Homesoccer

Premier League Gameweek 19: The best player prop bets for Salah, Mahrez, and Kane

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December 22nd, 2021

Boxing Day is arguably English soccer’s most traditional day of fixtures. Similar to Thanksgiving in the States, Boxing Day in the U.K. is a day for food, football, and family with games at every level up and down the country. This year is no different, and while many of us will be sitting at home in a turkey-induced hangover, there is a huge slate of Premier League games to enjoy.

We’ve studied the form and picked out the three best prop bets for Boxing Day on Dec. 26.

Sun, December 26 2021, 12:30 PM

Liverpool

-715

Draw

+800

Leeds United

+1700

It is not nice being a Leeds fan this Christmas. Not only have they won just one of their last eight league games, but in their last three they have been hammered 3-2, 7-0, and 4-1. That’s 14 goals conceded in three games – an average of 4.7 a game – and now they have to go on the road to face a title-challenging Liverpool side who are on track to beat the record for number of goals in a season.

That is a recipe for disaster.

No side has averaged as many shots per game at home as Liverpool (19.8), while only Burnley have conceded more shots away from home than Leeds (17.6). The Reds are currently on 50 goals in 18 games, which puts them on course to equal the record of 106 goals in a single Premier League season.

Half of those goals have been scored by the deadly duo of Mo Salah and Diogo Jota, and the former is worth a bet this weekend at Anfield. Salah has a slightly better conversion rate than Jota this year, with 25% of his efforts finding the back of the net compared to Jota’s 20%. He’s also got form, having scored a hat trick in this fixture at Anfield last season, and scoring the opening goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Leeds in September.

The betting on him to score one goal looks nailed on, but given how badly Leeds have defended of late there is value in backing the league’s deadliest striker to get at least two.

Manchester City vs. Leicester City: Riyad Mahrez to score a goal (+138)

Sun, December 26 2021, 3:00 PM

Manchester City

-500

Draw

+650

Leicester City

+1400

I’m a big fan of the narrative around players scoring against their former teams. Whatever the sport, there always seems to be that little extra incentive to make a point against your former employers, and at this level any slight advantage is worth taking note of.

Riyad Mahrez was one of Leicester’s stars when they shocked the world to win the league title in 2015-16, and two years later he made the £60 million move to Manchester City, where he has since won another two Premier League medals. Since joining City, he has face Leicester several times and scored two goals in his last four games against his former club.

He also finds himself in a nice piece of December form, having scored three goals in his last three games. Mahrez was on target against RB Leipzig in the Champions League before finding the net in City’s thrashings of Leeds (7-0) and Newcastle (4-0).

This season, Mahrez has a conversion rate of 18.3% across all competitions for Man City and is averaging 2.4 shots per game at home in the Premier League. Leicester have conceded 15.4 shots per game this season (the fourth highest in the league), and have only kept one clean sheet since Aug. 14. Man City will get plenty of chances in this game, and Mahrez is a good bet to haunt his former club.

Tottenham vs. Crystal Palace: Harry Kane to score a goal (+106)

Sun, December 26 2021, 3:00 PM

Tottenham

-130

Draw

+270

Crystal Palace

+380

There was arguably a whole host of factors that impacted Kane’s poor start to the season. The European Championship hangover as England made a historic final only to lose on penalties to Italy, having his head turned in what seemed an inevitable transfer to Manchester City, and then coming into a team in freefall under manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

However, now with Antonio Conte at the helm, Spurs have turned it around and Kane is showing signs of his former self. His goal against Liverpool, his first under Conte, may have been overshadowed by his red card debate later in the match, but it was a well taken first time finish across Allison that gave Tottenham the lead.

It’s that sharpness and eye for goal that had Kane coming into the season with an average of a goal every 1.4 games in the Premier League since the start of the 2014-15 campaign. That’s a remarkable tally of 163 goals in 231 games in a seven-year spell, so to see it drop to just two goals in 14 appearances this campaign was a shock for bettors.

However, those numbers won’t continue and must start regressing towards the mean, and there’s no better place to build that momentum than at home to Crystal Palace. Kane has seven goals in 15 league games against Palace in his career, and scored twice in this fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the home side ran out 4-1 winners.

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