PICKS: November 1, 2020
As noted yesterday, Saturday’s games didn’t seem all that complicated to me, and in fact I went 5-1, including the Liverpool+ManCity parlay pick that hit. Sunday’s games are a bit trickier. In part that’s because November usually feels like that part of the season where either Cinderella loses her slipper or we discover that the plucky underdog has the minerals to continue winning deep into the season.
Aston Villa v. Southampton
Speaking of plucky underdogs, Aston Villa (+140) improbably finds itself in fifth place after a string of good results, including the still unbelievable that-has-to-be-a-typo 7-2 win over Liverpool. Getting dusted by Leeds was a bit of a humbler, and Southampton (+180) is giving a great price for a home win. In the end, this seems like two evenly matched teams, and I think that the play is to put your money on a result for Southampton. That said, since I’m obliged to make a pick…
PICK: DRAW (+250)
Newcastle United v. Everton
I rate Everton (+105) in the category of “has staying power,” even if its famously pessimistic fanbase thinks otherwise. Newcastle to win (+265) or draw (+240) seem to me like a trap. Everton picks itself up after its loss to Southampton and gets a win.
ManUtd v. Arsenal
When the schedule came out, I looked at Arsenal’s (+255) fixture list and groaned. They had a rough set of matches in September and October, but November looks much more manageable. Arsenal isn’t “there” yet, but they’re less inclined to comprehensive meltdowns and the rate at which the manager makes baffling tactical choices has declined precipitously. Added to that, can you really trust ManU (-105) to bet on them as a favorite? As a value pick, I love Arsenal here.
Tottenham v. Brighton
Columbus v. Philly
Philadelphia Union (+205) is in the driver’s seat for the Supporter’s Shield (which is back on now?), but they still have something to play for. I see a Philly win as a great bargain at +205, even though Columbus (+115) is also in the hunt for seeding.
New York FC v. NY Red Bulls
This sure feels easy. Red Bulls (+345) are seen as the decided underdogs here, but NYCFC (-110) is unappetizing as value, and you never know with a rivalry game between two teams that are neighbors in the standings. I like a draw here (+290)
Portland v. Vancouver
Vancouver (+500) has been playing its home games at Portland (-225) because of COVID, and it makes me wonder… do the players hang out? Do they see each other at ANTIFA rallies? Swap kombucha brewing tips? Vancouver has a huge payout… but for a reason. Portland still has an outside shot of the top seed in the West, they’re playing in their own park, and they’re a better team. They’ll avenge the points Vancouver stole from them earlier this year.