EPL Best Bets

Let’s get into this week’s Premier League action and my EPL best bets.

Sheffield United vs. Nottingham Forest

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ET


The key to betting on this match is working out the motivation for Sheffield United. Their relegation was finally confirmed last weekend with another heavy defeat at Newcastle United, so all they have left to play for is what is left of their pride.

Those who make the markets clearly think the Blades have zero motivation. However, I disagree slightly. Their manager, Chris Wilder, is a Sheffield United fan, so he will want his players to show some fight and pride for the badge.

Most of his squad will still be with the club come the first game of the Championship season in August. At which time, they will undoubtedly be kicking off as one of the favorites to win promotion back to the Premier League. Those players will be given the opportunity over the next three games to show they can be part of that campaign and to give the supporters hope for a better season ahead.

As for Nottingham Forest, I don’t think they have done themselves any favors with soccer fans after their antics of the last couple of weeks, posting complaints about refereeing as well as accusing an official of cheating to benefit the club he supports. Every team has had decisions go against them over the course of a campaign so their behavior will have neutrals asking, “Who do Forest think they are?”

Looking at the current form, Nuno Espirito Santo has seen his side win just one of their last 11 matches and two of the last 20 games across all competitions. That is exactly the same record as Sheffield United, yet the visitors are priced at -155 to win the match. Crazy!

By some distance, that is the shortest moneyline price Forest have been for a road match in the two seasons they have been back in the Premier League. In fact, it is the first time they have even been quoted at minus money.

All this for a side that have two wins in 17 attempts on the road this season and had only one win in the 19 away fixtures last term. A combined three victories in 36 road games at a price that is the same as when Aston Villa and Brighton visited Bramall Lane in February.

I am stunned by that price, and I simply must go against it. Yes, Sheffield United are the worst side seen in the top-flight for many years but they are not the sort of team that will roll over. The visitors will not rock up here and have it all their own way.

Those three wins were 1-0 defeats of Southampton (who ended up getting relegated) and Chelsea, plus a shock 3-1 victory at injury-ravaged Newcastle. This means they have covered the -1 Asian Handicap just once in their 36 games away from home since returning to the Premier League. That is the bet I am taking here.

Sheffield United +1 at -130. If, and it is a big if, Forest takes the lead then they will retreat and look to take what they have. A win is all that matters to them and even if they do that by a single goal, we will get our stake back. A draw or better for the hosts and it is a full win at a great price for an EPL best bet.

EPL Best Bet: Sheffield United +1 Asian Handicap at -130.

Burnley vs. Newcastle United

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ET

I have been with Burnley over the last few weeks as soon as I saw Vincent Kompany make some bold decisions as well as one or two tactical tweaks. I don’t feel I have quite got the return the performances have deserved but it is not putting me off, I am going in again. Burnley +0.5 Asian Handicap is the play.

The Belgian changed his side’s long-ingrained style to romp the Championship last season. Switching from an aggressive, in-your-face, no-nonsense approach to a beautiful-to-watch style that drew plaudits every week.

This season, he probably needed a hybrid approach, but certainly to make Turf Moor a tough place to visit, which it hasn’t been until recently. They are unbeaten in their last three home games, which doesn’t sound too much of a big deal, but it is for a side with the joint worst points tally in the division.

The Clarets are playing a bit uglier again, and it’s working. They have only been beaten once in their last eight games. I think they can extend that good run here against Newcastle.

Eddie Howe’s men have the worst road record of those teams in the top half. Only Sheffield United, Luton and Nottingham Forest have picked up fewer than their 14 points away from home this season, winning just four times.

There is no side in the Premier League with such a contrast between playing at home and playing away. They have won just one of their last six road games across all competitions. Last time out, they were lucky to escape with a 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace after being totally outplayed.

At this time of year, we talk about need and desire to win soccer matches. I make Burnley’s greater here with Newcastle’s only target to finish in a European qualification place, which I think their home form will get them.

I expect Burnley to get something from this – a draw or better wins our bet – and in doing so, really shake up that relegation battle.

EPL Best Bet: Burnley +0.5 Asian Handicap at -110.

Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United

Monday, 3:00 p.m. ET

Manchester United continue to concede shots and goals like they are going out of fashion, but somehow they manage to pick up positive results. They have drawn six of their last eight fixtures across all competitions, and although I want to oppose them here, I have to respect that.

For that reason, I am taking Crystal Palace, but in the “tie no bet” market, meaning we lose nothing should this end in another tie. The Red Devils have been relying on moments of brilliance from the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo rather than dominating games with controlled patterns of play and teamwork.

They visit a Crystal Palace side in great heart. They are now unbeaten in four under the stewardship of Oliver Glasner, who has flicked the entertainment switch on at Selhurst Park. In their last seven home games, they have scored 29 goals at an average of 4.14.

The Eagles have long since relied on the brilliance of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise generally going on to lose if one or both were missing. But both have been out of recent games, yet their teammates now have the confidence to get a positive result without them.

They both started against West Ham recently, and they were electric and orchestrated the performance of the season, a 5-2 thrashing. We should see both in the starting eleven here.

The Austrian manager is playing to Jean-Philippe Mateta’s strengths and as a result Palace have one of the most in-form strikers in the Premier League. Eight goals in his last 10 starts being proof of that.

While in Adam Wharton, they may have one of the signings of the season. The 19-year-old midfielder looks a future England international, and he has quickly made himself a fan favourite at Selhurst Park.

The atmosphere will be electric here for a Monday evening kickoff local time with the supporters back in love with their team again. I really do like their chances of beating this United side with one eye on their upcoming FA Cup final and also missing many key players, the latest of which being one of their best performers across the season in Scott McTominay.

Palace have a good record in this fixture, remaining unbeaten across the last three seasons at Selhurst Park and won the reverse fixture 1-0 in September. I would also suggest the Eagles are in better shape than in any of those recent meetings.

The fact Manchester United find a way to avoid defeat and have drawn so many recent games is putting me off the moneyline. As a result, I like the extra insurance of a refund should this end all square.

EPL Best Bet: Crystal Palace Tie No Bet at -116.