Coochie vs The Bookie

Mar 19, 2022
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Arsenal Gunners vs Crystal Palace Eagles​

Time: 3:00PM EST​

Betting Line: Arsenal(-101)/Crystal Palace(+295)/ Draw(+235)​

O/U: 2.5​

Through the storms and the noise of his detractors, Mikael Arteta spoke of patience, trust, and belief in his vision/plan for the future of Arsenal —- and although many in London would have been happy to see him depart on multiple occasions —- he now finds himself in the pole position to secure the 4th place in the league. Much credit is due to Arteta for his work in re-engineering Arsenal, but Monday it is another Arsenal (Patrick Viera) legend who he’ll see managing the opposition as Arsenal travels across town to play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

And much like Arteta; there were serious questions being asked if Viera was the man to keep Palace up after the departure of legend Roy Hodgson —- with many in the lamestream media going so far to say that Palace would be amongst those relegated come spring. Well here were are in April and the Eagles are flying safely above the drop, and much like Arteta, Viera is owed a world of credit.

The inclusion and acquisition of young players like defenders Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen, who’ve made a fine partnership at the heart of the Eagles defense, and Michael Olise from Reading, who has added some dynamism respectively atop beside Wilf Zaha, have meant Palace and Viera have remained defensively responsible while adding a little more quality where it matters.

So with both teams coming off good runs of form prior to the international break (both losing only once over their last 7), and given Palace’s record against quality opposition at home, I have no interest in laying -110 with the Gunners. At the same time, though, I worry about the Eagles as “trendy underdogs” —- especially considering the injury status of Zaha/Olise is still unknown, with neither of them training since returning from international duty. So that leaves me looking a little deeper than usual —- and to no surprise, I’ve found some JUICY TIDBITS.

a). In the first halves of games Arsenal is +14 and Palace is -7
b). In the second halves of games Palace is +4 and Arsenal is -3

c). Historically, BTTS has proved quite profitable in these head-to-head meetings. It has cashed in four consecutive games at Selhurst Park and eight of the last nine matches overall. Plus, both teams have created at least one xG in four of the last five contests.

With the above in mind and the circumstances surrounding the game (potential loss of Zaha/Olise for Palace/Importance of winning for Arsenal’s Top 4 Bid), I’m finding myself falling in love with Arsenal 1stHalf —- and at +165 for Arsenal to be leading at halftime I’m willing to take a gamble on Arteta’s plan finally beginning to come to fruition.

If Olise/Zaha are available from the start then I will bet BTTS as well — but I will be waiting until closer to kick-off to see if Viera will have his most dynamic options available to him.

1. ARSENAL 1st Half -.5 (+165)

2. BTTS (-105)

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