English Premier League betting: Beware of the international break this weekend

Welcome to the eighth round of EPL fixtures. This could be an unpredictable weekend with myriad players returning from international duty. There are numerous South American players who will be unavailable to play on Saturday and Sunday after playing World Cup qualifiers on Thursday night. Keep the international break in the back of your mind before you place any bets this weekend. All odds are via BetMGM.

Watford vs. Liverpool (Over/Under 3.5 goals)

  • Watford (+700)

  • Liverpool (-275)

  • Tie (+425)

A Liverpool win and a Chelsea tie puts the Reds in first place. Saturday’s game is the first for Claudio Ranieri as Watford’s manager. Watford cycles through managers like you or I change clothes. Go with Liverpool despite the low odds.

Leicester City vs. Manchester United (2.5)

  • Leicester (+260)

  • Man U (+105)

  • Tie (+240)

Leicester’s form has been poor while Manchester United is still a tough team to figure out. The Red Devils are in fourth but should be higher in the table. Man U feels like the safe bet — Leicester has just eight points through seven games — though we have a nagging feeling a tie is the right play.

Manchester City vs. Burnley (3.5)

  • Manchester City (-750)

  • Burnley (+2000)

  • Tie (+775)

Burnley’s three points have all come from draws this season while Man City just found out that Ferran Torres will be out for a month. City should have plenty to make this an easy win and it could hit the under as well.

Norwich City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (2.5)

  • Norwich (+260)

  • Brighton & Hove (+105)

  • Tie (+240)

Norwich is the only team in the league with a single point while Brighton has won four games. Brighton also should be close to full strength. Take the favorite here and don’t look back.

Southampton vs. Leeds (2.5)

  • Southampton (+135)

  • Leeds (+185)

  • Tie (+250)

Both of these teams are right above the relegation zone. Southampton is the favorite, thanks to the home-field advantage and we’re fond of a parlay with the over and a tie. A 2-2 score feels extremely plausible.

Aston Villa vs. Wolves (2.5)

  • Villa (+115)

  • Wolves (+250)

  • Tie (+225)

Wolves has gotten seven points from its last three games to move up into the top 12 in the standings. Aston Villa lost to Tottenham right before the international break after beating Manchester United and Everton. Villa is probably the smart play.

Brentford vs. Chelsea (2.5)

  • Brentford (+525)

  • Chelsea (-175)

  • Tie (+280)

Brentford opened the season with a win over Arsenal at home. Can it do the same to Chelsea? Probably not, though the Bees are sitting in seventh, ahead of teams like Tottenham, West Ham and Arsenal. Go with Chelsea and be happily surprised if there’s an upset (unless you’re a Chelsea fan, of course).

Everton vs. West Ham (2.5) [Sunday]

  • Everton (+150)

  • West Ham (+185)

  • Tie (+220)

Everton’s only loss of the season came to Aston Villa while West Ham has lost to Manchester United and to Brentford. We’re going with a tie between two evenly matched teams.

Newcastle vs. Tottenham (2.5) [Sunday]

  • Newcastle (+250)

  • Tottenham (+100)

  • Tie (+260)

Sunday’s game is the first for Newcastle after Saudi Arabia’s purchase of the club. The first game post-sale will be a loss. Bet Tottenham.

Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace (2.5) [Monday]

  • Arsenal (-160)

  • Crystal Palace (+450)

  • Tie (+280)

Monday’s game features a team finally playing like it should in Arsenal and a team overachieving in Crystal Palace. Arsenal is the smart bet here, though it wouldn’t be a shock if Palace stole a point.