Something has to give when the English Premier League’s king of over two and a half goals, Manchester City, welcomes the division’s king of under two and a half goals, Tottenham, to Etihad Stadium for one of the competition’s marquee matches.
Manchester City’s games in the English Premier League this season are averaging 3.64 goals, with over two and a half goals winning eight times of 11. No other English Premier League team’s matches are averaging more than three goals, with Tottenham at the bottom of the pile on 1.36 goals per game. Only one Tottenham match in the English Premier League this term has gone over two and a half goals and that was the weird game at White Hart Lane in which Spurs conceded three goals in the final half hour to lose 0-3 to West Ham.
Tottenham has kept six consecutive clean sheets across all competitions since losing 1-0 at Arsenal and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is sticking to his defensive principles even though some sections of the White Hart Lane are not happy with the safety-first style of football that their team is playing. One can expect Tottenham to exercise its typical caution against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium and, while Villas-Boas would never admit it publicly, the Spurs boss would happily settle for a goalless away draw.
Most football punters do not like betting on under two and a half goals because it means that they have to watch matches and hope that nothing eventful happens. Back Manchester City and Tottenham to combine for fewer than three goals at odds of 2.10 with Stan James, and turn off the television. Betting under two and a half goals is the value play given the state of the market, with bookmakers favouring over two and a half goals when there is a better case for the underdog option.
Levante is over the odds at 3.60 with William Hill to get the better of Villarreal in Spanish La Liga action. Villarreal is leading the Spanish La Liga race without the big three of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid but it is a classic false favourite away to mid-table Levante. Villarreal has scored only one goal in its last four road games and that came in stoppage time versus a weaker side than Levante, 13th-placed Elche. Levante beat Villarreal home and away in the Spanish La Liga last season and its winning streak in the fixture runs to three. The match betting should have Levante and Villarreal at around the same odds so backing Levante at 3.60 is an easy decision.
One may have to wait until just before the Spanish La Liga to source odds about there being at least one red card in the derby game between Sevilla and Betis but it should be worth it. There is absolutely no love lost between the Seville teams, with players receiving their marching orders in each of the last five fights for bragging rights. For example, Ruben Perez of Betis saw red in his side’s 1-5 defeat at Sevilla during last term’s Spanish La Liga competition and Sevilla’s Gary Medel was sent off in the reverse fixture that his team drew 3-3 after leading 3-0. We like our red card bets, most recently in the derby clash between Swansea and Cardiff.
If one cannot find odds about a red card in the Spanish La Liga grudge matches between Sevilla and Betis then betting on both sides to score at odds of 1.75 with Ladbrokes is an alternative play. Both teams have scored in each of the last five Seville derbies, while both Sevilla (second) and Betis (10th) are in the top half of this season’s Spanish La Liga goals-per-game ladder. Matches featuring Sevilla have a mean of 3.77 goals, while Betis games are averaging 2.77 goals.