Palace and Chelsea is a good play. Whether Chelsea score three goals like Leicester over the weekend or Palace grab one early and force Chelsea to open things up, three goals is definitely in range. A Palace goal helps, but it may not be needed if Tammy Abraham can find his scoring boots.

I also want to play into West Ham's recent form, as they've scored five goals over their last two matches. Burnley have battled with a depleted roster, but I think the likely return of Chris Wood to the starting XI opens things up for their attack and makes the back line a bit more lax. You can get plus odds for the over 2.5 goals (+112).

THE BETS

Norwich City +128 to win/draw against Watford

Newcastle +330 to beat Watford

Over 2.5 goals between Palace/Chelsea at -121

Over 2.5 goals between West Ham/Burnley at +112

      Or both teams to score at -114

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam, a 2019, 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's assistant soccer editor. He also runs RotoWire's Bracketology, as well as writes on other various college basketball content. He has previously worked at ESPN and Sporting Kansas City, and he is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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