Mark Stinchcombe: “There was only one goal scored in this fixture last season but xG returned a huge 3.21 and the line of over 2.25 just looks wrong”

10 min

It was another good week for the blog last weekend as once again all three of my bets won. There were goals galore at Dean Court, Southampton and Leicester provided an entertaining game and Watford maintained their 100% start to the season. It could all have been a little different though.

The first bet was an easy win, as our, over 2.5 goals bet won fairly comfortably with four goals as Bournemouth drew 2-2 with Everton.

It was no real surprise given Bournemouth’s proficiency to score goals while struggle to keep them out. The total expected goals returned 3.13 so again I feel vindicated in my continuation of siding with goals in Bournemouth’s games.

Bournemouth’s 2 goals and their inability to keep Everton at bay last weekend was a delight for Mark.

They face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend, and the goal line actually looks a little big at 3.25 but this match is just a watching brief for me with Maurizio Sarri only four competitive games into his Chelsea spell. Interestingly, his side are currently posting the best average possession in the league, ahead of title favourites Man City and Liverpool.

Wonder strikes and safety nets

Over at St Mary’s though it needed a 92nd minute Harry Maguire wonder strike for over 2.0 goals to win.

The total xG only returned 0.96 so it could be described as lucky not to lose, let alone win. But this is just one iteration of this fixture, whereas we are betting as if the match is played thousands and thousands of times.

What was more pleasing is ultimately we were free rolling with two goals already scored after 55 minutes. And this just goes to show why Asian Handicaps are such a good way to bet on football. Another case in point is our bet on Watford at +0.0, which means stakes returned if it’s a draw.

Harry Maguire’s late goal at St Mary’s was just about enough to get Mark’s total bet up.

The final game saw Watford +0.0 win as they beat Crystal Palace 2-1. Again it was justified as they fired in more shots (13 – 9), more shots on target (5 – 3) and won the expected goals (1.18 – 1.16), as they did last time they met at Vicarage Road. And the beauty here was even if it had finished a draw it would have been money back.

This weekend’s games

So onto this weekend and first up, I want to revisit the Amex Stadium as Brighton take on newly promoted Fulham. Brighton collected 29 of their 40 points at home last season (73%) and having started this season in the same vein, it’s clear to see what their approach is – attack at home, defend away. They scored 24 goals at home but only 10 away last season.

The reason I touch on this is that the goal line is set at 2.25 and I’m sure regular readers will know I’m always keen to side with overs in the Premier League at this line with the last five seasons producing an average of 2.70 per game.

Brighton’s home games in the Premier League have seen 54 goals at 2.70pg with the xG returning a similar amount in 48.75.

Fulham’s games have started with a bang with 12 goals already and it’s no surprise given they’re posting the fourth most shots-per-game (16.7), whilst conceding the fifth most (16.3). Brighton are conceding the fourth most (16.7) as they also were last season. Therefore, I think there’s a better chance of goals than anticipated and I’d recommend a point on over 2.25 here, which again provides a small safety net of half stakes back if only two goals are scored.

Go big or go home at Selhurst Park

Another pro-goals angle I want to side with is the game at Selhurst Park between Crystal Palace and Southampton. I mentioned both these teams in the Premier League Expert Betting Panel Preview as having underachieved last season and this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of that with again only a 2.25 goal line.

Crystal Palace’s matches last season saw 100 goals (2.63pg) but crucially expected goals tells us this figure is 3.10 as they let themselves down in front of goal. However, they’ve already shown signs of improvement, particularly with Wilfried Zaha now playing up front.

Meanwhile, at the other end Southampton are posting the sixth best shots-per-game so far (15.0) and they should be confident of finding the back of the net.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has been in great form of late.

There was only one goal scored in this fixture last season but xG returned a huge 3.21 and the line of over 2.25 just looks like one to exploit and I will be having a two-point bet on this one.

More woes for Jose at Turf Moor

Finally, my bet of the weekend has to come from Turf Moor on Sunday as Burnley entertain a club in turmoil in Man Utd. I successfully opposed United in a similar match away at Brighton and having lost 3-0 at home to Spurs on Monday, it makes sense to do so again, especially when they are shorter than when they were at the Amex at 1.70 compared with the 1.80 against Brighton.

Burnley haven’t started the season well results-wise, but crucially expected points tell us they should be higher than Man Utd in the table having been a bit unlucky. They lost this fixture last season 1-0 but actually won the xG count 1.05 – 0.81 and should be relishing taking on a United defence that looks all at sea with David de Gea not able to continue to paper over last seasons cracks.

Jose Mourinho’s side have been easy to oppose of late.

I’ve checked a couple of models who are in agreement rating United around a 48% chance compared to the 59% they’re rated at in the market and taking Burnley on the handicap and to win is clear value.

I’d recommend 1.75 points on the +1.0 market and 0.75 points on the outright win at around 6.6.

Recommended bets:

  • Over 2.25 goals Brighton – Fulham ~1.80 – 1 point
  • Over 2.25 goals Crystal Palace – Southampton ~1.97 – 2 points
  • Burnley +1.0 ~1.80, Burnley 6.60 – 1.75 points & 0.75 points

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