On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a captain Jamie Vardy.
On the second day of Chri – actually, this could take a while. I was going to go up until “FIVE DANNY INGS” at least, but does anybody have the time for that? Perhaps normally, but not on election day. After all, that five minutes it takes to vote is probably the five minutes you would’ve needed to trawl through my Twelve Days of Christmas lyrics.
It’s close, but on balance I reckon it’s best for you to use those five minutes for the former. Just this once.
Here are Gameweek 17’s bookies’ odds. Perhaps read them on your way to the polling station?
Gameweek 17 Clean Sheet Odds & To 2.5+ Goals Odds
Liverpool top the odds
It doesn’t exactly take a genius to spot that Liverpool top this week’s bookies’ odds, but I felt it was necessary to draw extra attention to it in the form of the above subtitle nonetheless.
That’s because Liverpool don’t often occupy the top spot these days. I had suspected that it might be Leicester’s time to shine, particularly given that Watford managed to keep Crystal Palace at bay in their last fixture and might be experiencing what the industry professionals call a “new manager bounce”.
But alas, the bookies have given the nod to Klopp’s men, who, for all the world, look like they might finally keep a clean sheet at home this season. Don’t hold your breath though.
Burnley are just so…Burnley
Bunrley’s odds are classic Burnley, aren’t they? The bookies have given them a 43% chance of keeping a clean sheet against Newcastle, who visit Turf Moor having only scored 8 goals on the road this season (though 5 of those came in their last 3 away fixtures).
And yet their odds of scoring 2.5+ goals are just 23%. This is Dycheball at its finest. These odds are born out of a deep and engrained desire to make their opponent’s lives incredibly miserable, even if that means playing miserable football themselves.
In short, it’s great news for those who kept the faith with Nick Pope.
Palace still underestimated
Crystal Palace have kept three clean sheets in a row. They’ll host Brighton at Selhurst Park on Monday evening. Brighton have scored 8 away goals: as many as Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Everton and less than teams like Southampton, Sheffield United and Burnley. Palace should fancy their chances of making it 4 in a row.
So I think a 36% chance of keeping a clean sheet is too low. It’s almost like these odds have been affected by austerity measures.
Gameweek 17 Anytime Goalscorers By Position
Jamie Vardy is incredibly high
On the scale between James Milner and Snoop Dogg, Jamie Vardy’s odds are a solid The Weeknd at the moment. We very rarely see odds as high as 71%.
There’s even been talk of using the Triple Captain chip on him this weekend.
Far be it for me to instruct people on when and how to use their chips, but I’ll be holding mine for now. As somewhat of a bookies’ odds aficionado (it’s on my CV and everything), I think we can do better than 71%. We’ll see numbers in the 80’s and possibly even 90’s when we hit the double gameweeks.
If, for some inexplicable reason, you’re hellbent on using it on a single gameweek, it doesn’t get much better than this. Just don’t come crying to me when Norwich pull out another freakish result from their mustard-filled crevice.
The Salah/Mane Roundabout Keeps Spinning
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are not mutually exclusive, though it often feels that way. The dichotomy for most FPL managers is thus: you have to pick one. ONE. That’s it. And you better make sure you pick the one who’s going to haul this weekend, otherwise you’re going to drop outside of the top 10 million.
The bookies are as undecided about them as we are. Sometimes Mane gets the nod, sometimes they’re evens and sometimes – particularly recently – Mo edges out his team mate. It’s almost like they’re both incredibly good players who are basically as able to score against lesser opposition as each other.
Come nice and close for this one, because I don’t want to shout about it: you can have both. The rules of FPL do, in fact, allow for that. Just don’t tell your mini-league rivals.
A record-breaking gameweek
It’s not just Vardy who’s making waves this week. John Lundstram officially clocks the highest goalscoring odds for a defender so far this season. An anonymous source close to him has informed me that he’s already printed out this table and framed it and, if there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that anonymous sources are always accurate.
It’s no surprise really. If awards were given out for running into the box during a promising attacking move, Lundstram would fill a cabinet every single match. Watching him is a joy, owning him is a joy and, to be frank, if you don’t start him for this Villa game you’re effectively saying you don’t think the bookies are right. And when are the bookies ever wrong?