This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
After having soccer to watch almost every day for the past month, the Premier League season comes to an end Sunday. For some teams like Aston Villa and Watford, this match could mean everything. For those like Liverpool and Norwich City, among others, it's a chance to bid farewell to what was a weird season, mainly because of the pandemic.
Since a lot of teams have nothing to play for, there will be some weird results. A year ago, Cardiff City, who were already relegated, beat sixth-place Manchester United 2-0. While Manchester City claimed the title that day, the most memorable match may have been an eight-goal thriller between Crystal Palace and Bournemouth. Yes, two middle-tier teams who both had a negative goal differential produced eight goals, two of them from Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi. On the other end of that, Chelsea and Leicester City put out mostly regular squads en route to a scoreless draw.
Going off those results, it may be best to bet the over between teams who no longer have to worry about relegation (West Ham, Brighton). As for those who had a disappointing season (Arsenal, Everton), the under could be the play. Of course, it's a small sample size and I'm not going to base every bet off last year's results, but it's something to think about.
THE SUNDAY FINALE
I think the best bet Sunday is on Harry Kane to score at -109. I said a couple weeks ago he didn't want to finish the season alongside players like Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the goal table, and he followed that up with back-to-back braces. He has eight shots on goal in his last three starts and Crystal Palace's projected back line has yet to play a full 90 together. Palace have lost their last seven matches, giving up multiple goals in six, and it doesn't help that Spurs have an extra day of rest. Tottenham have a chance to overtake Wolverhampton in sixth place and Kane loves scoring goals. He has 17 and is undoubtedly dreaming of bagging a hat-trick in the finale so he can hit 20 for the season.
Another move is to back Tottenham to score more than 2.5 goals at +220, which are decent odds given the situation. I like the odds in that bet rather than taking something like Tottenham -1.5 at +160. If you simply want to parlay a couple moneylines, putting Manchester City and Tottenham together to win comes out at -148. If you throw in Liverpool against Newcastle, you can push the three-way parlay to about +133.
I don't like betting on Arsenal, but they're in a prime spot to rebound after losing to Aston Villa. They can't go into the FA Cup final with another loss and Watford are a mess. Sure, the Hornets need points to avoid relegation, but the surprise firing of Nigel Pearson isn't sitting right with a lot of players and motivation may not be at the highest level. If you want to play into that, the Gunners are just -106 to win, which isn't bad considering Watford have allowed seven goals in their last two matches.
The other side I'm intrigued by is Wolverhampton, who are a decent-sized underdog against Chelsea. I know Chelsea are fighting to stay in the top four, but I don't think Leicester City will beat Manchester United. That means one point would be enough for the Blues to stay in the top four, and I think that's kind of the mindset they'll take. As for Wolves, there's a chance they need three points to finish sixth in the table because Tottenham have an easier matchup. With that in play, I think getting plus odds (+104) on Wolves to win or draw is pretty good. Throw in an added two days of rest and one fewer match over the last week and that's another edge.
OVER and UNDER
One of my favorite plays of the day may be the over between Newcastle and Liverpool. I backed Liverpool for goals Wednesday and they showed up in a big way, beating Chelsea 5-3. Of course, since that win, the implied goal total has only gone up with over 3.5 total goals at +140 and Liverpool over 2.5 at +130. With neither team having much to worry about, I think this match will be free flowing, and I expect Mohamed Salah to rebound (-121 to score) after failing to hit the back of the net on his last seven shots on target.
Going the other way, Burnley and Brighton are safe above relegation, but that doesn't mean they'll change the way they play in the finale. There haven't been more than two goals in Burnley's last seven matches, while Brighton have scored just three in their last seven. Unlike the exact 2-0 score prediction I had on Burnley last week, I think this match has a few more ways to go because Brighton are a tad better than Norwich. That being the case, a simple bet on under 2.5 goals at -117 makes the most sense. However, if you want to ride that +900 from last week, I'd go Burnley 1-0 at +700 or 1-1 at +540.
I haven't really mentioned Manchester City yet mainly because the odds point to them winning about 4-0, which usually isn't something to bet on in the Premier League. I'd consider Man City scoring over 3.5 goals at -105 odds, but that's still a steep bet for an even payout. They scored two goals against Bournemouth last home match and Norwich City held Chelsea to one in their last trip. Given the odds, I'd rather put my money elsewhere.
- Harry Kane -109 to score
- Wolverhampton +104 to win or draw against Chelsea
- Over 3.5 goals (+140) between Newcastle and Liverpool
- Under 2.5 goals (-117) between Burnley and Brighton
- Three-way parlay +133:
- Manchester City -1250 to win, Liverpool -265 to win, Tottenham -180 to win