Premier League Betting Picks for Matchweek 12: Can the Blues Upset City?
After a week full of Champions League action, the EPL is back!
Matchweek 12 -- which starts on Saturday -- features 10 matches and is highlighted by a clash between Manchester City and Chelsea.
When looking at the EPL soccer odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, which bets make the most sense for this matchweek?
EPL Betting: Matchweek 12
Newcastle at Bournemouth (12:30 p.m. ET Saturday)
Newcastle Moneyline (-155)
Newcastle enters Saturday's clash with Bournemouth undefeated in their last seven EPL fixtures. Since a run of three straight losses to Manchester City, Liverpool, and Brighton early in the season, they have lost only twice in all competitions, with both defeats coming against Dortmund in the Champions League.
Newcastle sit sixth on the table, but all of their expected goal metrics, per FBref, indicate that they should be higher. They rank second in xG (22.9) and third in xG allowed (10.8) for a combined xG difference per 90 (+1.10) that ranks second.
Even more impressive is the fact that they have outperformed those lofty numbers, scoring 27 goals from 22.9 xG, behind only Manchester City (28). Their 11 goals conceded rank fourth and are directly in line with their 10.8 xG allowed.
So why are they only in sixth? A couple of draws that should have been won against West Ham and Wolves. On xG, they won those matches by a combined score of 4.1 to 2.1, doubling up their opposition, but drew both 2-2.
The Toons' slow start still hangs over their season, but all of their underlying metrics indicate that they are an elite side. Their xG difference per 90 is .25 above their final tally from last season when they finished in fourth.
On Saturday, they will face a Bournemouth side that sits in 18th, with an xG difference per 90 that ranks 19th (-1.12). Last season, no team in the EPL finished with an xG difference per 90 lower than -0.61 -- through 11 matches, the Cherries have nearly doubled that mark.
They have just one win (vs. Burnley) so far this season and have been exceptionally poor when facing elite opponents. In their four matches against the current top four on the table, they lost by a combined score of 2-15. Newcastle has a better goal difference than three of those four sides.
There is some cause for concern for the Toons in this one. They continue to be without Sandro Tonali (suspension) and may be without both of their first-choice strikers -- Callum Wilson (hamstring) and Alexander Isak (groin). They have also been a far worse side on the road this season, too, with just one win in five matches compared to five wins in six fixtures at home.
That said, the gap between these two sides, both on the table and in their underlying metrics is large. At -155, I like Newcastle to take all three points.
Manchester City at Chelsea (11:30 a.m. ET Sunday)
Chelsea Moneyline (+410)
Coming off of one of the strangest three-goal victories in recent memory, it's difficult to know what to expect from Chelsea on any given week. As a whole, they have underperformed their expected goal metrics but have also shown up in all three of their matches against big-six opponents this season, earning two draws and a win.
Their performances against difficult opposition have balanced out some head-scratching losses to West Ham and Brentford, as well as a draw against Bournemouth. In the span of nine days, they went from losing 2-0 to Brentford at home to winning 4-1 against Tottenham on the road. It's been that kind of season for the Blues so far.
Through it all, the one constant has been their xG metrics. They have won 9 of their 10 matches so far on expected goals, with their lone defeat coming in their recent loss to Brentford. Their xG difference per 90 (+0.90) ranks fifth, just behind Arsenal (+0.94).
Through their first six games, Chelsea was not getting results that matched their underlying metrics, notching just one win, two draws, and three losses. Since then, their results have started to catch up. Over their last five matches, they have three wins, including one against Spurs, a draw (vs. Arsenal), and their horrible loss to Brentford. Thanks to their slow start, they still sit in 10th on the table, but they are closer to a top-five side.
However, it may not matter against Manchester City. The defending champions are on a three-game win streak, and results-wise, have recovered nicely from their two-game blip in Matchweeks 7 and 8. In terms of their underlying metrics, City has yet to fully recover.
Entering Matchweek 7's game against Wolves, City were averaging 2.25 xG per match. Since then, they have averaged just 1.62 xG per match, with most of those coming against two horrendous defensive sides in Manchester United (4.0 xG) and Bournemouth (1.9 xG). Removing their win over United, who are struggling against everyone and anyone right now, their xG difference per 90 since the end of September is just +0.40, which would rank eighth.
City is certainly still the favorite in this one, but their recent win streak masks xG metrics that are below their lofty standards. Chelsea is inconsistent but has finally been earning results on par with their xG metrics, which indicate that they should be challenging for a spot in the top five. Chelsea has been terrible at home this season, but City's two losses, and two worst performances this season, have both come on the road.
Given their performances against big-six sides so far, and the form of these two sides, +400 feels like decent odds for the Blues at home in this one.
Evan Ferguson to Score (+100): Ferguson has been in a goal-scoring drought, finding the back of the net just once since his hat trick against Newcastle on September 2nd. His most recent goal did come against Fulham on October 29th, and he will have an excellent chance to build a little bit of momentum this weekend. Sheffield United remains an opponent to target. The Blades rank 20th in xG allowed (24.6) and are conceding 2.8 goals per away match this season. Brighton averages 2.3 goals scored per home match.
Darwin Nunez to Score (+115): There are few strikers in as good of form as Nunez right now. Over his last three matches combined, he has accumulated two goals, eight shots on goal, and 18 shots. He leads the league in non-penalty expected goals per 90 this season (0.85), as well as shots per 90 (5.64) and shots on goal per 90 (2.29). Since the start of September, Liverpool has generated at least 2.0 xG in 11 of their 12 matches in all competitions. Brentford are in good form, with three wins in a row, but they have allowed an average of 1.55 xG over their last four fixtures.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.