Sunday's Best Bets
February 10, 2018
By Chris David
English Premier League
Sunday’s Matchday 27 slate has three games on tap and the road team is favored in each contest.
The action starts early (CNBC, 7:00 a.m.) with Bournemouth (+140) visiting Huddersfield Town (+215). It’s rare to see the Cherries listed as the lower price on the road but the Terriers have been in terrible form. The club has dropped five straight league matches while getting outscored 14-1 during the losing skid. The Terriers have been a tad more competitive at home (4-4-5) and they’ve only conceded 19 goals but this club hasn’t won a game since Dec. 16 and the last victory at John Smith’s Stadium was on Dec. 9.
Bournemouth is unbeaten over its last seven league games (4-3-0) and three of the wins came against quality opponents in the top half of the table, including impressive victories against Arsenal (2-1) at home and Chelsea (3-0) on the road. However, the three draws were against teams sitting in 11 through 20 and they gave up six goals in the ties (3-3, 2-2, 1-1).
In the first league meeting between the pair on Nov. 18, Bournemouth posted a 4-0 win over Huddersfield at home. Since the Terries are tied for the worst offense in the league (19 goals), I would lean to the low side in this match and would take a shot on a scoreless draw.
Best Bet: Under 2 (+115)
Best Bet: Under 1 ½ (+195)
Best Bet: Exact Score 0-0 (+600)
Knowing Newcastle United (+460) hasn’t won a league game at home since Oct. 21, you can see why Manchester United (-160) has been made a heavy road favorite for Sunday’s clash (NBCSN, 9:15 a.m. ET). Since that win, Newcastle has gone 0-5-3 at St. James’ Park but the last three decisions were all draws. Compared to last season when it had 15 draws, this year’s Manchester United squad has done a much better job (17-5-4) taking all three points especially as a visitor (7-3-3).
Manchester United has had a lot of success at St. James Park over the years, compiling a 9-3-1 record in its last 13 league matches. They’ve also had a knack for scoring goals at this venue, posting 11 in their last four visits while holding Newcastle to just three. Make a note that Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho (0-3-3) has never won at SJP.
In the first meeting this season on Nov. 18 from Old Trafford, Manchester earned a 4-1 win over Newcastle. The pattern in this series is either a wild affair with goals or a low-scoring slugfest. I’m going to ride that angle and hope for a clean sheet, something Manchester United leads the league with at 15.
Best Bet: Under 2 ½ (-125)
Best Bet: Manchester United to keep a Clean Sheet – Yes (+110)
The late game (NBCSN, 11:30 a.m. ET) on Sunday morning takes place from St. Mary’s Stadium when Liverpool (-135) visits Southampton (+345). Even though the Reds blanked the Saints 3-0 from Anfield on Nov. 18, that win snapped a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) in this series in league play.
Southampton hasn’t been able to break through this season (5-11-10) and it’s tied with West Bromwich Albion for the most draws (11) this season. The offense (28) hasn’t been great either and the once solid defense (38) hasn’t been sharp through 26 games, especially when you look at what they’ve allowed the three previous seasons (48, 41, 33) in a full season (38 games). Liverpool leads the league with 32 away goals and that makes you believe it will get on the board, plus it could have you leaning high with the ‘over’ posting a 11-2 mark on the road for the Reds.
One hesitation for bettors backing Liverpool in this spot is the look-ahead angle with the Reds visiting Portugal on Wednesday for a Champions League match at FC Porto. Jurgen Klopp’s team is unbeaten (5-3-0) in this event this season and during the group stage, the Reds went 4-1-1 in the matches prior to the CL action. In the four wins, they scored three-plus goals and that’s been the theme with Liverpool in league play as well. Of the 14 victories for the Reds, they’ve scored three or more 11 times.
Best Bet: Over 2 ½ (-140)
Best Bet: Over 2 ½ and Liverpool Win (+150)
Spanish La Liga
Barcelona (-900) has dominated league play (18-4-0) this season and it’s expected to notch its 19th win on Sunday (beIN Sports, 10:15 a.m. ET) when Getafe (+1885) visits the Camp Nou. With the money-line odds listed so high, the best approach for this game is to focus on the goal lines and totals. This year’s Barcelona squad hasn’t been as explosive offensively and is on pace to score 103 goals, which is down from the previous three seasons (110, 112, 116). Losing a striker like Neymar will have that effect but the recent addition of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool is starting to take shape.
Getafe has been a solid defensive team this season and is tied for third in La Liga with 21 goals allowed. In the first meeting vs. Barcelona on Sept. 16 from the Coliseum, it dropped a 2-1 decision at home. The club also posted draw (0-0) to Atletico Madrid at home while coming up short to Real Madrid (1-0), which shows you how much the defense has improved.
The total is listed at 3 ½ and shaded to the ‘over’ (-120). Barcelona has watched 16 of its 22 games land on three or less combined goals this season. Plus, Getafe has only seen four of its games have four combined goals scored this season. While the ‘under’ seems like a solid lean, I can’t ignore the fact that Barcelona has posted six goals on Getafe in three of its last four matches at home. I’m not sure Barca will get six, but I’m calling for a handful (5-0) on Sunday.
Best Bet: Over 3 ½ (-120)
Best Bet: Over 4 ½ (+175)
Best Bet: Barcelona -2 ½ (-120)
Chris David can be reached at email@example.com
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