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Top Premier League Betting Picks for Matchweek 13 (2021)

by November 25, 2021
Top Premier League Betting Picks for Matchweek 29 (2022)

The race for the top spot in the Premier League never sleeps. Chelsea continues to lead the rest of the field by three points while also sporting the league’s best goal differential, as the Blues pummeled Leicester City 3-0 to retain first place.

Manchester City remained hot on Chelsea’s heels; Pep Guardiola’s squad blanked Everton to win their second-straight game after a Week 11 loss. Liverpool bounced back from a loss in their last match to stay four points from the top of the table, but fourth-place West Ham United and fifth-place Arsenal both lost in shutout fashion, creating a bit of distance from first.

We’ve also got some news from the bottom of the table, as Norwich City won their second-consecutive match to pull out of last place for the first time all year. The Canaries are still in the relegation zone but are just two points from safety while also being two points ahead of Newcastle in last place. Norwich’s victory cashed us a +160 ticket, as we boldly backed the team under new management to pull off the victory, and they rewarded us nicely. We weren’t able to cash our second wager, the under in the Brentford game, but Norwich’s plus-money winner kept us in the black on the day.

Here are my two favorite bets for Matchweek 13 across the pond.

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Everton Two-Way Line (+125)

The Toffees and Bees both enter this game riding horrid winless streaks, so something’s got to give. Recency bias and home-field give Brentford a huge edge at the sportsbooks, but I think this line is way off.

Should Brentford be favored? Probably, but Everton shouldn’t be +125 on the two-way line. The Toffees haven’t won a match since September 25th – over two months ago, and have earned a lowly two points in that span. It’s terribly disappointing too because they began the year winning four of their first six and failing to capture a point in just one of those six matches. So what’s happened to Everton? The level of competition has increased and has caught the Toffees by surprise. Against a weaker Brentford side, pure skill, which Everton has more of, should shine through.

Everton started the season against Southampton, Leeds, Brighton, Burnley, Aston Villa, and Norwich. You couldn’t script an easier first six games. Since then, the Toffees have had to endure Manchester United, West Ham, Watford, Wolverhampton, Tottenham, and most recently Manchester City. Ouch. But now, Everton will get to play the 14th-ranked team in the table – Brentford – so the level of competition will return to normalcy and will be much more in range for an Everton team who had Europa League hopes coming into this season.

Everton’s play hasn’t been all so bad either, despite their recent skid. Their expected goal differential per 90 minutes is just -0.01, as close to even as you can possibly get. So you’d expect their win percentage to be somewhere around 50%. Instead, they’ve won just a third of their games. Luck hasn’t been on their side, as evident by their expected goals against; their xGA mark is 16.7, right in the middle of the Premier League pack, but they’ve allowed 19 goals on the year, so a few goals have trickled in that probably should have stayed out. Those two or three goals could have turned losses into draws and draws into wins. Against lesser competition, I expect some regression to the mean and better bounces for the Toffees.

On the Brentford side, the wheels have completely come off like Everton, but against far weaker opponents. Brentford is winless in their last five matches, only one of which came against a top-tier team – Chelsea. The other four matches which resulted in three outright losses were against Leicester City, Burnley, Norwich, and Newcastle. The Bees have also been surprisingly poor at home, too, winning just once on their home turf, so there’s a real opportunity for Everton to get an early goal and hold down the fort the rest of the way to victory.

A draw is a push, but we’ve got a real shot to win this one outright. I would play Everton on the two-way line all the way down to even money, and while the three-way line isn’t an official play, anything +235 or better might be worth a quarter-unit.

Liverpool To Win To Nil (+125)

Two bets, both plus money. We’re stealing a page from our Chelsea playbook and applying it to another top team: Liverpool. This line, like the Everton line, is flat-out wrong. There’s some recency bias involved, but also a ton of false public perception around the Reds.

Does Liverpool tend to play in some high-scoring shootouts? They do, but Southampton is not a team that can muster anything on the offensive attack. Especially on the road. This season, Liverpool has only allowed 11 goals, less than one per game, which is the third-fewest in the entire Premier League. They’ve also posted a clean sheet in seven of their 12 (58.3%) matches. Not bad for a team that can’t play defense. Another interesting trend from Liverpool is their ability to refocus on their defensive efforts. So far this season, they’ve posted back-to-back shutouts three times. The Reds kept Arsenal off the score sheet last weekend, and with a low-scoring Southampton team coming to Anfield, this is the perfect opportunity to continue the trend.

In addition to having the third-lowest goals allowed this year, Liverpool also has the third-lowest expected goals allowed. This strong defense isn’t a fluke; the Reds are impressing the analytical crowd, too. On the other hand, Southampton isn’t impressing the analytics crowd or the eye-test crowd, despite their recent hot streak.

Before last week’s loss, the Saints had won three of four, the only non-win being a draw, so they were on a nice four-game point streak. Keeping up with the theme from the rest of this piece, let’s look at who they got hot against: Leeds, Burnley, Watford, Aston Villa. Not exactly the cream of the Premier League crop. Southampton also just lost to then-20th place Norwich, and while some may think this is motivation to play better this week, I think this is a sobering reality check that has this team questioning how good they are and if they’re set to compete with some of the league’s top teams.

The answer to the above is no, and I expect them to lose in shutout fashion in a really hostile road environment. Southampton has played five games against teams in the top half of the standings and has mustered just two goals and only one on the road. They’ve scored the second-fewest goals on the year as well, and I expect another feeble effort in this one. Liverpool in a shutout, play it down to +115.

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Mike Wagenman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @mjwags23.

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