Another international break is over, and if you support the United States Men’s National Team, the break didn’t end fast enough. The Americans lost to Canada 2-0 on Tuesday, and truth be told they could have lost by four or five.
Spare a thought for Christian Pulisic. Eighteen months ago, he was a rising star at Borussia Dortmund and the face of the next wave of great American players. Today, he’s a guy who cannot get regular minutes at Chelsea and was substituted on Tuesday night with his team level after 60 minutes because his national team manager thought Paul Arriola was a better bet to help the Americans score a goal. Life comes at you fast.
You have probably already spent the money we won two weeks ago with two more winners out of three. Do I prefer perfect weeks? I do. Would I take two winners from three picks every week from here through the end of the season? Yes, yes I would.
If you’re in Pennsylvania, check out our PA online sports betting page, which has a plethora of promos being offered from the best sportsbooks available. Don’t worry if you’re in New Jersey. We’ve got you covered with our NJ online sports betting page.
MANCHESTER UNITED (+420) v. LIVERPOOL (-145) — DRAW (+280)
Klopp: "They (Manchester United) said that we are the perfect opponent. I don't think there are a lot of teams who would love to play us at the moment, it looks like Man United are the only team who does. We have to make sure that is a misunderstanding!" pic.twitter.com/snGhRzqncC
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) October 18, 2019
It’s unfathomable that anyone at Manchester United could honestly believe that this is a good time for the Red Devils to host Liverpool. A quick look at the table shows Liverpool on top with 24 points, unblemished in eight league matches. United, conversely, is all of the following: a. 15 points behind Liverpool; b. in 12th place; and c. tied on 9 points with newly-promoted Sheffield United and perennial relegation scrappers Brighton and Hove Albion. United isn’t a very good match for anyone these days, much less Liverpool.
And it’s not like it’s a lot of fluke results and bad breaks that have United in this spot. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team has scored two goals in their last five matches in all competitions. Not two goals in each match — 0, 1, 1, 0, 0. Liverpool has been surprisingly reserved in terms of goal-scoring in the league in recent times, with “only” five tallies in their last three league matches. The wins have allowed Liverpool to emphasize their record and not discuss their spotty finishing of late.
The line here tells you what you probably already know: United has little chance to win this match and would be delighted with a draw. The recent history between these clubs also makes the draw very tempting, as these teams have posted five draws in their last seven matches in all competitions dating back to March 2016. Ultimately, though, it is nearly impossible to justify backing United in their current form and state, no matter where this match is being played. Take Liverpool to win at -145.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (-125) v. SOUTHAMPTON (+360) — DRAW (+260)
IT'S ALL OVER!! WOLVES WIN AT CITY!! #MCIWOL
— Wolves (@Wolves) October 6, 2019
There was money to be made earlier in this season betting against Wolves. Some of that money was made right here in this column. It was a relatively easy analysis: Wolverhampton Wanderers, a smallish club, earned a berth into Europa League play. This meant league matches on the weekends and cup matches on Thursdays — some of them very far from home. Those exertions took an early toll on a squad that does not boast significant depth. Wolves opened the league season with two losses and four draws, and for a while they were at the bottom of the table.
The time to bet against Wolves has ended. This is not an overreaction to their victory at Manchester City two weeks ago. As we will discuss shortly, City isn’t the marauding force a two-time defending league champion ought to be. Rather, this is a comprehension of this spot in Wolverhampton’s season. They have won two league matches in a row, and for the past two weeks, many of their players were able to rest while others had less rigorous schedules playing internationally.
This is also a selection against Southampton, which has lost three straight league matches (the most recent one a 4-1 caning by Chelsea). Wolves see the league table as presently constituted and know that wins in matches like this one are required for a repeat place in the Europa League or, perhaps, even a Champions League spot. Take Wolves to win at -125.
CRYSTAL PALACE (+1100) v. MANCHESTER CITY (-450) — DRAW (+550)
Up next! 🔜
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 17, 2019
For all of the goals and all of the money spent at Manchester City, they never really have figured out central defense. Vincent Kompany was their best defender in the last decade, but even he spent the last three seasons at the Etihad alternately underperforming or unable to play at all.
City’s defense now is a shambles, as Aymeric Laporte’s injury has forced Pep Guardiola to play central midfielder Fernandinho at centre-back. This is a recipe for disaster; the Brazilian is a physical player who is apt to rash, dangerous challenges. Doing that near midfield is only mildly problematic — doing it in the penalty area usually leads to spot kicks.
Teams that cannot defend cannot win titles. Look at the tweet above: City’s form in its last five is actually worse than that of Crystal Palace. Before the season started, on the Crossing Broad FC podcast, I said that betting on City’s opponent’s all season would probably turn a profit. Through eight weeks, it already has turned a profit for the whole season. Both Norwich City and Wolves were +2000 to win. If you had those bets, you made enough money on them to cover any further losses on City’s opponents all season, and any further City losses would be essentially free money.
Sooner or later, the odds on City will deflate, and when they do, City will be a good value again. Until then, keep making modest wagers against them, like this one: A small unit on Crystal Palace Double Chance at +300.
Good luck this weekend.