Mark Stinchcombe: “The odds suggest Leicester are clearly a level above Watford and that is something I'm struggling to agree with”

8 min

Fresh from a solid weekend of winners, The Stinch returns with three more bets for this weekend.

Overhyped And Overvalued Wolves

This Saturday sees sixth place Wolves host 18th place Cardiff at Molineux where they are priced just 1.52 and that feels too short to me. Just a few weeks ago in a match between Wolves and Newcastle, they were 1.81 and even against Huddersfield Town – the worst team in the division – they were 1.63.

So price wise it’s very difficult to get onboard with Wolves at 1.52.

When we also consider how Wolves seemingly perform well against the top 6 and then falter against the lesser sides (with Huddersfield having done the double over them this season), then again the price seems low. In fact, Wolves have only lost two of their eight games against the top sides (38%) and against the rest it’s 7 of 20 (35%). So there’s every chance they falter when expected to win.

Mark feels that Nuno’s Wolves side may a touch vulnerable this Saturday.

In this match last season in the Championship, between two similar sides in terms of personnel and playing style, Wolves were 2.03 and Cardiff won 2-1. They fired in 17 shots to Wolves’ 12 and won the expected goals count 1.98 – 1.13. I’m not immediately suggesting they’re a bet here but I certainly think there’s value in opposing Wolves.

We can back Cardiff +1.25 around 1.78, meaning we would still make money even if Wolves won by a goal. I’ve checked a couple of models which rate the home side around a 55% chance – or 1.80 – so I will be having two points here.

Watford to break Rodgers heart on Sunday

On Sunday, Brendan Rodgers takes his new side Leicester City to Vicarage Road to face Watford. It’s obviously impossible to predict the effect Rodgers will have at this stage long-term, but given the odds here it suggests Leicester are clearly a level above and that is something I’m struggling to agree with. If we look at the basic data, Watford are five points higher than Leicester, have scored five more goals and ultimately won more football matches.

If we delve a little deeper it’s 9th v 8th in terms of expected points. So if we go as far as accepting at worst they’re equal in terms of ability, it would make Watford around 2.30 with home advantage. Outside of the top 6, Watford have only lost three of 20 games (15%), with just one coming at home (when Watford were reduced to 10 men).

Player wise it doesn’t seem to be advantage Leicester either.

It may take a couple of weeks before the Brendan Rodgers effect hits this Leicester City side.

For Vardy there’s Deeney/Gray, for Maddison there’s Deulofeu, and I don’t think the Foxes can touch Watford’s midfield in Pereyra, Doucoure and Capoue. Overall it means we can back Watford +0.0 keeping the draw onside and I would recommend a point here.

Super Sunday won’t deliver on goals

Super Sunday sees the 200th Merseyside league derby with bragging rights on the line for both sides. It should be a hotly contested contest after the sides meeting earlier in the season at Anfield, where a Jordan Pickford blunder gave Liverpool a 96th minute 1-0 win. And I think a similar scoreline could be on the cards this weekend.

The signing of Virgil van Dijk just over a year ago, has finally shored up a defence that was all at sea ever since Jamie Carragher retired. With this, Jurgen Klopp has seemingly exercised greater control over the way his side plays, rather than all out, heavy metal football. The success rate of his strategy cannot be argued with, with Liverpool sitting top with just one defeat in 28 games. Marco Silva, on the other hand, is under pressure after 8 defeats in 12 and I’m envisaging a ‘siege’ mentality from his side.

The presence of Virgil van Dijk has solidified Liverpool’s Defence immensely.

This leads me to think that the goal line of 2.75 is a little on the high side. Ordinarily, it might be right but given the derby factor and the context outlined above, but I think in this matchup unders is the way to go. And looking at recent meetings here, that’s how they’ve finished. Over the past four seasons, the results have been 0-0, 0-1, 1-1 and 0-0 at Goodison Park. So a point here on under 2.75 seems a smart way to see out the weekend.

Recommended Bets

  • Cardiff +1.25 – 1.78 – 2 points
  • Watford +0.0 – 1.84 – 1 point
  • Under 2.75 goals Everton – Liverpool ~1.88 – 1 point

Host Ali Maxwell is joined by Adrian Clarke and Mark O’Haire to look ahead to ‘Derby Weekend’ in the Premier League while Mark O’Haire takes us to Spain for Real Betis against Getafe, and to Reims vs Amiens in Ligue 1.