English Premier League odds, predictions, picks: Crystal Palace

The penultimate full day of the English Premier League season takes place this weekend and features some influential fixtures.

None are bigger than Saturday afternoon’s encounter between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield, a match that will impact both the Championship and the first four races. Elsewhere, Leicester City-Everton and Arsenal-Leeds United will impact the relegation race.

But, I choose to look elsewhere for my best weekend bets. So, without further ado, here are my pair of games for Matchday 36 of the Premier League season.

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Best Bet #1 – Crystal Palace Moneyline (-145) v Watford

Some might question Crystal Palace’s motivation here, but I think they are capable of an easy win on Saturday.

So far this season, manager Patrick Viera’s side have been a superb home side. At the start of their meeting with Watford, Palace hold an expected goal differential of +9.3 at home, the sixth highest rating in the Premier League. Moreover, a positive regression could be underway based on these performances, as the Eagles have an actual goal differential of +8 in 17 home matches.

Palace also dominated at home against the worst teams in the league. In five matches against the EPL’s six worst sides, Palace are 2-0-3 (WLD), but have won all five matches with the expected goals. Additionally, his offense has created 1.54 xG/90 minutes in those encounters, compared to producing 1.22 xG/90 throughout the season, according to fbref.com.

Jean-Philippe Mateta famous.
Jean-Philippe Mateta celebrates with his teammates after a goal.
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On the other hand, Watford’s loss to Burnley essentially resigned them to relegation barring a complete miracle. Moreover, Palace beat the Hornets 4-1 in the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road while winning the expected 1.3-1.2 goalscoring battle at their worst venue.

Additionally, Watford have struggled to earn points from the top local teams in the league. In eight matches against the top ten local xGDiff teams in the EPL, Watford are 0-7-1 (WLD) and have lost all eight games on expected goals. His defense also allowed 1.84 xG/90 in those eight matches, compared to an all-season average of 1.73.

For these reasons, I think you get a discount on Palace and would even consider saving alternative spreads.

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Best Bet #2 – Burnley/Aston Villa Under 2.5 Goals (-135)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

This will actually be the first meeting of the season between these teams, but I’m expecting a very sleepy game.

Away from home, Villa created the eight least expected goals in the league, according to fbref.com. Moreover, although Burnley’s attack has generated at least one expected goal in six consecutive matches, the level of defensive opposition has not been good. Five of those six teams are outside the top 10 in xGA/90 minutes this season, with all six ranking below Aston Villa.

That said, Burnley’s defense did well to hold on at home. This season, the Clarets have conceded just 1.34 xG/90 minutes at Turf Moor, down from the season average of 1.43 xG/90 minutes. Moreover, 11 of Burnley’s 17 home games have ended below that mark, while eight of Villa’s last nine road games have seen less than 2.5 goals expected combined.

Additionally, Burnley have kept three consecutive opponents under 1.2 expected goals, while the Villa defense have kept two consecutive opponents under 0.5 expected goals and nine consecutive opponents under 1.5 expected goals.

With Villa having nothing to play for and Burnley having to focus on defense in a relegation battle, expect a low scoring game in this game.

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