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Odds and Ends

PL Best Bets: Is a healty Vardy the solution?

by Brad Thomas
Updated On: May 13, 2022, 11:39 pm ET

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With just two weeks left in the Premier League season, there are important battles across the league. Manchester City and Liverpool both look to win out in their fight for the Premier League championship. While the battle at the top is exciting, it’s hard to ignore the relegation battle; four teams are fighting for league safety. With seven games on Sunday, I have found a few spots that have caught my attention. You can find the odds on PointsBet Sportsbook.

Watford vs Leicester City (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET)

Leicester City Moneyline (-105)

Is this a trap? Quite possibly. However, there’s no way that I am not taking Leicester at this price. Especially a Leicester with a healthy Jamie Vardy. It’s an easy decision for me. I’m not trying to outthink the sportsbooks or overanalyze the odds. I’m here to look at the data and do what the data suggests. Before Watford’s draw with Everton, Watford had lost 7 of their last 10 matches, five of which were at home. Of their 18 home games, they have lost 14. They concede 2.28 goals per game at Vicarage Road and have an xGD/90 of -0.83, second worse in the league.

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If you look at Leicester’s home and away splits, the odds make sense. They have just three road wins on the season and have a less than ideal xGD/90. However, if you want an accurate picture of why that is, you must dig a bit deeper. Brendan Rodgers rotated on the road to cope with their busy schedule outside of the EPL throughout the season. They also dealt with injuries to important players on their roster. This is a better Leicester team than the price indicates. I am backing them with confidence.

Newcastle vs Arsenal (Monday, 3 p.m. ET)

Both Teams to Score “Yes” (-141)

Naturally when backing a team in the thick of a qualification race, you’d think to back them defensively. Things like, both teams to score “no” and Arsenal clean sheet. Well, with the injuries to Arsenal’s defense and Rob Holding out for red card suspension, they are very thin at the back. It’s also presumptuous of us to assume Arsenal get a clean sheet on the road when they have only had six all season, and their one coming back in December.

Newcastle themselves have been the talk of the EPL since the January transfer window. They made quality transfers and have improved their team. They are coming of back-to-back games against the best team in the league. Two shutouts. You know they will be hungry to bounce back in front of their home fans once again.

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Brad Thomas

Brad is a sports handicapper who is lucky enough to write about his true love; sports. "We may all root for different teams, but our objective remains the same… Beat the books! Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint." Follow Brad on Twitter @MrBradThomas.