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Odds and Ends

PL Best Bets: Manchester City Lean to Think About

by Brad Thomas
Updated On: January 14, 2022, 4:25 pm ET

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One of the toughest situations in sports betting is jumping on a line early and a key player is ruled out due to COVID-19 or the entire match is postponed. That happened with the Burnley vs Leicester City match. I jumped out early with Leicester moneyline, despite a possible COVID postponement. Since I handicap every Premier League match, I have added a lean that I like. Doesn’t necessarily mean I will bet more than a few bucks on it; but it will be fun to have some action on the most anticipated match of the weekend. These odds are presented by our friends at PointsBet Sportsbook:

Manchester City vs Chelsea (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET)

Three-way Moneyline: Manchester City (-145) | Draw (+280) | Chelsea (+400)

Listen, this match stinks from a gambling perspective. With both City and Chelsea dealing with COVID issues, I absolutely will not even entertain a juiced line. Pep Guardiola has announced that his squad have been hit by new COVID cases ahead of the match. Luckily for City, they have a wealth of depth at every position that will make this play still make sense.

Chelsea have been ravaged by injury and COVID. They also have played a lot of football in the past few weeks. They will be without Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah, and now Andreas Christensen. Their depth will be tested by the best team in the EPL, and their back line will be held together by super glue.

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The play I am interested in is Manchester City to win the first half (+125). This is absolutely a match that could end low scoring and a first half that could be 0-0. However, with the players out for Chelsea, +125 is a price that is more than value enough to consider a wager. City are winning the first half at a 62% (13-6-2) clip this season. They have won the first half in eight of their last 10 and have scored 27 first half goals in 21 matches.

It’s only a lean so don’t go crazy. We don’t have a clear picture on who is in and who is out for Manchester City. It’s also important we note that Chelsea have not lost a first half all season. 21 matches and have never gone into the locker room down. It’s impressive.

You could take Manchester City to score at least one goal in the first half. It’s more likely to hit but it is heavily juiced and not worth the squeeze if you ask me. If you are searching for action on the match of the week, this plus money fade of a weakened Chelsea side is a quality look.

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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.