EPL Best Bets

Let’s head into this week’s EPL best bets.

Brentford vs. Sheffield United

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ET


There are some very strong favorites at big minus money this weekend in the English Premier League, and many are justified to some degree. This is one with no justification, in my opinion, and I think Sheffield United has been massively disrespected in the market at +600.

Can you bring yourself to back the Blades on the Moneyline? Given that they have drawn three of the last four games and have conceded the most goals (82) in the EPL, probably not.

I can certainly make a case for backing the visitors on the +1.5 Asian Handicap at -132. I can’t believe that line is available when these two sides come into this fixture in nearly identical form.

Brentford are winless in their last nine league games with only one win in 12. While it’s seven games since United’s last win, and they too have won one of their last 12 league games, you can argue they are improving and in their best spell of form of the campaign.

Chris Wilder has seen his side draw three of their last four games, scoring eight goals in the process. Last time out against a confident Chelsea side fresh from their stunning win against Manchester United, they showed incredible desire and spirit to keep going and snatch a last-minute equalizer.

Now, they visit a Brentford side in total disarray. Heralded as a savior on his return from an eight-month suspension, Ivan Toney has been nothing of the sort. Seemingly more of a bad apple disruptive influence, he was dropped to the bench for their last game at Aston Villa, only to come on and end up in a public argument with his teammate at the full-time whistle.

The manager Thomas Frank must surely be looking for an exit from a club who seem to be on a downward spiral. If they survive this season, and they are not safe yet, they will be one of the favorites for relegation next campaign.

Rumors are rife that the club is up for sale. Defensively, they are all over the place, with key absentees Ben Mee and Rico Henry suffering huge losses.

The Bees have won just four games at home all season, beating West Ham and the three sides directly above the Blades – Burnley, Luton, and Nottingham Forest. But a reminder for us to fully lose this bet they need to win by two goals.

This price can have only been built on stats throughout the campaign and not the more recent form of these two sides. It seems that Wilder has sent his team out with more freedom and the instruction lets go down swinging and see if we can land a couple of knockout blows along the way.

EPL Best Bet: Sheffield United +1.5 Asian Handicap at -132.

Bournemouth vs. Manchester United

Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET

Let me cut to the chase – I’m going with Manchester United here for my EPL best bet! Purely and simply because of the price. I can’t believe they are not favorites for an away game at Bournemouth.

I know most Red Devils fans are dismayed at their performances and that they concede such a high volume of shots. However, they score goals and get positive results despite their performances, not because of them.

I just can’t have them as underdogs, even though I have only taken them on the moneyline once or twice all season. They visit a Bournemouth side here who have nothing to play for and after looking like they were ending the season strong, they suffered a surprise defeat to Luton last weekend.

Manchester United have an FA Cup semi-final next weekend, but that shouldn’t have any negative impact here, given it is against lower-league opposition in Coventry City. If anything, it should incentivize those not guaranteed a starting role to make themselves undroppable.

My approach to each round of fixtures is old school, writing my odds for each game and then comparing them to those of the bookmakers. I made United marginal favourites for this one.

I believe their need for a win is greater, given they still need to claim a European qualification position. They also have a score to settle after that embarrassing 3-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.

I do believe the draw is a viable result here, but given the odds, we can take the risk out of that by playing tie no bet at -106 on the visitors, which I think is a great play.

EPL Best Bet: Manchester United Tie No Bet at -106.

Arsenal vs. Aston Villa

Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET

I mentioned at the top of this piece that there are some big minus money favourites this weekend and I wanted to take a few on. None more so than this one! Arsenal are as high as -400 which means Aston Villa can be backed at an incredible +1000 and I must admit I have taken a little piece of that huge price.

Don’t get me wrong—the Gunners have been sensational this season and are likely to win this match. But how can the fifth-best side in the Premier League be priced up at +1000?

Villa are fighting for a Champions League place and will have a chance to reclaim that position if Tottenham don’t win at Newcastle in the early kickoff on Saturday. Their manager is Unai Emery, who has personal motivation against the side he feels dismissed him unfairly. World Goalkeeper of the Year Emi Martinez was also signed by them.

It’s not just those sub-plots that make the Villains attractive. They have a razor-sharp attack and boast a great road record in recent weeks, having only lost one of their last nine away games, and that coming at Manchester City. On top of that, Arsenal have their huge Champions League match on Wednesday in Munich, with the tie evenly poised at 2-2.

Mikel Arteta has built a young squad and all season I have been talking up Liverpool for the title for this exact moment in time. Arsenal (and Manchester City to a lesser extent) going deep in the Champions League and that it would stretch their squad both mentally and physically with such high-profile games every three or four days.

Hats off if the Gunners pull it off, but I have seen so many teams over the years drop points around big European quarter- and semi-finals. It usually takes time to cope with that, and that is with squads nowhere near as thin as this Arsenal one.

Back to Villa’s price and if you think that is wrong, as I do, that means all the derivatives are off also. In this case, we can back Aston Villa +1.75 on the Asian Handicap, and that is the official play.

This means that for us to lose all our stake, Emery’s men need to lose by THREE goals. Putting that into context over the season so far, Arsenal has only achieved this at the Emirates three times from their 15 games on home soil.

Their last two visitors were Brentford and Luton, who they beat 2-1 and 2-0, respectively. This line would have given a full win on the Brentford game while losing only half the stake on Luton.

The reverse fixture ended in a 1-0 win for Villa in December, and what I feel hasn’t been factored into the price is the importance of those European games next week. As I mentioned, Arsenal goes to Bayern Munich, while Aston Villa travels to France to play Lille in UEFA’s third-ranked tournament, the Europa Conference League. There is no comparison.

Arsenal are now top of the table. If they win all their remaining fixtures, then goal difference is irrelevant to them. They win the title.

I am so confident of the value in this bet that I think Villa +1.75 at -124 is one of the best bets, not just for the weekend but for the whole season. This is a reminder that it is the official play, but I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off having a tiny interest in Villa on the moneyline. 

EPL Best Bet: Aston Villa +1.75 Asian Handicap at -124.