Mark Stinchcombe: 'Silly Season' has begun and I’m hoping to exploit it in a big way this weekend

10 min

I was 1 out of 2 last weekend but by staking twice as much on the bet with twice as much value, meant I came out with a decent profit.

Burnley and Leicester comfortably cleared the two goal line but Schalke and Dortmund managed just the two goals in the Revierderby.

It was a great start on Saturday when Burnley raced into a two-goal lead after just nine minutes. Being on over 2.0 goals meant there was no way the bet could lose and there were still 80+ minutes to find a winner. The in-form Jamie Vardy obliged and in truth, there could have been more goals, particularly for Leicester.

Jamie Vardy’s late goal at Turf Moor was a crucial one for Mark.

The match returned a total xG of 3.26 making a mockery of the 2.30 expectancy but Burnley once again overachieved. Leicester outshot them 15-8, 6-3 on target winning the xG 2.08 – 1.18 but still only came away with a goal and frustratingly for them a defeat.

It wasn’t quite so good in Gelsenkirchen. Despite the market moving in favour of Dortmund and going off 2.50 faves from an opening 2.82, they didn’t show up. Their chance creation was poor, returning a total of just 0.93xG from 12 shots. Schalke did their part by managing two goals but Dortmund let me and the bet down.

It’s that time of the year again folks

Onto this weekend then, and we’re getting further into ‘silly season’ where teams with nothing to play for go off at big prices and teams that need to win go off too short.

You can’t put a figure on motivation so you need to use common sense.

My first bet is exactly that and features 20th against 1st in the Championship yet the away side are odds against. That’s right it’s Bolton against Wolves on Saturday at 3 pm.

Wolves are already promoted and Bolton are just two points above the relegation hence we have everything to play for v promotion and the title to play for. I’m not a huge one for backing sides that don’t need to win but when the price goes too far I have to get involved.

Mark feels the market has overreacted to Wolves Promotion last weekend.

To give an idea of recent prices, Wolves were 1.71 at Ipswich (12th), 2.07 at Preston (8th) and 1.58 at Barnsley (22nd). Going further back to earlier in the season they were 1.64 at 23rd placed Burton.

Bolton are rated one of the worst sides in the league, none more so by their relegation clash just last weekend at Barnsley where the Tykes were odds-on.

Barnsley were probably overbacked but if you take the odds of the two games they were involved in against these opponents, it would make Wolves a 1.32 shot. Wolves won the reverse fixture 5-1, winning the xG 3.62 – 1.09 priced at 1.28. Flipped over giving Bolton home supremacy, it would make Wolves 1.61.

For those unaware, Wolves have bossed the Championship pretty much from day one as emphasised by the table below:

There is a serious gulf in class here, summed up by Bolton possessing both the 2nd worst average possession (43.9%) and shots-on-target (3.1pg).

The caveat is Wolves require just a point to win the league hence the odds. But they’ve gone way too far in my opinion and I think despite the question marks over motivation they should be 1.70 shots at max.

I’m liking goals in Hertfordshire this weekend

My focus is also on Vicarage Road at 3 pm on Saturday as Watford host Crystal Palace. It’s the goal line I’m looking at here, and at just 2.25 I believe there’s scope in looking at overs.

I’ve mentioned before that I firmly believe in the Premier League unless you have an ultra-attacking/defensive side involved in the matchup, the most competitive line should be 2.50. The average goals over the last three seasons back this up seeing 2.72pg, 2.80pg and 2.70pg.

Mark will be hoping that the sight of Watford players celebrating will be a plentiful one on Saturday.

Watford’s matches have seen 102 goals in their 34 games (3.0pg) with Crystal Palace’s having 90 (2.65pg). Watford’s average expected goals per-match is also returning 3.0pg which is healthy to see a team perform to their mean.

Crystal Palace’s however, are actually up at 3.20pg as I’ve previously mentioned on my weekly blogs. The problem is their finishing, and they’re the league’s biggest underachievers in this department falling short by a huge 14 goals! The next most is West Brom with just 4.65.

This is starting to turn however, and 14 of their last 19 games have seen both teams score (74%). The reverse fixture finished 2-1 to Palace in December and the beauty here is that half stakes are returned if just two strikes come in the game.

Sunday Funday at the 365

Finally, it’s onto Sunday, where Stoke entertain Burnley once again with a goal line of just 2.0 given a goal expectancy of only 2.25. Stoke are having a torrid season and are five points adrift of safety with just four games to go – they need to attack.

Paul Lambert has won just 1 of his 11 games in charge, and with things going wrong at his last three clubs in Wolves, Blackburn and Aston Villa, it makes this appointment look even more strange.

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert is feeling the pressure even just 11 games into his tenure.

Burnley meanwhile (before Chelsea tonight), have won their last five games, seeing 15 goals, and are full of confidence. I don’t envisage this being the cagey affair the goal quote suggests.

Stoke’s matches have seen 95 goals in their 34 games at a rate of 2.79pg with their xG suggested closer to 3.0pg.

Burnley games, of course, are averaging just 1.88pg but their xG is actually 2.50 with, as mentioned last week, their overachievement in defence, with only 0.9 goals conceded per-game compared with the 1.5 expected. They got away with it again last week as mentioned above and I want to take it on again in a game the opposition will need to attack.

At very worst, you could place a small saver on 0-0 meaning only one goal in the match would see a full stake loss.

Recommended bets:

  • Wolves 2.04 – 2 points
  • Over 2.25 goals Watford v Crystal Palace ~1.86 – 1.5 points
  • Over 2.0 goals Stoke v Burnley ~1.92 – 1 point

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