This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
There wasn't anything overly surprising from the midweek matches, only that Wednesday and Thursday featured different types of games. Four Wednesday matches had 12 goals, while the four Thursday had just eight. If you took overs Wednesday and unders Thursday, you're probably rich. My exact prediction of Southampton 2-1 should've hit, but it was one of many things that didn't quite go my way. Maybe the most surprising thing from those fixtures was that Liverpool only scored one goal against Arsenal. While it's been hard to trust Liverpool since winning the title, that could change in their next match with a full week of rest.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The penultimate gameweek is weird in that the matches are spread out from Saturday to Wednesday, no day having more than three games. What the odds don't show is that Arsenal and Man City play Saturday, and Man United and Chelsea play Sunday.
That means Aston Villa get two more days of rest than Arsenal, Watford get one more day of rest than Man City, West Ham get two more days of rest than Man United and Liverpool get three more days of rest than Chelsea.
Unlike prior rounds of the FA Cup, it's the semi-finals and every team will be starting their top squads for those weekend contests. That being the case, I'm not keen on betting them in league play outside of Man City, who have a starting roster on their bench.
My first target is Aston Villa, who need at least one point or relegation is guaranteed. They're not a good team, but they've taken points in each of their last two matches. In addition to Arsenal having nothing to play for, they beat Liverpool last week and will put everything into topping Man City on Saturday. The Gunners have played well since the restart, yet motivation may be lacking which makes this is a good spot for Aston Villa to win outright (+250) or to win or draw (-114).
Liverpool don't have anything to play for either, but Wednesday is their last home match of the season and they get a full week to prep for Chelsea. Sure, the Blues are in a fight to finish in the top four, but their back line has had some issues and the weekend trip to Manchester could only add to those troubles. I think Liverpool at -103 to win and to score more than 1.5 goals (-139) is a bit small. The Reds will be rested in their final home match and should be set to bag a couple.
Outside of the FA Cup teams, Burnley are +120 to beat Norwich City, who don't have a point since before the pandemic. As for Burnley, they have 12 points from their last six matches with no more than two goals being scored in any of those. Combine that with Norwich's one goal scored in their last seven matches and you have a 1-0 or 2-0 result. Instead of touching under 2.5 or 1.5 goals, you can bet that Burnley will win either 1-0 (+650) or 2-0 (+900).
Maybe the strangest odds on the slate are between Brighton and Newcastle, who are a +340 underdog. Unless I missed an article that said Newcastle are going to give away this game, those don't make sense. The Magpies may have a minus-19 goal differential away from home, but that includes a lot of bad losses to the best teams in the league. It also wasn't long ago that Newcastle smashed Bournemouth 4-1 away from home.
I'm somewhat concerned about Newcastle's health, but they went full attack mode against Tottenham last match and probably could've taken a point on another day. If they go on the attack against Brighton, that could lead to a couple goals and possible straight-up win. As for Brighton, they've had one of the more difficult schedules since the restart, though they were outplayed by a Southampton side with a lot of backups last match. Either way, I'm not sure Newcastle should be +340 even if there were fans. If you hate risk, Newcastle are -108 to win or draw.
OVER and UNDER
I'm not sure what to make of Bournemouth because they've played well over the last three matches and were close to securing a point against Man City. However, they need a win and will be going for goals against Southampton, which is how they've played their last couple matches. Because of that, I'd look at over 2.5 goals (-143) or go bigger with over 3.5 at +175. I can see a 2-1 result for either side, but a 3-1 or 2-2 finish wouldn't be surprising, either.
Going back to Brighton, I know they're a low-scoring team, but Newcastle's back line is beat up and have allowed multiple goals in each of their last four matches. If you don't think Newcastle can win, there's always the over 2.5 goals at +115 odds. One of these teams will score at least two goals and there won't be a clean sheet. I know this for a fact.
Elsewhere, I'm pegging Man United against West Ham to be the highest-scoring match of the weekend. The Red Devils could have tired legs on limited rest, while the Hammers have been going after teams, scoring multiple goals in three of their last four. Combine that with an inconsistent West Ham back line and you have over 3.5 goals for +120. Those aren't my favorite numbers, so if you want a tad more money, Michail Antonio has +350 odds to hit the back of the net. More intriguing, Tomas Soucek, who has 17 shots the last six matches, is +700 to score.
Aston Villa -114 to win or draw against Arsenal
Liverpool -103 to beat Chelsea
Burnley +650 to win 1-0 and +900 to win 2-0
Over 2.5 goals (+115) between Brighton and Newcastle
Newcastle -108 to win or draw against Brighton