English Premier League Picks: Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur
by Nicholas Tolomeo with Strike Point Sports - 12/19/2013
During this soccer season, Doc’s Sports Service has teamed up with Strike Point Sports and Raphael Esparza, two of the top soccer handicappers, to provide weekly free soccer picks for English Premier League, MLS and Champions League matches. Check back each week for a new free pick. This week, Strike Point Sports has a free play on a total in the Southampton vs. Tottenham match.
On Sunday, in what is arguably going to be one of the most talked-about matches of the week, Southampton will welcome Tottenham to St. Mary’s Stadium. Southampton will be looking to improve on a 1-1 draw against Newcastle this past weekend, while the Spurs will be looking to make a statement following the sacking of their manager, Andre Villas-Boas, and their 0-5 home massacre against Liverpool. The Spurs still have top four hopes going into this match, but they may find themselves on life support following the final whistle.
Southampton vs. Tottenham Betting Story Lines
After Sunday’s result against Liverpool, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy took the ax to manager Villas Boas. This adds another short run as manager of a Premier League club to AVB’s resume, as Tottenham hired him last summer following an eight-month stint at Chelsea. The young Portuguese manager remained a divisive figure between Spurs supporters throughout his brief reign, and his departure has not settled anything.
Supporters for AVB are hidden behind a wall of statistics, while his harshest critics will claim he is a man who complicated the game with his tactical approach and was too stubborn to adjust. The Spurs spent over 100 million pounds this summer but have not seen much of a return on their investments.
Tottenham are an absolute dumpster fire going into Sunday’s match. Interim coach Tim Sherwood has no idea if he will be in charge on Sunday, and his debut was a 2-1 defeat at home against West Ham. The only benefit of this will be if the Spurs line up like they did on Wednesday as they are going to be lining up a 4-4-2, a much more offensive posture than under AVB’s high back four and one striker.
Southampton will be welcoming the chance to be getting back to their winning ways following a disastrous run of form that has seen the squad fall eight points out of Champions League qualification. In the Saints’ previous six matches, the team has only tallied five points, with a record of 1-3-2.
Southampton vs. TottenhamBetting Odds and Trends
The Tottenham Hotspur find themselves a slight underdog to the home side at +100 on a pick, with Southampton priced at -130 on a pick. In three-way wagering, Southampton (+150) is the favorite ahead of Tottenham (+185) and the draw option (+230). The total of 2.5 has the “over” priced at +100 and the “under” juiced to -130.
As of late, the Tottenham squad remains anemic offensively, but their stout defense has succumbed to injuries and has been prone to allowing goals. In the last four League matches, over 2.5 has hit every time, and if you add in their Europa League and Capital One Cup matches it gets even better. Tottenham has the ability to find the back of the net, and with two strikers likely to be up front on Sunday, don’t be surprised if they convert some of those chances. The Saints have seen over 2.5 hit in three out of the last six matches. They failed to keep a clean sheet in all six matches and were held off the score sheet just once. Two of Southampton’s last three home appearances have hit over 2.5 as they scored seven goals while conceding five. In all previous Premier League matches between these two squads, goals scored have averaged 2.92.
Take Southampton/Tottenham OVER 2.5 (+100) (8:30 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 22)
Spurs are a mess right now. In recent weeks the North London club has lost 6-0 to Manchester City, and just this past weekend they were drubbed 5-0 at home to Liverpool. Things don’t get any easier with a trip to play the Saints. Southampton are really good at home. The way Tottenham are playing, you’d fancy the home side to score a couple of goals. And just the same, Spurs remain a good attacking unit. They are going to need a good result here to ease the nerves of their supporters as well as chairman Daniel Levy, so at least finding the back of the net would be a bare minimum. Play the over between these two.
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