The opening weekend of the Premier League season was a tough set of fixtures to dissect, not because it was the start of a new season, but because there was so much uncertainty over player involvement following the World Cup. We now know Raheem Sterling is fit enough to start whereas Kevin de Bruyne isn’t for example, but when you’re in the dark this can provide joy is the hour leading up to kick-off when the lineups are announced.
Tottenham were 2.12 to win away at Newcastle, having been 1.85 12 months ago, with the market’s perception that this would not be a full-strength Spurs side. But Kane, Alli and Eriksen all lined up, meaning Tottenham’s price collapsed into 1.92 come kick-off.
Simple strategies like this are very profitable whether you trade out for a guaranteed profit or let your bet run having backed good value.
In these early stages of the season, you can see overreactions to a week’s worth of data. Having convincingly won 3-0 at Huddersfield, Chelsea are 1.85 at Stamford Bridge to beat an Arsenal side who were less than impressive. Earlier on this month, Chelsea were 2.88 underdogs in the same fixture in a friendly on neutral ground in Dublin. Now the only real absentee was Eden Hazard, but based on those prices, it would make Chelsea around 2.40 with home advantage.
So is Hazard really worth an extra 0.5 goal start? Of course, the friendly prices could be wrong, but it’s an interesting thought with just one Premier League game of Maurizio Sarri’s and Unai Emery’s reign to go off.
This weekend I’m back to backing Bournemouth
My sole bet last weekend was over 2.25 goals in Bournemouth v Cardiff, which ended up returning half my stake. It was disappointing not to get a win with Callum Wilson missing a penalty ultimately costing the bet. The xG returned a total of 3.28 (2.41 – 0.87) to show how good a value bet it was, it just so happened that in this instance it didn’t win.
That is the beauty of betting on Asian lines, though.
They provide better prices and in this case more security, meaning half my stake was returned.
And I want to get straight back on the horse and get with goals in Bournemouth’s game at the Olympic stadium against Manuel Pellegrini’s new-look West Ham. The Hammers were thrashed 4-0 at Anfield on the opening weekend, and in truth it could have been more with their high line allowing total xG chances of 3.88.
This weekend it’s two teams who were in the top four of goals conceded last season, but were also top half with goals scored. West Ham’s matches saw 116 goals (3.05pg) and the Cherries 106 (2.79pg) and the Irons have spent big this summer bringing in offensive players Lucas Perez, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson. The fans are championing a return to attacking football and 14 of West Ham’s last 22 have seen over 2.5 goals (64%).
When you add in that 17 of Bournemouth’s last 22 (77%) games have also seen over 2.5 goals and that the goal line is 2.5 I’m happy to back overs around 1.89 for a point here.
Jose’s lot unlikely to be super on Sunday
Super Sunday’s main event sees Brighton host Man Utd and as mentioned in the Premier League Betting Panel Preview, I’m looking to take Utd on this season, particularly when priced at 1.80 as they are here. Last season they hugely overachieved, getting 18 points more than expected, mainly due to conceding over 15 fewer goals than they should have. And with the negativity coming out of Jose Mourinho over the summer, coupled with losing the expected goals in their opening game as 1.60 shots at home to Leicester, I want to be against them here.
Brighton didn’t start the season ideally, tamely going down 2-0 at Watford, but fortunately, we’re not interested in one game’s worth of data. They actually won this fixture 1-0 just three months ago, as well as beating Arsenal and holding Spurs to a draw. They only lost four games at the Amex last season so are more than capable of holding their own.
Brighton spent a lot of money in the summer, breaking their transfer record twice and you have to respect their analytics department. United were 1.90 in this fixture last season (albeit without Lukaku and Sanchez) but even so Brighton’s aforementioned strengths are good enough.
I’m happy to back them both with a +0.75 start (half stake returned if only lose by 1) and a small bet on them to win. Make sure you take the added security of the Asian handicap bet here though.
- Over 2.5 goals West Ham v Bournemouth 1.89 – 1 point
- Brighton +0.75 1.94 – 1 point
- Brighton 5.8 – 0.25pts