Mark Stinchcombe: “There is no need to be clever when presented with a goal line of 2.75”

11 min

Despite only going 1-1-1 last week (one win, one half loss, one loss), given the way I staked, I limited the damage with only a minimal loss.

Last weekend was summed up by two words: damage limitation.

The results weren’t too bad for our bets with one win, one loss and one half-loss, but the way we staked meant we escaped with the minimum. And sometimes those weekends are actually really good, particularly if the games haven’t played out as expected.

Everton comfortably defeated Fulham 3-0, even missing a penalty, and I have to hold my hands up here after taking a chance on Fulham +0.75.

My ‘blind’ faith in the Cottagers wasn’t rewarded and I’m left thinking whether I should have taken a pass instead here with Fulham still adjusting to all their new signings.

Fulham were outshot 19-6, 6-0 on target, and were 2.26 – 0.51 on the expected goals as Everton fully justified their favouritism. However, our staking was important here and it was only 0.5 of a point and it just goes to show why 12 games worth of data is too short to come to a comprehensive conclusion.

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game and final goal vs Fulham.

It was further disappointment at St James Park, as my bet on over 2.25 goals returned half a loss in Leicester’s 2-0 win. Again the game didn’t go as expected, mainly down to Newcastle, who managed only 41% possession and just one shot on target. It meant the xG score read 0.53 – 1.78 giving us a total of 2.31. Maybe Rafa Benitez is targeting this weekend’s trip to struggling Man Utd for their first three points of the season.

Since the beginning of last season Newcastle’s average expected goal output is 1.20pg, so perhaps if they’d performed anywhere near their mean, it would have meant a winner.

But as I’ve mentioned before, the beauty of betting over 2.25 goals means half stakes back if just two are scored. And it demonstrates once more how taking advantage of Asian Handicaps and sensible staking is a smart strategy over the course of a season.

Some good news and some good bets

Finally for the good news, and the overs copping in a Bournemouth match was really never in doubt was it?

I was even more confident after David Brooks put the home side one goal up after just five minutes but in reality, we had to wait until the 87th minute where a Junior Stanislas penalty provided a 2-1 win and an over 2.5 goals winner.

The stats tell us the expected goals totalled just 2.65 including the penalty. So was it a lucky win? Maybe, but we have to remember we are betting as if the match is played thousands of times and we are only seeing one iteration. So the late-timing of that goal is just part of the variance there and you shouldn’t read too much into it.

Onto this weekend, the last before another dreaded international break, and I’ve got three more goals based angles I want to attack. First up Brighton host West Ham at the Amex Stadium for Friday night football and the goal expectation is 2.50 meaning we have a goal line of just 2.25.

The Amex has been a formidable stomping ground for the Seagulls in recent times.

Since being promoted to the Premier League, Brighton have collected a huge 33 of their 45 points at home (73%) and their approach is clearly attack at home, defend away.

They’ve scored 30 goals at the Amex but only 12 on their travels and their home games have seen 61 goals (2.77pg), with the expected goals returning a similar amount in 56.

We’re only seven games into Manual Pellegrini’s West Ham reign but there have already been 20 goals (2.90pg), with the xG backing that up with an average of three per game. With Brighton conceding the 3rd most shots per game at 16.9 (the fourth highest last season) and West Ham the sixth most at 14.9, the overs looks very attractive and I’m having 1.5 points on this one.

Back to the well for Bournemouth on Saturday

Onto Saturday afternoon and I’m afraid I can’t apologise for my next bet as I’m going back to the well for overs in Bournemouth games. A whopping 22 of their last 28 games have gone over 2.5 goals (79%) with just three clean sheets in 32 games. And if they’re not scoring them, they’re certainly shipping them.

This weekend they travel to sixth place Watford who’ve seen 19 goals in their seven games so far (2.71pg). I backed over 2.5 goals when Watford travelled to Fulham a couple of weeks ago and despite it finishing 1-1, the expected goals returned a total of 3.75. Bournemouth also sit high in the table in seventh with both sides making great starts to the season.

Bournemouth have been been a profitable overs play for Mark in recent times.

Javi Gracia and Eddie Howe met once last season here in March in a 2-2 draw with a total xG of 3.08 so let’s hope for more goals at Vicarage Road on Saturday. And I will be having a point on the over 2.5 goals market here. And that’s, hopefully, not the end of the high scoring games this weekend either.

For my final bet this weekend I’m once again looking at goals in the big clash on Sunday between heavyweights Liverpool and Man City.

I don’t think there’s any need to be clever here when presented with a goal line of 2.75. Both sides score goals for fun and perhaps the only thing that’s holding the goal expectancy from going higher is the sides defences with only three goals conceded by them each.

Mo Salah will hope to recover some of last season’s form this Sunday.

However, when the opposition can’t physically attack them, it’s obviously very hard to then score against them. And both sides sit in the top two for shots conceded since the beginning of last season. While further evidence of a goal heavy clash need only be seen by their four meetings last season that saw 18 goals at an average of 4.5 per game.

In total, 19 of Liverpool’s last 28 Premier League games have seen over 2.5 goals (68%) and 16 of City’s last 24 (67%), so even though we’re looking for over 2.75, three goals will still provide profit and this is worthy of a point to hopefully wrap up the weekend with a winner.

Recommended bets:

  • Over 2.25 Brighton – West Ham ~1.91 – 1.5 points
  • Over 2.5 goals Watford – Bournemouth ~1.84 – 1 point
  • Over 2.75 goals Liverpool – Man City ~1.84 – 1 point

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