This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
If you're wondering, the schedule isn't slowing down. While there have been FA Cup matches the last couple weekends, it's now all league play. Including Gameweek 20, there are four gameweeks before UEFA matches return Feb. 9. That's a lot of games in a little time.
Since this article comes out Tuesday in the middle of a gameweek, it's more about reading the market. Who is overvalued and undervalued? That's what matters and where you can find edges. Manchester City were overrated a couple months ago, and while they've turned it around since, Liverpool now fit that label. If you've been reading this article all season, you would've capitalized on a lot of bets made against those teams. The hard part is knowing when to stop fading a certain team, and for now, that hasn't happened for Liverpool.
My first set of bets went pretty well Tuesday. Leeds beat Newcastle, which I got at +100 and Man City took down West Brom to nil at -118. Unfortunately, if you waited to make those bets, Leeds were closer to -125 at kickoff, while Man City were around -175.
THE WEEK AHEAD
I'm mainly looking at Gameweek 21 because there's no reason to look two gameweeks in advance given the possibility of injuries and lineup rotations. My favorite play for the weekend may be Burnley +1 at +138 against Chelsea. Chelsea named Thomas Tuchel their new manager Tuesday, and even if he's the best in the world, I'm not sure that'll change things immediately for the team.
Either way, Burnley continue to be undervalued. They haven't lost by more than one goal since losing 5-0 to Manchester City on Nov. 28. Not coincidentally, that's largely due to center-back Ben Mee, who didn't play in the first meeting, which Chelsea won 3-0. I don't think things will go the same way as that game. Burnley have allowed two goals in their last six league matches and you can get plus odds on them to lose by one goal or less against an unpredictable team.
If you're into money line parlays, Saturday features Everton as a -210 favorite against Newcastle and Manchester City -715 against Sheffield United. Throw those together and it's -148 for a decent payout. Everton lost the first meeting, but they didn't have James Rodriguez or Richarlison. Now at almost full strength against a team that may fire their manager, it's a good spot for some revenge. Man City don't have Kevin De Bruyne, but I'm not ready to trust Sheffield United away against an in-form team. They'll put up a fight, but staying competitive hasn't been enough against top teams.
If you're not keen on Everton, Man City to win to nil comes out to -141, which is still reasonable. Sheffield United are averaging almost half a goal per match, while City have allowed the fewest goals in the league.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Wolverhampton are a surprising underdog against Crystal Palace. I have a rule to never bet a Crystal Palace match because of how unpredictable they are, but if you have money to burn, Wolves pk (draw no bet) is close to even odds at -104. That means if they win you win and if they draw you get your money back. Wolves haven't played well this season, but they won the first meeting 2-0 and that has to mean something... right?
I think betting against goals between Manchester United and Arsenal is a good idea. The first match finished 1-0 to the Gunners with four shots on target between the teams. Arsenal are keeping matches low scoring, while Man United have had some lower scoring games against high-end competition. In fact, they've played to scoreless draws against Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea. That means getting +128 odds for both teams not to score is pretty good. You can also get under 2.5 goals at +102 and if you want to bet 0-0, it's +1050.
At some point, Liverpool will figure things out, but until then, keep betting against them. West Ham are a similar team to Burnley in that they're playing well and not being rated correctly in the odds. They've won each of their last four league matches and haven't dropped points in their last six. Combine that with Liverpool's struggles and there are some easy bets to make like West Ham win or draw at -110 or if you're extra confident, West Ham pk at +220. They're also +330 to win, and don't put it past Michail Antonio to secure a winner.
For the last match of the weekend, I wanted to make a play on Brighton, but I didn't know how. Instead of getting bad odds of them to win or draw, or at +155 for a draw no bet, I'm betting this match to end in a draw at +255. The first matchup was pretty even (2-1 to Tottenham), as Brighton had 57 percent possession and managed two shots on goal compared to three for Tottenham, who opened scoring with a penalty. Tottenham are near the top of the table, but they also have six draws, while Brighton lead the league with eight. Tottenham aren't dominating teams and that usually allows ones like Brighton to stick around and steal a point, which is what I think will happen in this game.
Parlay: Everton to beat Newcastle -210 and Man City to beat Sheffield United -715 = -148
Man United/Arsenal both to not score +128
West Ham win or draw against Liverpool -110
Burnley +1 against Chelsea +138
Brighton and Tottenham to draw +255
Parlay: Leicester/Leeds over 2.5 goals (-160), Fulham win or draw (-290) = +119