The EPL returns after a break for the FA Cup’s third-round weekend, which did not end well for Leeds — one of five teams to have their cup hopes ended at the first hurdle. For some teams who were paired with clubs from lower leagues, it was a chance for key players to rest, so the likes of Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin should be fresh for the midweek slate of games. Manchester United has the chance to open up a three-point lead at the top of the standings if they can win at Burnley. Here are some soccer bets that stand out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook for the upcoming English Premier League (EPL) games.
Sheffield United vs. Newcastle
Under 2.5 goals (+145)
Sheffield United recently reminded themselves how it feels to win, beating Bristol Rovers 3-2 in the FA Cup on Saturday. But, like their EPL campaign, it was a struggle. Twice they conceded equalizers only to win the game a minute after their opponents leveled things at 2-2. Newcastle’s 2-0 extra-time loss at Arsenal means they have no distractions between now and the end of the season. Two points from a possible 15 has drawn Newcastle closer to the relegation zone, a place where Sheffield United has occupied all season long. Survival looks highly unlikely for the basement side, and defeat in this game will edge them closer to the Championship. Neither team has scored a first half goal in their last four league games. This game could be decided by one goal — and if Newcastle can get it, they should be confident about getting the job done, especially since their opponents have taken just one point from the 13 league games in which they have conceded the first goal.
Burnley vs. Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes to score (+115)
If Burnley was given the choice as to when the club would like to have this fixture played, it’d be opening day every time — and this contest should have happened then. But because United reached the Europa League semi-finals, they were awarded the opening weekend off to ensure their players had enough rest before starting the new season. Right now, there are 17 points between the two sides with United tied for the lead while Burnley sits five points above the relegation zone. The incentive for United could not be greater: win and they open up a three-point lead at the top of the standings ahead of their trip to Liverpool on Sunday. United has scored first in each of their last four league games while Burnley has opened the scoring in their last four home EPL contests. Whatever happens in this fixture, the future looks brighter for Burnley — who saw their takeover by ALK Capital completed recently, which means money should soon be made available to strengthen the roster.
Manchester City vs. Brighton
Man City to win both halves (+125)
Should their neighbors Manchester United slip up at Burnley on Tuesday, Pep Guardiola’s City could close the gap on United to a single point if they can beat Brighton on Wednesday. It’s important to note City will still have played one less game. Brighton is hovering too close to the drop zone for their liking and if they can pick up anything from their trip to the Etihad, then it should serve them well going forward. City has won the last six EPL meetings by a combined score of 20-2 and Brighton has never won at either Maine Road or City’s current Etihad home. Registering clean sheets has been an issue for Brighton with just three all season and one in their last nine. It appears City has rediscovered its scoring form, which could be bad news for the Seagulls. City has won the last three league games and will want to start this three-game home stretch with a win to remain in the title race.
Tottenham vs. Fulham
Tottenham to score both halves (+112)
Tottenham was scheduled to face Aston Villa this week, but an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Villa camp forced the EPL to reschedule. Villa now has the week off to get over the outbreak while the Spurs have their plans rearranged for a second time after the initial meeting was called off recently because of positive COVID-19 tests in the Fulham camp. Tottenham has every right to be frustrated and angry with these rescheduled matches as manager Jose Mourinho puts together a meticulous plan for each game. The fixture could level the playing field for Fulham who will have the same short period of time to get ready for this contest. Spurs will still start as favorites given the fact Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min were rested for their 5-0 FA Cup win at Marine on Sunday. Tottenham has been quick out of the blocks this season with six goals scored in the opening 10 minutes which leads the league. Fulham are the slowest team at the start of matches and they have been outscored 6-0 in the first 10 minutes so an early Tottenham goal could be worth considering.
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace
Both teams to score (-109)
Before Christmas, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was facing the sack after a string of bad results left the Gunners close to the relegation zone. Three straight wins and suddenly the talk around the Emirates is about qualifying for European football next season. Arteta’s men are 11th in the standings, six points off the places to guarantee a place in Europe and a win at home to Crystal Palace will certainly boost those hopes. Palace ended a five-game streak without a win by beating basement-side Sheffield United 2-0 last time out. It’s hard to know which Palace side turns up each game. It could be the well-organized team that took care of business against the Blades or it could be the disjointed side that waz beaten 7-0 by a rampant Liverpool team. In the last six meetings, both Arsenal and Palace have found each other’s net and that could well be the case in this contest. Three of the last four meetings have ended in ties, including both matches last season.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is CharliePMullan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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