Every now and again a hidden gem just falls into your lap in sports. In this case, it’s Everton having the line too heavily favoring them in their opening match against Stoke City to begin the 2017/2018 season. While looking to last seasons league table finishes shows the former’s superiority, it doesn’t tell the full story, and you could stand to make 5 times your money off it.
Everton – (10/17)
Stoke City – (4/1)
Draw – (13/5)
Over/Under – 2.5
Ov – (17/20)
Un – (19/20)
Both Teams Score
Yes – (4/5)
No – (19/20)
According to sportsbooks, Everton comes in as favorites with a notable advantage. But taking a closer look at the seasons, both teams came off of, you’ll see they’re both closer than you’d think.
Everton finished 7th in the league table with 62 goals and a goal difference of +18. That is notably better than Stoke City’s 41 goals, -15 goal difference 13th place finish. Except when you consider That 25 of Everton’s goals came from Romelu Lukaku, who is now with Manchester United. The Belgian striker is now being replaced with former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney which should raise eyebrows for bettors.
Though early season fluff pieces would have you believe Rooney is back to his old form, it’s hard to argue with how he’s regressed with age. He hasn’t quite been the same since 2012 and is trying to replace Lukaku’s 25 goal outing. The Englishman was on pace to score 12 goals the before an injury. None Lukaku’s former clubmates topped 5 goals all season.
This doesn’t mean instant victory for the Stoke City club. It simply means lopsided odds and a fighting chance. None of their players hit 8 goals, with only four scoring 4 or more. Peter Crouch, 36, scored 7, making this a battle for, or more appropriately ‘of,’ the ages.
Everton 0-1 Stoke City
This is the biggest payoff potential bet, as a Stoke City win could turn a £100 bet into £500, or $500, or some of that colorful Canadian stuff. But a better who is into safer may lean towards a draw and triple your bet, as this could easily end 0-0. Under 2.5 goals is almost guaranteed.