The Premier League is back in action after a hiatus for the World Cup.
So which team should you be betting and what are the big storylines? Our analysts are here to offer all the input you need for the EPL and more.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
The Premier League is back in action after an unprecedented month-long November break for the World Cup. Currently Arsenal sits atop the table, with Man City still expected to challenge them for the title. Are there any “outlier” teams you’d consider backing the rest of the way, such as, say, Newcastle (+2200 to win the league), Brighton (+1200 to finish top four) or Fulham (+4000 to finish top six)?
Dalen Cuff: I’ve said many times here, I’m an Arsenal fan, I like to make that bias known. That said, I do think this is a two-horse race. I have a future top-4 play for Arsenal but have yet to lay any money on a title bet. They look the part and will be in it to the end (most books still have them +200 or +300 to win); I may toss money on that, but nowhere else. Top-4 Newcastle has staying power and may further strengthen in the January transfer market. That’s still a solid plus money play for now.
Paul Carr: All the top-four prices look right to me, so I’m not too interested in that market right now. Agreed that the title race is still between Arsenal and Man City, and I do think there’s some value on Arsenal to win the title, if you can get +225 or longer. Arsenal’s underlying numbers are all just a shade behind Man City this season, and the Gunners’ five-point lead makes up for that at the moment. I think they have a better than one-in-three shot of winning the league.
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Chelsea scored only 17 goals in their first 14 games of the season. They were able to kick things off with a 2-0 result against Bournemouth on Tuesday, but both goals came in the first half hour of play, and then — nothing. A New Year’s Day meeting with lowly Nottingham Forest (+410) should be a great way to start 2023, but do you think the Blues (-145) are actually ready to consistently find the back of the net?
Carr: Not really. They’re 12th in the league with 19 goals this season and 14th with 17.5 expected goals. If anything, Chelsea have overperformed a bit so far. Having said that, the Blues shouldn’t have much trouble with Forest, one of the worst defensive teams in the league so far. But Forest have scored in all but one home game this season, with at least 1.0 expected goals in all but one game. Since I don’t trust Chelsea just yet, I lean toward both teams to score in this one (-110).
Cuff: Completely agree with Paul. I don’t have trust in Chelsea but do like both teams scoring here.
What are you looking at in the other European leagues?
Cuff: La Liga is back on ESPN+ this week, and with its return we see the Catalan Derby between Barcelona and Espanyol. Barcelona, the league leaders, go into the match as favorites, but with no Robert Lewandowski, who will get the goals? I like Gavi anytime goalscorer at +280.
What is your best bet for the weekend?
Carr: On Boxing Day, both Liverpool and Leicester City looked about how they looked before the break. Liverpool outgunned Aston Villa 3-1, and Leicester City gave up a lot of good chances in a 3-0 loss to Newcastle. I think we see more of the same from each club, with Liverpool dominating and Leicester scratching out a road goal like they always seem to do. I’ll take both teams to score at -125.
Cuff: Fulham turned in a solid 3-0 road win against Palace on Boxing Day. They were up 1-0 before Palace went down to 10 men. They host bottom of the table Southampton on Saturday. I like Fulham to win outright +101.