This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
Yet again, there were big upsets the sportsbooks didn't see coming last week. Sheffield United were an oddly large underdog at +535 when I wrote my article a week ago, and they beat Chelsea rather easily. While Bournemouth closed at +410 to beat Leicester City, not many expected them to win 4-1, especially after going down a goal.
With three gameweeks left, more weird results seem inevitable as the list of teams that have nothing to play for grows. There continues to be a battle for the final European spots, but it's a long shot for both Tottenham and Arsenal, who are eighth and ninth in the table, respectively. Whereas Man United were rolling before Monday, Leicester City may be who eventually drops to sixth place, now just four points ahead of Wolverhampton and five ahead of Sheffield United.
At the bottom of the table, Brighton are almost safe, while West Ham and Watford would do themselves well to secure another point or two. Bournemouth and Aston Villa need at least one win and another point to have a chance, and that's a lot to ask given their upcoming schedules and how inconsistent they've been this season.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Off the bat, there are clear opportunities for straight upsets Wednesday. Newcastle (+380) and Burnley (+380) are both home against Tottenham and Wolves, respectively. I don't trust Newcastle, but Burnley just played Liverpool tight and they've taken points against every team but Man City since the restart. At -105 to win or draw, I think Burnley is in a good spot for a 1-0 win or 1-1 draw.
Sheffield United (+310) are again underrated, especially given the injuries and suspensions to Leicester. The Blades are playing well, and while they're five points behind Leicester in the table, this match could easily change that. I'd rather take an in-form underdog than a favorite that lost one of its center-backs last match and has numerous other starters dealing with injuries. Again, the safer play would be to grab Sheffield United at -121 to win or draw.
You could ride the same theory with Aston Villa (+270) because Everton have injury issues on their back line. The difference is that Villa haven't been good all season and are rarely a team you want to put money on. Sure, they're fighting for their Premier League lives, but I wouldn't touch their moneyline for under +300.
OVER and UNDER
Gameweek 35 may have been one of the higher scoring weeks of the season, as eight of 10 matches finished with at least three goals. That's a pretty high number for the Premier League and it's possible it has something to do with tired legs and defensive injuries. Brighton almost completely reshuffled their back line against Man City, while others like Everton and Leicester were forced into weird formations because of injury or suspension.
Taking that route, I'm looking at a slew of overs Wednesday. Manchester City haven't taken their foot off the pedal and have scored 17 goals in four home matches since the restart. Even if they don't hit four goals, it wouldn't be surprising if Bournemouth stole another goal after something clicked in the second half against Leicester. The odds aren't great, but if you're confident, the over 3.5 goals is at -134.
You can get better odds between Newcastle and Tottenham, where the over 2.5 goals is -118. There have been at least three goals scored in each of Newcastle's last four matches, and while Tottenham have struggled to score, I think this match could go differently, mainly because Newcastle have been a bit more attack-heavy, leaving holes in the back.
I also think the Arsenal-Liverpool match will be free flowing, as neither team has anything to play for and +160 odds on over 3.5 goals is a good place to start. There have been at least four goals scored in seven of the last eight league matches between these teams, and that doesn't include the most recent Cup match which finished 5-5. Bet on goals in this one.
For Thursday, I'm also betting on goals between Southampton and Brighton. Both teams are safely above relegation unless something crazy happens, and I think they'll want to go for goals. That's definitely the case for Danny Ings, who has 19 goals, including four in the last six matches. Southampton have played well since the restart, while Brighton have had a hard schedule so it's been hard to read them. This match has 2-1 Southampton win (+750) written all over it, with the over 2.5 goals at +112. If you prefer moneyline bets, Southampton are a decent +117 to win.
Burnley -105 to win or draw against Wolverhampton
Sheffield -121 to win or draw against Leicester City
Arsenal-Liverpool over 3.5 goals at +160
Southampton win 2-1 at +750