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Man City vs Wolves: Premier League Moneyline Upset Pick

Wolverhampton (8-5-8) @ Manchester City (16-2-3)

  • Where: Etihad Stadium . Manchester, England
  • When: January 14, 2019 3:00 pm EST
  • Spread: City (-2) vs Wolves (+2)
  • Moneyline: City (-600) vs Wolves (+1500)
  • Over / Under: 3 total goals

The first reason Manchester City is heavily favored in Monday’s soccer match is because it’s a soccer match, and City is playing in it. The squad doesn’t lose often – end of story. The Sky Blues recently suffered a brief collapse, losing to Crystal Palace on 12/22 and then to Leicester City on Boxing Day. But both of these losses were by a single tally, and only a 0-2 loss to Chelsea had prevented the club from going nearly unbeaten in all of autumn right up to the holidays.

City’s corker with Liverpool last Thursday ended in a 2-1 City victory. That’s a good way to appear upset-proof, especially bearing in mind that there has been no hotter team in English soccer than Liverpool lately. If betting lines were tipped toward Manchester City before and during the match, it was because the Citizens were at home, and if Salah and Liverpool managed a comeback win it would have been a very minor shocker.

Leroy Sané’s go-ahead tally in the 72nd minute had a feeling of inevitability about it, not like “destiny” or some other cheesy explanation, but because of the simple aptitude and stick-to-it determination of the City attack. The hosts’ midfielders and forward line carved-up the Reds and gave Allison little chance to save the day.

Monday’s hosts are high-priced favorites to win in 90+ minutes with a (-600) moneyline payoff at BetOnline, and Manchester City is giving (-2) goals on the spread. Underdog odds for Wolves include a monstrous (+1500) ML.

Is it wise to attach a 4-figure moneyline to a risky underdog, given not one, but multiple City losses having occurred within a few weeks of present? Falling to Leicester City and Crystal Palace in the same week is nothing to be humiliated by, but it at least shows that the club is susceptible to the upset loss.

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Wandering Giant-Killers

It’s not as if Wolves is just scraping by with results against mediocre squads. In fact, it’s the 9th-place Wanderers’ failure to take advantage of the low half of the table that has held the team back from a higher placement to date. Against the big shots of the Premier League, Wolverhampton has played as well or better than you could ever expect of a newly-promoted organization. Casual soccer fans that happened to see Wolverhampton beat Chelsea on TV might be flabbergasted to learn that Wolves had lost to a pair of struggling EPL clubs during the previous week.

Huddersfield and Cardiff City were the culprits – squads which are in serious danger of relegation to League One. The Terriers have lost 15 matches and won 2, but posted a clean sheet against Wolves on November 25th. Cardiff City, a club which just lost to Gillingham in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, scored twice in 6 minutes to send the Wanderers home with nary a point just 5 days later.

It’s a recurring fact. Wolves recently lost to Crystal Palace 0-2, a match in which the team out-fouled its opponent (yet again). Palace is a tough club to lull into over-advancing. Nuno played with the forward lines, but it just wasn’t enough. Palace had the far-more capable offense and slowly closed-in around an overwhelmed Rui Patrício.

But fancy the form Wolves showed at the FA Cup against Liverpool just a few days later. Patricio did not take a position between the pipes – instead it was Premier League veteran John Ruddy. Ruddy made one of the most awesome saves ever, as Wolverhampton knocked Liverpool – Liverpool! – out of the FA Cup.

Someone like Rúben Neves could build into a key cog in the winding Wanderer attack and defense. If a squad commits to the attack everywhere yet is sturdy up the middle, suddenly only smart passes are coming out from the back. Yet without a spirited and exceptional effort with the football, the club is adrift, simply not able to out-chance opposing clubs and not able to out-defend or out-keep them.

City Lights and Shades

There is no question the Sky Blues are dazzling, even beautiful on the attack. When they’ve needed goals in the big moments they’ve gotten them, and the squad abundantly deserves its perch over almost all of the Premier League on the current table. But it is implausible they will have a walk in the park on Monday.

Wolverhampton will play the same grinding, physical style as ever, and City will have to be prepared for it. Patience is the catch. A club that just scored 7 times in a single match is not bound to exhibit perfect patience.

The fixtures with Burton are also not certain to provide a fitting menace. Things are slowly down when the Sky Blues want them to slow down. If things speed up against Wolves, it will be up to veteran midfielders like David Silva to make sure City is not too energetic on the attack.

My Pick on the Moneyline

Ultimately, the underdog’s 15-to-1 moneyline is one that I’d kick myself for not recommending here. There have been so many shockers in 2018, so many head-scratching losses by clubs that had seemed indomitable. Lift up some couch cushions and give Wolves a chance to score a jackpot.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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