This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
UEFA leagues are coming to a close, but there are still four teams playing midweek, which is something to monitor ahead of upcoming league matches. Given that Kevin De Bruyne recently returned from injury, I wouldn't assume he's going to start Saturday against Crystal Palace. The same goes for almost anyone else on their team because not only does Pep Guardiola not care about who he rotates, they're also facing Palace.
I'd be wary of Arsenal more than Chelsea and Man United because in addition to Thursday's match, they're also beat up. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is coming back from malaria and is unlikely to start two matches in four days, while Martin Odegaard is recently back from a nagging ankle issue.
Either way, I've kind of hit my stride the last couple weeks, hitting two better than +400 parlays along with some spot-on predictions.
"Arsenal are a -112 home favorite against Everton on Friday and there are few reasons to take the Gunners."
"I don't like taking Wolves overs, but when two defensive teams play, the over seems to hit more often than not and you can get plus odds (+128) for over 2.5 goals in this one."
I did the same thing last week, so there's no chance for a jinx this week, right?
THE WEEK AHEAD
Leicester City have won five of the last six matches James Maddison has started, and they won the prior meeting against Southampton as a -130 home favorite. Oddly, they are +114 to beat Southampton on Friday despite the Saints being all over the place in recent matches, mostly because of injuries.
In addition to Danny Ings being a doubt, Southampton have allowed multiple goals in each of their last five league games. Even if you put something into their recent FA Cup meeting, which Leicester won 1-0 and had the lone shot on target, Maddison only played 20 minutes, while Southampton couldn't do anything significant in the attack with Ings, as four of their six shots were outside the box. If anything, it may be worth it to take Leicester to win to nil at +300, which seems like a crazy number since they just did that a couple weeks ago in a do-or-die Cup match.
You're expecting me to back Manchester City to win to nil (+117) against Crystal Palace, but the odds aren't good enough and Palace seem to sneak at least one goal against everyone no matter how the match goes. In fact, Palace haven't been shut out in their last eight in which Wilfried Zaha has played. If you like that stat, both teams to score comes in at -103.
For the first half of the season, it always seemed like Leeds were overrated, mainly because they were being treated more like a top-of-the-table side than one that was just promoted. Suddenly, despite being in their best form of the season, they're being underrated in almost every match even though they've taken points against Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs over the last month. Once again, they're underdogs, but this time, it's against a side battling relegation.
Brighton play like a good team, but they can't consistently score and that's been a problem all season, hence their spot in the table. Even without fans, Leeds were a +115 favorite in the first meeting (a 1-0 Brighton win) and are now +230 underdogs. Since a win or draw doesn't return much at -148, you can go draw no bet at +138 (down from +143). Leeds are playing well enough that they can beat any club in the league, so it only makes sense that they're good enough to beat Brighton.
Speaking of Brighton, I was all over them when Chelsea played some of their reserves against them last week, and I think that's something to monitor ahead of their match against Fulham. In that Brighton match, Chelsea put Mason Mount in a deeper role, while dropping Cesar Azpilicueta and Ben Chilwell to the bench. They didn't really do anything in that scoreless draw and I think Fulham could get a similar result if Chelsea don't put their top squad in. Since this is more of a wait-until-the-lineups bet, it won't be an official play, but I'll have my eye on Fulham win or draw (+195) or even +1 at +116. Nothing is going right for Fulham at the moment, but they need points and only lost 1-0 in the prior meeting.
It makes sense to take Everton (-106) to beat Aston Villa because they just beat Arsenal and Jack Grealish is still out, but that's when you lose money. Everton have won one of their last nine home matches and that includes back-to-back home losses to Newcastle and Fulham. Villa aren't good without Grealish, but Everton aren't reliable. You can get Villa win or draw at -113 right now, but I think that number could get better once Grealish is ruled out again.
It's been a whirlwind betting West Brom the last couple weeks, from back-to-back wins to getting handled by Leicester to losing two points in the last minute against Villa. They're undoubtedly a mystery, but fortunately Wolves are not. Wolves scored more than one goal in just one of their last nine games, and while West Brom may be pushing for three points, I'm not sure how much that matters after getting two goals against Villa from a lucky penalty and an own goal. I think Wolves will refocus defensively after allowing four to Burnley, and that leads to both teams not to score at -108.
Leicester City to beat Southampton to nil +300
Kelechi Iheanacho to score +130 (let's run it back)
Leeds draw no bet against Brighton +138
Aston Villa win or draw against Everton -113
West Brom/Wolves both teams won't score -108
Parlay: Newcastle/Arsenal over 2.5 goals (-134), Burnley/West Ham over 2.5 goals (-127) = +213