Over/Under plays to help bettors kick off English Premier League

Following a short break, the English Premier League is set to resume Saturday. Though the Nevada futures market is mostly limited to EPL champion, bettors can find some value in one market at the Westgate SuperBook. That’s the total-points prop. Explained simply: Bettors can wager on how many points each of the 20 EPL teams will accumulate across the 2020-21 campaign. Though some numbers are really sharp and require stayaways, others are ripe for the taking, either on the Over or Under side.

Over Plays

Manchester City (91¹/₂): It was an odd 2019-20 campaign for Pep Guardiola’s men, who recorded their lowest point total since 2016-17. The main issue? Last season City endured a whopping seven road losses — more than the two previous years combined — including defeats against Southampton and Norwich City. If you’re handicapping City as the presumptive title winner, you have the trend in your favor that four straight league winners have cleared the 91.5-point threshold. Even if Liverpool goes back to back, I’m confident Guardiola will find a way to pick up 11 more points than last season.

Manchester United (71¹/₂): Across the second half of last season, United was the third-best team in total points won. From Matchday 28 onward, United was the best team. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side needs to pick up only six points from last year’s total to cash the Over. Considering Man U dropped nine points to bottom-five opposition, I expect it will find a way into the top four and collect 72 points comfortably.

Arsenal (63¹/₂): This is the Over I’m most concerned about, but some metrics favor Arsenal. In 16 fixtures under Unai Emery, Arsenal won a mere five matches. In the remaining 22 under new manager Mikel Arteta, the Gunners won nine games outright. Additionally, Arsenal dropped 15 points from winning positions last season but have promising defensive reinforcements coming in William Saliba, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares. While that number won’t drop to zero all of a sudden, I’m counting on Arsenal being the team that was fifth best in points across the second half of the season instead of the team that was 10th through the first 15 matchdays.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha
Crystal Palace’s Wilfried ZahaAP

Under Plays

Crystal Palace (38¹/₂): Perpetually caught in a question of whether it will sell Wilfried Zaha, Palace is a bit of a contrarian play here as it hasn’t won fewer than 40 points in the last five seasons. However, Palace also won seven points against Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United, teams I expect not to drop points as frequently this year. Lastly, eight of 11 Palace wins last season were by one goal, and I expect at least some regression.

Leicester City (57¹/₂): Last season the Foxes won 12 of their first 16 fixtures and looked like a sure bet to snatch a Champions League spot. But over the next 22, Leicester won a mere six matches, and I expect we’ll see similar struggles this season. Ben Chilwell, arguably Leicester’s best defender, left for Chelsea this summer, and depending on how results go, James Maddison could be on his way out as well. I also believe European football could be a curse for Leicester. The last surprise team to secure European football, Burnley in 2017-18, regressed to 15th place the next season. Expect a similar result for Leicester.

Brighton (40¹/₂): Since its return to England’s top league in 2017-18, Brighton has never finished higher than 15th. In the two seasons before last, the Seagulls finished on 40 and 36 points. In 2019-20, they finished on 41 but won twice against Arsenal and once against Tottenham. Even assuming Brighton wins one of those, that still drops it below its total for this season. Bottom line: Brighton has struggled to produce meaningful road records in the EPL, a good recipe for an Under here.