The Premier League has looked absolutely miserable the last couple of weeks, hasn't it? It feels like every time you turn on a Premier League match these days, there's some manager just looking like he wants to die standing along the touchline in the cold rain. Honestly, I live in Chicago, and the temperature is currently 10 degrees with a wind chill of about five degrees. Last week we had roughly 10 inches of snow dumped on our heads.
But you know what the worst weather was? It was on Thursday afternoon when temperatures were still in the upper 30s, but it was raining. Being cold is one thing, but being cold and wet is something else entirely. Walking my dog in a freezer box this morning was more enjoyable than anything Premier League managers have had to deal with the last couple of weeks.
Hopefully, it stops raining in England one day. And hopefully, my picks for this weekend all win, rain or shine-all odds via the William Hill Sportsbook.
1. Newcastle vs. Southampton
Newcastle have been more dangerous at home all season long. Steve Bruce's team is averaging 1.13 expected goals per match at home compared to a paltry 0.82 on the road. More than that, though, Newcastle is beginning to resemble a real-life soccer team. Even if they've only won one of their last 11 matches, over the last three, we've seen an uptick in offensive performance. In Newcastle's 2-0 win at Everton and 2-1 home losses to Leeds and Crystal Palace, they've averaged 1.67 xG per match. In the previous six matches before that, they managed only 1.7 xG total.
As for Southampton, they just gave up nine goals to Manchester United. I'm not sure how much of anything we should take away from that match, weird things happen after a second minute red card. But even if we throw it out completely, the Saints have been better defensively at home than on the road. However, they're still dangerous in attack, and I can see this match getting to three goals pretty quickly. Particularly if Southampton comes out with a point to make following that debacle at Old Trafford. Pick: Over 2.5 (-115)
2. Fulham vs. West Ham
So West Ham is legitimately good. I tried to tell you that earlier this season, when I took West Ham in matches it was undervalued, and nothing has dropped off since. The Hammers are fifth in the table and legitimate contenders for one of the European tournament spots. Unfortunately, I think the value we saw on them earlier this season has all but disappeared as everyone else has caught on. I do think there's still value on this total.
Whether it's how they approach matches or just dumb luck, I'm not sure, but West Ham has been much more potent away from London Stadium. The Hammers are averaging 1.57 xG per away match compared to only 1.15 at home. They've also experienced an uptick in form, as they're averaging 1.62 xG per match in their last six Premier League matches, no matter where they've been played. Meanwhile, Fulham have improved overall since the beginning of the year, but they're far from perfect on the defensive end. I wouldn't be shocked if West Ham get three goals on their own in this match, but I also think Fulham's become more potent in attack as well. So I wouldn't be surprised if we see as many as four or five goals scored in this one. Pick: Over 2.5 (-105)
3. Liverpool vs. Manchester City
I feel like somewhat of a sucker taking this bet, but it feels idiotic not to. Manchester City haven't lost a match since November 21, which was 21 matches ago. They've won 17 of 20 since, and 13 straight entering this game. Pep Guardiola is managing the best team in the world right now. Then there's Liverpool.
There was a stretch in December when I thought Liverpool had begun to figure things out and adjusted to all the injuries. Then 2021 began, and it has not been pretty. Liverpool have lost four of their eight matches in the new year, including a 1-0 loss to Brighton earlier this week. They look like a team that's tired, beaten up, and have a lot of new faces trying to figure things out. That's not the team I want to bet on against freaking Manchester City right now. Sure, Manchester City will fail to win a match at some point, and it might even be against Liverpool on Sunday. But not often enough to ignore City at this price. Pick: Manchester City (+111)
Craving even more coverage of the world's game? Listen below and subscribe to ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.
A four-team money line parlay paying +274.
- Chelsea (-205)
- Real Madrid (-200)
- AC Milan (-450)
- Lazio (-270)
What Premier League picks can you make with confidence this week? And which favorites fail to secure a win? Visit SportsLine now to see which spread, moneyline and over/under picks deliver the best value, all from the model that's up more than $9,100 since its SportsLine debut last year.