The Premier League is back after a week off and this weekend’s fixture list is unquestionably headlined by leaders Manchester City traveling to Anfield to face Liverpool. City enters round 23 of the schedule with an eye-popping 15-point lead over Manchester United while the Reds cling to fourth place with a three-point lead over Spurs.
The Reds begin life without Barca-bound Philippe Coutinho but they should still be in very good hands with the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Firmino and a slew of others still able to run circles around most Premier League defenders and this fixture should prove to be a classic.
This one and many others on the board feature a ton of betting value and Andrew Avery and Rob Trites are back to make their favorite plays with odds courtesy of online shop Bovada.
Andrew: Burnley +0.5 (-125)
Crystal Palace has had a bit of a renaissance under Roy Hodgson. That is undeniable. The early days under Frank de Boer did not go well as the team struggled in essentially every facet of the game. But the club climbing to 14th is a great step in their campaign considering how things looked early on.
That said, Burnley is the better side so I’m gonna take a stab on the spread at +0.5. Sean Dyche’s men haven’t captured all three points since December 12 and while that’s out there at the fantastic price of +315, I’ll play it safe with that dog spread considering a draw is certainly in the cards here.
Palace could be without the likes of Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp, Mamadou Sakho and Jason Puncheon, but trickster Wilfried Zaha is a threat to any backline, but this has the makings of a closely fought affair. Play it safe and take that spread.
Rob: Leicester +1.5 (EVEN)
Losing a bit of form over the Christmas break, the Foxes are in tough against the third-placed Blues. That said, Leicester should keep it close against a heavily rotated Chelsea side that was given all it could take in a League Cup fixture with Arsenal midweek.
Riyad Mahrez has produced at least a goal for his team in the form of an assist or a solo effort in six of the Foxes’ last seven Premier League matchups so I expect Leicester to score at least once if the tricky Algerian plays the full 90.
Chelsea has played to three straight draws in all competitions (two of which were against Arsenal) and while the Foxes enjoy conceding more than most, this feels like it stays within a goal.
Andrew: West Brom-Brighton OVER 2 (+110)
These sides don’t score a lot, so this might be a bit of a reach, but with 2 on the board, I’ll take a chance with the OVER with a push in play. So futile are these teams that the Baggies have managed just 16 goals with Brighton finding the back of the net 17 times.
The previous meeting between these two netted four goals in a 3-1 Brighton win and I suspect West Brom might start playing some desperate football in an attempt to climb out of the relegation zone.
Rob: Liverpool-Manchester City OVER 3 (-120)
If this feels like an obvious play, that’s because it is. These are the two best scoring teams in England and while Liverpool will be much improved at the back end with Virgil van Dijk anchoring the backline, there’s simply no stopping the Man City attack.
When these teams met in September in the reverse fixture, the Sky Blues walked to a 5-0 win and although I don’t see that happening with the Reds somewhat situated defensively, this absolutely has 3-2, 4-1 potential.
Andrew: Manchester United to keep a clean sheet (-140)
The reverse fixture was a very entertaining 2-2 game but I can’t see the same happening on the hallowed ground of Old Trafford.
United has played 11 home games thus far and kept eight visitors off the scoresheet. They have conceded just five goals at home while the Potters are the worst-performing away team with just six points in 11 matches.
Rob: Raheem Sterling to Score Any time (+120)
Over the holidays, Raheem Sterling was a Premier League scoring machine and I think the gears keep turning when the most expensive Englishman in football history returns to the ground from which he was sold.
Also, he’s offering the best odds of any Man City attacker so I’ll back this prop with aggressive vigor.