Mark Stinchcombe: “I’m surprised to see a goal line as short as 2.25 and overs looks like a great value bet to me”

10 min

We may have only made a small profit last weekend, but I was extremely happy with all three bets and on another day it could have been three out of three. A good bet is one where you find value, not one where you win by good luck, and if you place enough value bets the profits will come with time.

Last weekend we found a lot of value and a small profit, but hey a profit is a profit! This weekend I’m struggling to find lots of good bets, but that’s ok though, as discipline is a key facet of successful gambling and the two I am recommending both look good value.

To explain what I mean by value let’s have a look at the game between Porto and Sporting last weekend where I went under 2.5 goals in a game that finished 2-1. When the teams came out the list of key players out was longer than expected. There was no Aboubakar (15 goals) but also his replacement Tiquinho was out (8 goals) and no Alex Telles (11 assists).

So Porto’s attacking output was significantly weakened before the news 20-goal Bas Dost was also missing for Sporting alongside Gelson Martins. In effect, both sides were severely understrength in attack. Alas, the match didn’t go to plan, with Sporting’s equaliser coming in 1st half injury time, but I’ve no complaints and long-term am very happy with the bet itself.

Value bets and trading opportunities

On Saturday evening come kick-off in RB Leipzig v Dortmund, Leipzig +0.0 actually went off 1.62, making the 1.97 I recommended look an absolutely great bet.

Unfortunately, despite taking the lead, Dortmund came back to equalise and come away with a 1-1 draw but again long-term you will profit backing teams whose price shortens that much and there is always an option to trade out on Matchbook for a guaranteed profit before a ball is even kicked.

Sunday afternoon saw Barcelona comfortably win 1-0 against Atletico Madrid in a game they were always in control of despite the narrow margin. Under Ernesto Valverde, they are far more disciplined and organised, and restricted Atletico to just one effort on target and just 0.16 expected goals.

For all their attacking prowess the influence of Ernesto Valverde has had on the Barca defence is significant.

Most importantly though, the bet on Barcelona to win was fantastic value with Barcelona going off at 1.69 having backed them at 1.78.

But as I mentioned earlier, finding value in this weekend’s Premier League is looking a lot tougher. And on Saturday afternoon is my first port of call is the Hawthorns where West Bromwich Albion hosting Leicester City. The hosts are eight points adrift of safety, and if it wasn’t must-win time before, it certainly is now with just nine games remaining.

It’s the goal line stupid

The reason this game grabbed my attention is the low looking goal line of 2.25. I’ve mentioned quite a few times before about wanting to get with overs if possible at this line in the Premier League and I believe this match presents a good opportunity to do so.

There was a lot of negativity surrounding Claude Puel’s appointment at Leicester but he’s comfortably taken them into 8th and his games against the sides below them away from home have been quite exciting. In six games there has been a total of 22 goals at an average of 3.67 per-game.

Leicester Claude Puel has surprised many pundits keeping a steady hand at the wheel sinc his appointment

Everton 2-1
Watford 2-1
Southampton 1-4
Newcastle 2-3
West Ham 1-1
Stoke 2-2

Leicester’s matches away are generally end-to-end with both teams scoring in nine of their last ten and this matchup has a history of goals. In their seven league matches with West Brom since Leicester were promoted in 2014, there have been 21 goals, at an average of 3.0 per game, despite six of those games being against Tony Pulis.

Here we have a goal expectation of 2.35, yet West Brom’s matches are averaging 2.40 xG pg and Leicester’s 2.80. Even conservatively pricing up the whole season, including Tony Pulis’ reign, I made over 2.25 goals 1.88, so at odds against it looks a good bet to me.

Underperformers and overachievers

I had contemplated backing under 2.25 goals in Newcastle v Southampton in a game featuring two pragmatic, sometimes defensive, managers in Rafa Benitez and Mauricio Pellegrino. Eight of Newcastle’s last ten games have seen under 2.5 goals, but the line here is 2.25 and I think it would be too ‘clever’ to oppose goals here with the Premier League averaging 2.69 goals-per-game so far this season.

So we look once again to the Bundesliga for value, where on Sunday Borussia Dortmund take on Eintract Frankfurt in a clash between third and fourth with both sides level on 42 points. But I want to be with Dortmund here as expected points tells us there’s actually a 13 point swing with BVB underachieving and Frankfurt overachieving. True placing has this as second versus eighth.

Looking at BVB’s average home price over the last 12 months gives us a good idea of how they’ve been performing.

Last year their average price was 1.53, which includes matches against the likes of Bayern, Leipzig, Schalke, and Gladbach. But here they are 1.71 and Frankfurt’s record isn’t good in these sorts of games either.

Dortmund attacker Marco Reus will look to be a key threat to Eintract this weekend

They’ve lost every away match against last season’s top six, scoring just two whilst conceding 15. Their goal output is a problem, registering the 3rd worst xG for away from home and scoring 17 fewer goals than Dortmund.

Dortmund have only the ninth best home record, but crucially expected points tells us it’s actually the second best. They were 1.40 in this fixture last April winning 3-1 and 1.71 is too big a move, especially with nearly a fully fit squad to choose from with all of Phillip, Kagawa, and Guerreiro back in training.

I’m having a decent sized bet here and going for Dortmund -0.75 on the Asian handicap for 1.5 points.

Recommended bets:

  • Over 2.25 goals West Brom – Leicester ~2.03 – 1 point
  • Dortmund -0.75 ~1.94 – 1.5 points

Click here for Matchbook’s Latest Soccer Markets