SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 2/13/21

As always, we're covering FanDuel's main slate, and that kicks off at 10 a.m. EST. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

Slate Overview

Fixture Favorite Over 2.5 Goals Most Likely
to Score
Burnley at Crystal Palace Crystal Palace (+140) +138 Barnes (+210)
Tottenham at Manchester City Man City (-320) -162 Aguero (-135)
Aston Villa at Brighton Aston Villa (+150) -122 Maupay (+150)


Positional Breakdown

Forwards/Midfielders

The headline match on this slate is Spurs at Manchester City, and that game gives us plenty of attacking talent, especially with Harry Kane ($20; +230) back for Tottenham. City are a big favorite (-320), as you'd expect, and you're going to want some exposure to Pep Guardiola's bunch.

With only six sides on the slate, stacking City is firmly in play -- they hit the thresholds we're after -- as FanDuel Sportsbook lists them at -265 to go over 1.5 goals. No other side is better than +130 to score two-plus goals. On the flip side, my simulations aren't as high on City as oddsmakers are. The -265 line implies odds of 72.6%, but my model hands City just a 67.8% chance to score two or more times. It's the same story for three-plus goals. Oddsmakers have City at +140 (41.7%) to score at least three, while my simulations have them doing so only 30.8% of the time.

I'm not saying fade City. I'm definitely not saying that. But I think I'll likely be underweight on them, and I probably won't stack two City attackers. There are other spots I want a piece of, and it's also a way to be unique.

With that said, City have seven players at +160 or better to score, including Sergio Aguero ($5; -135), who has returned to training but seems like a long-shot to start. Gabriel Jesus ($21; -115) carries the best goal odds on the slate among fully fit players, and Raheem Sterling ($23; +105) has his usual superb scoring odds. Ilkay Gundogan ($18; +150) and Phil Foden ($17; +150) are plenty enticing, as well. Gundogan has scored nine goals over his last 11 appearances and will likely be on pens while Foden handles some corner duties.

My model likes Spurs a decent bit more than oddsmakers do. FanDuel Sportsbook has Tottenham at +420 (19.2%) to score two or more goals, and my numbers have them scoring two-plus goals 26.9% of the time. With how great City have been defensively of late, I'll definitely tread lightly, but I am intrigued by the chance to get Son Heung-min ($18; +280) or the aforementioned Kane at a lower-than-usual draft percentage. Son has the pace to hurt City on the counter if Spurs can get out of their own half.

Both my model and oddsmakers see the Villa-Brighton clash as a pretty even match. Where my numbers differ is in how many goals we could be in for. FanDuel Sportsbook puts the match's over 2.5 goals odds at -122, which implies odds of 55%. In my simulations, this match went for three or more goals 64.9% of the time.

And my model likes both sides to be in on the scoring, with Villa having a 51.7% chance to score two-plus goals while Brighton's odds of tallying at least two goals are 50.1%. So this is a game to be overweight on, per my sims, and I'll have an attacker from each squad. They are this slate's two most appealing sides other than City. It's also a game to fade the goalies, which we'll get to later.

For Brighton, Neal Maupay ($17; +150) has really nice goal odds but has been a little goal-or-nothing this season, scoring a team-best seven times with just one assist. The Brighton player I'm really into is Pascal Groß ($13; +420). He's scored at least 14.2 FanDuel points in four straight and looks to be the first-choice penalty taker in addition to his corner duties. Plus, he's got a modest salary. Leandro Trossard ($15; +250) is worth a look, too.

Villa's main men are Jack Grealish ($19; +260) and Ollie Watkins ($21; +175). What Grealish lacks in goal odds for a player with a salary this high, he makes up for with a very sturdy floor via creating chances. Over his last 11 EPL matches, Grealish's low-water mark is 12.9 FanDuel points, and he's gone for at least 16.0 points in eight of those contests. Grealish has created 24 chances across his last seven outings. Watkins has the better ceiling thanks to his goal-scoring prowess, but he owns the lower floor, too. He has been in fine form of late, scoring four times in his past five and averaging 28.7 FanDuel points per game in that span.

On the surface, Burnley-Palace is by far the least sexy match on the slate, as it's just +138 to see more than 2.5 goals, and the expected absence of Wilfried Zaha doesn't help matters. However, while these two teams are in the bottom three in expected goals scored, per FBRef, both defenses are in the bottom four in expected goals allowed. Something has to give. My simulations see these two side totaling one goal (15.4%) nearly as often as I have them combining for four goals (13.5%).

The match is a big shrug emoji. But I will probably get at least one attacker from it, and in lineups where I don't, I'll target one of the goalies. I think my common lineup build will be to have one attacker apiece from City, Villa, and Brighton and then to dip my toes in the water for one attacker from this Palace-Burnley match, as the salaries fit in nicely alongside the big players from the two other games.

With Chris Wood still a doubt, Burnley's Ashley Barnes ($15; +210) has the match's best goal odds. He should be on penalties and has been credited with six chances created across his last four EPL matches. It'll likely be Jay Rodriguez ($11; +230) taking Wood's spot up top. On the Palace side, Jean-Philippe Mateta ($11; +240) and Jordan Ayew ($16; +230) are listed as probable starters in forward positions, according to WhoScored.com. But the Eagles' attacker I'll have the most of is Eberechi Eze ($13; +320). Eze has posted one goal, one assist, and six chances created over his last three, and he handles some free kicks as well as having a monopoly lately on corners.

Added time -- Alexis Mac Allister ($10; +390) is a low-salary way to get access to the Brighton-Villa match. Prior to a 5.6-point dud last time out, he had gone for 16.2, 12.5 and 13.0 FanDuel point in his previous three, creating two chances apiece in each match. ... Ross Barkley ($14; +350) takes some corners for Villa and has put one shot on goal in two of his last three outings. He won't see near the draft percentage Watkins and Grealish do. ... Anwar El Ghazi ($11; +185) probably won't start for the Villans, but if he does, he might be their first choice from the spot, which is reflected in his goal odds.

Defenders

Villa full-backs Matthew Cash ($11) and Matt Targett ($12) are under-salaried and sit at the top of my wishlist, although I won't pair them together.

Among defenders who have played at least 10 matches, Cash ranks 3rd on the slate in FanDuel points per game (17.3), yet he's 14th in salary. Even though he hasn't created multiple chances in a match in any of his past six league games, he's gone for at least 12.1 FanDuel points five times in that stretch, including four outputs of at least 16.7. Targett is averaging 14.1 FanDuel points for the campaign and has put up at least 16.9 in five of his last six matches.

Joao Cancelo ($15) is deserving of his position-high salary, because he has a ceiling few defenders on this slate can match. Playing as basically an attacking midfielder when City have the ball, Cancelo should spend a lot of time in dangerous areas against a Spurs team likely to sit back. When these two teams met in the reverse fixture, City had 67% possession, and that was in London. Cancelo has cooled off recently, but he went for at least 16.4 FanDuel points in seven straight starts not that long ago, including a 49.9-point explosion.

On the other side of that game, Spurs center-backs should be busy, giving them a high floor. Davinson Sanchez ($10) is the salary saver of the two expected starters, but finding the salary for Toby Alderweireld ($13) is my preference. The Belgian is averaging 15.6 FanDuel points per game this season, and he's posted 17.3 and 16.9 FanDuel points in his two starts this year against Liverpool and City. He should be good for a similar outing and is a cash-game priority.

Palace's Patrick van Aanholt ($11) needs to be on our radar. At +600, he has the best goal odds among defenders, and the salary isn't too shabby. Burnley have long been a side that allows a lot of crosses, and while van Aanholt hasn't hit the levels he did during last season, he's capable of a big game in this spot. He may serve as the Eagles' penalty taker if Luka Milivojevic ($8) isn't out there.

Added time -- Also for Palace, Tyrick Mitchell ($7) would be an appealing value pick if he gets into Crystal Palace's starting lineup. He was showing signs of being a solid fantasy producer prior to his injury, and Burnley concede crosses. ... City's Ruben Dias ($12) is +800 to score, which is noteworthy for a defender, but he probably needs that goal -- or at least a shot on target -- to have a big fantasy day as he's usually not asked to do too much defensively.

Goalies

With the slate's best clean-sheet odds as well as the top win odds (by a mile), Ederson ($14) is $2 more than any other keeper. There's enough value on the slate that you should be able to get to his salary if you want him, and there certainly are reasons to want him. In EPL play, City haven't given up more than 1.0 expected goals to a non-Liverpool side since they played at Leeds back in Matchweek 4. They're simply not giving up many chances and have kept 11 clean sheets in their last 14 league games. They're -108 to keep a clean sheet.

On the negative, Tottenham have Kane back, and he and Son give them a fighting chance to strike on the counter. And as I got into above, my model is a bit higher on Spurs than oddsmakers. My simulations have City blanking Spurs 38% of the time. That's a big number, but it's not nearly as big as the implied odds of 51.9% from the -108 line. I'll mostly steer clear of Ederson.

To me, the path to take at keeper is Ederson or one of the goalies in the Burnley-Palace matchup. It's pretty easy to make a case for both Nick Pope ($10) and Vicente Guaita ($11).

Pope catches my eye as a bet-on-talent play at an easy-to-like salary. Crystal Palace have a mere 19.9 expected goals in 23 league matches, and they'll be without Zaha, who is clearly their biggest attacking threat. While Burnley's defense isn't what it was in past seasons, there just isn't much to fear with Palace. Burnley are +220 to keep a clean sheet, the third-best odds on the slate.

Palace are +148 to shut out the Clarets, and Burnley have a laughably low 14 goals in 22 EPL fixtures, though their expected goal total of 18.8 is a little better. I'd expect Guaita to be more popular than Pope due to the better clean-sheet odds, the better win odds and being at home. But I lean toward Pope.

Added time -- If you find yourself fading City, you can entertain Hugo Lloris ($8). He's not going to be in many lineups, and Spurs have given City some fits recently. ... I'm having trouble finding a reason to play either keeper in the Brighton-Villa match. They'll both be lightly used, I'd assume, so there's value in that. But I'll have an attacker from each side in most of my lineups, so I'll leave these goalies alone.