Mark Stinchcombe: I make no apologies for returning to the well and backing goals in the Bournemouth game this weekend

8 min

It was a very good week for the blog last weekend as all three of my bets won. Firstly on Saturday our over 2.5 goals bet won at the Olympic Stadium as West Ham lost 2-1 at home to Bournemouth, then on Sunday not only did Brighton avoid defeat to return profit on +0.75 but they also provided a nice outright winner as they defeated Man Utd 3-2.

It’s always nice to win a bet but even better when it’s a 5.8 shot. It was an easy decision to oppose Man Utd having looked at their over achievement last season, and my decision was justified in backing both Brighton +0.75 and the win as they won the xG 1.64 – 1.57.

With Brighton taking a 3-1 lead into half-time, you would expect a second half onslaught from United but given the current animosity between the manager and his players it was perhaps unsurprising it didn’t come. In the end it was only an injury time penalty made the scoreline look close.

The over 2.5 goals bet was more comfortable than the 2-1 scoreline suggested. West Ham’s defence was exposed by Liverpool and it was no surprise to see their incompetence again. The expected goals total returned 2.80 and that was seemingly the least we deserved with 23 shots between the two sides and 10 landing on target. And this weekend I make no apologies in returning to the well again as Bournemouth host Everton.

Goals goals goals at Dean Court

Since last season Bournemouth’s matches have seen 111 goals at an average of 2.78pg. The expected goals over this period has returned 2.93pg so we should actually be expecting an increase. It’s also now just three clean sheets in 27 for Eddie Howe’s men with a whopping 18 of their last 23 games going over 2.5 goals (78%).

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are 2/2 so far this season having conceded 1 and scored 4.

For the opposition it’s been a bright start with Marco Silva’s Everton scoring four goals in the opening two games despite only having 10 men for a quarter of that time, with an average total match xG of 3.0. The front four of Cenk Tosun, Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott look good and likely to cause opposition defences problems, along with full backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman.

Obviously we only have two matches worth of data to work with so it’s important not to read too much into them, however this is more of a pro-Bournemouth bet as we look to continue to back this sustainable edge. And I think a point on the over 2.5 goals market presents value once again.

The market is overreacting to Southampton’s record

Next up I want to head to St Mary’s as Southampton host Leicester City. The average goals in the Premier League over the last five seasons is 2.70 yet we have a goal expectancy here of just 2.30 despite neither side being overwhelmingly better than the other. Why?

It is probably a combination of Southampton scoring just 37 goals last season and the fact Vardy is suspended.

However, I think there has been too much of an overreaction.Southampton’s total average match xG last season was 2.50 and they already look more potent upfront with new signing Danny Ings and a fit again Charlie Austin. Austin only managed 10 starts last season but still finished the campaign as top scorer.

Mark Hughes is hoping Danny Ings will help take the pressure off.

Leicester’s matches averaged 3.10 goals per-game last season with the xG slightly lower at 2.90 probably helped by Riyad Mahrez’s ability. However, despite the aforementioned absentees, a drop off to 2.30 seems too big and the opportunity to be able to back over just 2.0 goals seems too good to pass. With money back if only two goals are scored this bet would only have lost twice in Leicester’s 19 away games last season.


It’s time to get back with Watford

Finally, on Sunday Watford entertain Crystal Palace, and with the home side only slight favourites, and I want to be with them.

I don’t think there’s a lot to choose between these two sides, but the market rates Palace around 0.25 of a goal better, which I’m inclined to disagree with given the Hornets start to the season.

Watford manager Javi Gracia gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at Turf Moor

Watford have won both their games by a two goal margin, returning an average xG win of 3.13 – 1.12. This is backed up with the sixth best shots per-game and only allowing the third lowest against them, the same as Man City. Palace on the other hand are posting the fourth worst. I’ve looked at a couple of models and they rate Watford around a 2.35 shot yet they are 2.59.

This match finished 0-0 back in April but Watford won the xG 0.76 – 0.28, outshooting Palace 14 – 4 and I’d recommend a safety first bet of +0.0 on the Asian Handicap that will see stakes returned if it’s a draw.

Recommended bets:

  • Over 2.5 goals Bournemouth – Everton ~1.80 – 1 point
  • Over 2.0 goals Southampton – Leicester ~1.80 – 1 point
  • Watford +0.0 ~1.85 – 1.5 points

Click here for Matchbook’s Premier League markets.