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Handicapping the EPL Thursday slate

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The English Premier League has a three-game slate scheduled for Thursday. For this and every slate, I’ll be offering up some of my top betting picks for that day’s games, hopefully providing significant intel and probabilities into the major slates.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an influx of games on an odd schedule. My goal is to provide you with understanding, probabilities and what could happen with all games on major slates that have three or four matches per day. The format for each game breakdown will be as followed:

  • Matchup overview
  • Predicted team expected goals based on matchup
  • Poisson model predicted score probability
  • Value plays based on Poisson model and current betting Lines
  • My prediction
  • Additional value bets (if any)

Southampton @ Everton

1 p.m. ET – Thursday, July 8

It’s crazy how things have changed for Southampton. A team that has been in a relegation scrap for the last couple of years has now found safety a month before the season ends. Not only that, but they have looked like one of the most potent attacking teams in the Premier League. Southampton is averaging 2.3 goals per game, while conceding only 0.3 goals per game, in matches in which they haven’t conceded a red card (which has been a total of two matches thus far). This is all led by Danny Ings, who sits third in the Premier League in goals scored (18).

Southampton now faces an Everton team that has looked quality themselves. Led by the formidable attack of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. Since returning, they have picked up seven points in the five matches they have played, and they currently sit 11th in the table. 

Numerically, it should be a pretty close matchup. There is a pretty good probability that this ends up being a 1-1 draw. However, I believe that the Southampton magic may be running out with that formidable attack. Everton has always been a team to give them trouble, and, statistically, it seems right in line with that probability.

Score prediction: Everton 2-1 Southampton (DraftKings Sportsbook +750)
Betting pick: Both Teams to Score – Yes (DraftKings Sportsbook -136)

Tottenham @ Bournemouth

1 p.m. ET – Thursday, July 9

Bournemouth have found themselves in an absolute nightmare of a situation. They currently sit 19th in the table, with almost a 100% probability of being relegated. Not only that, but they have allowed almost three goals per game since returning in early June. They seem to have no formidable attack besides Josh King, and he has really only been able to find success from the penalty area. Other than that, their defensive prowess looks shot, they have no creative attack and they look like a team that is heading for Championship Soccer in the second division next season.

Tottenham is in a bit of a different and unfamiliar situation. They currently sit seventh in the table with 55 points and have no chance at making the top 4 or the Champions League this season. They also don’t have any chance at relegation, so what is there to play for at this point? Pride? Incentive bonuses in contracts? Europa League? Well, they are finally healthy and have the likes of Harry Kane back in the squad. They were also able to fend off the likes of a talented Everton team last game, earning a 1-0 victory. I don’t see this one being very close, as Tottenham should be able to cruise to a win.

Score prediction: Tottenham 2-0 Bournemouth (DraftKings Sportsbook +700)
Betting pick: Tottenham ML (DraftKings Sportsbook -148)

Manchester United @ Aston Villa

3:15 p.m. ET – Thursday, July 9

This matchup could end up getting out of hand quickly. Aston Villa is fighting for their spot in the Premier League, currently sitting 18th on the table and four points out of a safe spot. Things have looked a bit dire, as they have only picked up two points since the season started back up. The worst part about all of it is that they have no attacking creativity. Their defensive efficiency has actually been quite stout, which is a necessity against this strong Manchester United opponent. However, there’s no room for error and with no attacking fortitude (only two goals in five games), and there’s really no opportunity for scoring at this point.

Manchester United is on fire at the moment. They are the favorites to win the Europa League, and they also currently have a 95% chance to qualify for the Champions League at this point. They have averaged 2.8 goals since returning and have shown no signs of slowing down. It’s hard to imagine them not rolling here.

Score prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Aston Villa (DraftKings Sportsbook +525)
Betting pick: Manchester United ML (DraftKings Sportsbook -148) 

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