This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
I mentioned last week that matches hitting over 2.5 goals probably wasn't a trend and then things came back to earth with five of nine matches going under 2.5 goals, two of them scoreless. More often than not, it's best to wait until lineups come out to make bets, especially now that weather is becoming a factor. Sometimes it's worth it to get a better number, but even then, you can't predict snowfall or how a manager will approach things.
I wouldn't have taken the under in the Liverpool match if I knew Ralph Hasenhuttl was going to change his formation. Southampton have used a four-man back line exclusively the last two seasons and Hasenhuttl decided he could trick Liverpool at Anfield with a different look. I usually don't like when managers do that, so I was personally off my under bet but still on Liverpool to win in a shutout.
Record: 46-32-4. Up $1,726 on $100 bets.
I was tentative to take the over on Newcastle last week because of the matchup against Arsenal and I inadvertently correctly guessed the score (2-0). While I'm not going to do that here, there seems to be value on the over 2.5 goals at -115 for this game against Norwich. I assume the odds are almost even because of Norwich, who have seven goals in 13 matches.
However, this seems like a good spot for goals. Eddie Howe will be on the sidelines for the first time at home and his technical home debut with the team ended in six total goals, even if he had to watch from home. Norwich have looked better defensively in recent matches and it seems like Dean Smith has figured some things out, but the absence of Mathias Normann in the midfield is relevant and I think the pace of Allan Saint-Maximin will be a problem for Norwich. Newcastle need three points to get some positive energy around the Howe signing and home to Norwich is a spot in which they can do that. Instead of taking them to win at -105, I'd rather go with the over in case Norwich steal a point late, something Teemu Pukki is known for.
I have similar thoughts on the Leeds and Crystal Palace match with over 2.5 goals at -105. Both teams to score is -145, so I'm hoping this isn't a 1-1 result. Leeds have tried to play more defensive of late without Patrick Bamford, but I think this is a spot they could get a couple goals in, as Palace will again be without center-back Joachim Andersen, arguably their best defender. I think this matchup could be as open as the Burnley-Palace match, which finished 3-3. If you think that's possible, over 4.5 goals is at +550.
This seems like a reasonable bounce-back spot for Chelsea, as they get a Watford team that could be without Ismaila Sarr again. I've backed Watford in previous weeks, but I'm not sure how much of the ball they'll have in this match unless they're aided by a snowstorm. Since the bet is dependent on Sarr's status, I won't bold it and make it official, but I like Chelsea in a shutout at +100.
I thought I had a good read on Southampton-Leicester, yet after looking at some numbers, I am a bit tentative. I'm still not sure their defense can be trusted, but they're known as a team that will usually get points from everyone outside of the elite clubs. I was originally on Southampton to win at +140 and under 2.5 goals at +105, but I'm not convinced that's the way to go. These teams have played three times since January, a 1-1 draw at Southampton and then a 1-0 win and 2-0 win for Leicester at home.
Instead of betting on something I don't feel good about, I'm going back to Brentford, who I was off for about a month. This time, it's mainly because I don't agree with the odds. Sure, Tottenham are rested, but they lost 2-1 to Mura in UECL last week with a lot of regulars and Antonio Conte hasn't really gotten this team going yet. There's a chance Tottenham come alive and win big, but I prefer to take Brentford +1 at -125.
Tottenham have six Premier League wins, but none of them are by more than a goal. Brentford seem to be out of a rough patch when they lost 3-1 to Burnley and that's the only time they've lost by more than a goal. I still have questions about their back line without Kristoffer Ajer, but I'll take my chances on them against a team that's struggled to consistently score all season despite having Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane.
I'm taking a similar route with Arsenal who are at Manchester United. Ralf Rangnick isn't with the team so Michael Carrick will manage this game. United have been fine under Carrick, but I'm not sure the performance at Chelsea was overly impressive and the same can be said for the win against Villarreal. Going further, United have not won in the last five meetings, losing three of them. I've faded Arsenal against bigger clubs and that's mostly worked, but United are not at the level of Man City or Liverpool right now. That leads me to Arsenal +.5 (win or draw) at -115 odds. I think Arsenal's back line is playing well enough to limit whatever United try to do and combined with Arsenal's iffy attack, I think under 2.5 goals at +105 is also an option.