SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for Saturday 5/8/21

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
Crystal Palace at Sheffield United Crystal Palace (+150) +134 Zaha (+170)
Chelsea at Manchester City Man City (-110) +118 Aguero (+145)
Southampton at Liverpool Liverpool (-350) -205 Salah (-250)


Positional Breakdown

Forwards/Midfielders

The City-Chelsea match -- a preview of the Champions League final -- is the headline clash of this slate, but for DFS purposes, everything revolves around Liverpool.

The Reds are massive -350 favorites at home against Southampton and are the only side you can feel good about stacking. Liverpool's over 2.5 goals odds of +112, per FanDuel Sportsbook, are better than any other team's over 1.5 goal odds.

Of course, there is the not-so-small issue of Jurgen Klopp's bunch being nearly impossible to trust over the last few months, but going by the betting lines, Liverpool are an attack you have to get exposure to. My simulations fall in line with that as my model projects Liverpool to net three goals 35.4% of the time -- a slate-best mark by a huge margin.

Mohamed Salah ($23; -250 to score anytime) is going to be the chalk play of the slate. His anytime goal odds are miles ahead of anyone else's, and he'll likely be on penalties. He's got 20 goals and three assists this EPL campaign. With that said, Salah has scored just 14 non-penalty goals. You can make a case for fading him, which is something I'll do more often than not given that the Egyptian star will likely see a draft percentage near 70%.

I like the idea of pairing Diogo Jota ($17: -115) and Sadio Mane ($19; -115). They get you plenty of exposure to Liverpool's attack and also carry sublime goal odds. Their goal odds are actually the second-best clips on the slate since oddsmakers are expecting a low-scoring game between City and Chelsea. You can turn to Roberto Firmino ($16, +150), as well, if he's in the starting lineup.

The City-Chelsea match is just +118 to go over 2.5 goals, so while there are high-end stars aplenty available to us, this game doesn't profile as a fantasy-friendly contest. However, if you feel strongly about one side, this is a chance to get them at lower popularity than usual. With City winning 3-1 at Chelsea earlier this year and Chelsea winning 1-0 in a recent FA Cup semifinal, you can craft an argument for either team, both of whom are in fine form overall.

I'll be on the host Cityzens, who are -110 to win but just +116 to go over 1.5 goals. We could see Pep Guardiola rotate the squad a little bit since this game doesn't mean too much for City and he may not want to tip his hand ahead of the UCL final, so make sure you're checking starting lineups. Sergio Aguero ($18; +145) has the match's top goal odds while Kevin De Bruyne ($22; +230) offers his usual high floor. Phil Foden ($17; +230) had a goal, assist and 40.3 FanDuel points in the league win at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.

While the match isn't crucial for City, Chelsea need all the points they can get in their fight for a top-four spot, so they'll field a very strong XI. Trying to predict their starting attackers under Thomas Tuchel is tough to do outside of Mason Mount ($17; +460), but with Christian Pulisic ($16; +370) and Hakim Ziyech ($14; +440) not starting midweek versus Real Madrid, they could get the nod Saturday. Timo Werner ($20; +270) has the best goal odds on Chelsea and probably won't be popular at his salary.

I'll look to get my Chelsea exposure through one of Jorginho ($12; +650) or N'Golo Kante ($9; +1300). Jorginho appears to be the Blues' first-choice penalty taker and has much better goal odds than Kante, but both of Chelsea's holding midfielders should be very busy against City, giving them a solid floor. Said floors could be more valuable than usual if this slate is a low-scoring one outside of the Reds, and their salaries make it easy to pair them with a City stud and two of Liverpool's high-salaried forwards.

Crystal Palace are the last side I want to dig into. They're road favorites (+150) at Sheffield United. Rarely have Palace been favored this season, and this matchup could push people toward Wilfried Zaha ($17; +170). His goal odds are pretty solid among non-Liverpool attackers, and the already-relegated Blades may not provide much resistance. Still, with Palace only at +150 and the match holding over 2.5 goal odds of just +134, I'm going to be light on Zaha. If I use any Palace attacker, it'll likely be Eberechi Eze ($12; +330).

Added time -- The loss of Danny Ings hampers Southampton's outlook, but at the same time, Liverpool have failed to keep a clean sheet in home matches versus Aston Villa, Newcastle, Fulham and Everton in recent weeks. Che Adams ($15; +320) has the Saints' top goal odds. ... While I may fade all the attackers from the Blades-Eagles match, if you hit on a Sheffield United goal, it could be huge in tournaments. David McGoldrick ($18; +210) has decent goal odds and isn't going to be popular with teammate Rhian Brewster ($12; +210) at a much easier-to-stomach salary.

Defenders

Whenever Liverpool are big favorites, Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15) and Andrew Robertson ($14) are worth a look. Trent is +500 to score -- the best odds among this slate's defenders -- and will handle his normal free-kick and corner work. Robertson will likely go under-used by the masses (since those spending up at defender need to find only an extra buck for Trent), but he's a fine play, as well, who also takes some corners.

Southampton's back line should be under siege, and their expected starters are Jan Bednarek ($13), Jannik Vestergaard ($11), Kyle Walker-Peters ($10) and Jack Stephens ($7). Bednarek scored 20.6 FanDuel points in the reverse fixture with Liverpool while Walker-Peters has generated at least 13.0 FanDuel points in three straight.

Chelsea's backline is another place to look for high-floor plays, and Andreas Christiansen ($8) and Thiago Silva ($7) would be just that if they are in the lineup. Christiansen has scored in double figures in eight matches in a row.

Added time -- Jayden Bogle ($6) is +550 to score, and the salary is hard to ignore. He should be able to get forward more than usual in a date with Crystal Palace. ... On the other side of that match, you can say the same things for Patrick van Aanholt ($8), who is +600 to score, although he's not a lock to start.

Goalies

Liverpool own the slate's best win odds (+350) and clean-sheet odds (+106), which points us to Alisson ($14). He's got the top keeper salary by $2, but the overwhelming win odds make him worth it on a slate where no other side is better than -110 to win. The Reds have just two clean sheets in their past seven, but a Southampton attack sans Danny Ings isn't very scary.

Ederson ($12) really intrigues me. As good as Chelsea have been lately, the Blues aren't scoring many goals, and City's defense has been otherworldly, conceding just 24 times in 34 EPL matches. And while City's win odds are much lower than usual, their -110 clip is still the second-best on the slate. If Ederson and Alisson see a similar draft percentage, give me Alisson, but I think Alisson may wind up being the chalk keeper play.

Opposite of Ederson will be Edouard Mendy ($8). City might have the best attack in the world, but Chelsea have shipped a mere one goal over their last six matches (across all competitions), including the aforementioned 1-0 shutout of Man City. Plus, the one goal they allowed in that span was more down to magical work by Karim Benzema than any fault of Chelsea's. Mendy should see save volume, too, so if he misses out on the win and clean-sheet bonuses, he won't be a complete dud.

Added time -- The best place to get a goalie could wind up being the Palace-Sheffield United match. Either keeper could end up with a clean-sheet win. Vicente Guaita ($11) is +174 to keep a clean sheet while Aaron Ramsdale ($9) is +198. Of the two, I lean Ramsdale.