Before we hop into our Premier League Betting Predictions and Picks for Week 12, a quick word. If you’re looking to bet on some Premier League action this weekend, we strongly recommend DraftKings Sportsbook PA, the latest of the PA online sportsbooks to go live.
Now onto the plays.
After two losing weeks, we returned to winning ways in Week 11. We were cruising and on our way to a perfect weekend with Tottenham Hotspur up 1-0 well into the second half. It was all set up for a third cash, until this happened:
Son Heung-min is sent off for a tackle on Andre Gomes, who is stretchered off with a horrifying injury, with both sets of players are visibly distressed.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 3, 2019
Son was sent off, Everton equalized in extra time, and suddenly Spurs +155 went from a really nice pick-up to a probable loss. Obviously, the biggest loser in this instance was Gomes, whose season was jeopardized through no fault of his own. The bloodless point I’m making here is that, in this business of identifying positions with value, there is an awful lot of stuff you cannot possibly account for. Son Heung-min is one of the most liked, least dirty players in world football. He made a very careless challenge, Gomes was injured badly, and in an instant the pick was more or less doomed.
Adding insult to injury (sorry), there’s this:
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 6, 2019
Wait, what? So Son shouldn’t have been sent off after all? Well, that’s comforting. Can I have my money back? No? Oh.
Enough of this. Onto this week’s winners. Odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
LIVERPOOL (+150) v. MANCHESTER CITY (+170) — DRAW (+260)
BREAKING: Pep Guardiola says Ederson is "unable to play" against Liverpool.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 8, 2019
It’s not just that Manchester City’s starting goalkeeper, Ederson, picked up an injury in Champions League play mid-week — though it’s an important loss. Ederson’s backup, Claudio Bravo, has had an absolutely miserable tenure in Manchester since arriving from Barcelona, including but certainly not limited to getting sent off against Atalanta after coming in for Ederson on Wednesday. Bravo will instill no confidence in his teammates. Unfortunately for City, the Ederson injury is only one of a slew of problems for Pep Guardiola’s men.
From the moment defender Aymeric Laporte when down, City has struggled to patch together a competent central defense. John Stones has been limited by injury and fairly unconvincing when he has been healthy. Nicolas Otamendi has lost a step, maybe more than that, and does not appear up to the task these days. Aleks Zinchenko, who had proven himself capable at left back, is out until next month.
There are other problems. Midfield wizard David Silva is unavailable this weekend. Attacking midfielder Leroy Sane has been out of action since August with an anterior cruciate ligament tear. Much is made of City’s exorbitant spending on squad depth; at some point, though, you can’t buy enough players to cover this many injuries.
Liverpool has their own injury concerns, but they are comparatively insignificant. Defender Joel Matip is unavailable, as is reserve midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri. But all of Liverpool’s stars are, if not fully healthy, at least expected to play in this match.
City’s status as two-time defending champions is probably the primary reason that this line looks even. Sometimes, though, even the will and want-to of champions isn’t enough any more. This line allows you to take the league leaders, at home, against an injured and depleted City side featuring a questionable goalkeeper and shoddy central defense…and it’s giving them to you at +150. This is a gift. Take Liverpool to win at +150.
LEICESTER CITY (+100) v. ARSENAL (+255) — DRAW (+270)
Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 5, 2019
Arsenal is an absolute mess. The story of Arsenal naming Granit Xhaka captain, followed by him sarcastically clapping back at booing Arsenal fans while being substituted in a recent match (where he played poorly), followed by him losing the captaincy…I’m bored telling it, you must be bored reading it. Team captaincy is one of those sports aspects that receives a lot of attention which actually means almost nothing. It only ever matters when, as here, the captain undermines the team ethic rather than enhancing it.
We won with Leicester last week, so there is no need to spend a lot of space here describing how much ass the Foxes are kicking these days. Brendan Rodgers has his club playing expansive, interesting, winning football. The Foxes have won eight, drawn two and lost but one in their last 11 league matches at home. And Leicester has beaten Arsenal twice in their last three league matches.
It’s easy to make the case for Leicester. It’s nigh on impossible to make the case for Arsenal. Another “keep it simple, stupid” pick: Take Leicester to win at +100.
MANCHESTER UNITED (-155) v. BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (+500) — DRAW (+260)
CHELSEA (-310) v. CRYSTAL PALACE (+800) — DRAW (+450)
Frank Lampard has won the October Manager of the Month award after leading @ChelseaFC to three straight victories last month.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 8, 2019
I’m riding Super Frank until further notice. Chelsea is quietly back, tied for third in the league table on points with Leicester and six clear of hapless Arsenal. Christian Pulisic has four goals in his past two league appearances — if this isn’t a false dawn for the young American, it’s terrible news for the league. Pulisic was a minor force at Borussia Dortmund. If he’s only just that good for Chelsea going forward, Chelsea will continue to improve. If Pulisic develops further, he’ll become a cheat code alongside Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount.
Manchester United is the scary element of this parlay, and not just because the line suggests that they’re not a sure thing. United is still a mid-table club, and they actually trail Brighton on points. But this pick is firmly against Brighton and here’s why: The Seagulls are a very poor side away from home. Brighton has only one win away from home, and it came in the first week of the season at Watford (which remains winless after 11 weeks.) Their three road defeats include two shutout losses (at Manchester City, at Chelsea) and a loss at newly-promoted Aston Villa.
Taking two public teams like Chelsea and United is cause for concern, but for this week at least both of them seem like safe plays. Their parlay pays +118; take it.
Good luck this weekend.