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The struggling Toffees are a good value bet on the road on Saturday.
A loss to Sheffield United on Saturday would be a catastrophic result for Everton. The Toffees are the only team in the Premier League that has yet to score a goal and they’re in serious danger of going into the international break with no points from their first four matches. Making matters worse is that three of Everton’s first four opponents (Fulham, Wolverhampton and Sheffield United) are expected to be competing against the Toffees in the relegation battle.
No team is under more pressure to get a result (and perhaps score a goal) than Everton this weekend.
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Despite the terrible start to their season, an Everton victory is the most-likely result on Saturday according to the bookies. The Toffees are +145 to win the match on the three-way moneyline, while Sheffield United is +205 and the draw is just north of that at +225.
The reason for Everton being a road favorite is two-fold. For one, Sheffield United is not a very good team. The Blades were the second-favorite to be relegated before the season started and their 0-0-3 (W-D-L) start hasn’t done anything to prove the doubters wrong. Sheffield United did hang with Manchester City in a 2-1 loss last weekend, but the underlying metrics suggested that match could have been a rout had the Cityzens been a little more clinical.
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The other reason that the market remains bullish on the Toffees in this match is that, despite the goalless start to the season, Everton have actually played decent soccer in two of their first three matches. Believe it or not, Everton’s expected goal difference (xGD) is just -0.8 even though its actual goal differential sits at -6 (0 GF, 6 GA). But four of those goals against came in a drab performance against Aston Villa on the road and the Toffees actually posted a +2.6 xGD in their games against Fulham and Wolves.
It’s hard to be confident in Everton scoring a goal at this point, but the numbers suggest they’ve not been as bad as their record implies. The Toffees look a decent value on Saturday and could be a good buy-low candidate coming out of the international break, as well.
The Bet: Everton +145 (DraftKings)
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