Mark Stinchcombe
3 months ago - 9 minute read

Mark Stinchcombe: “Are Wolves good enough to make Spurs a 41% chance? I think not.”

It was a fantastic weekend for me.

My biggest bet of the season so far won on Saturday as Brighton beat Wolves 1-0.

In betting, I am a firm believer that the more you think the price is wrong the more you should stake, and it was great my aggression was rewarded at the Amex

With 3 points staked on Brighton +0.25, it was a great win in what proved a tight game with only 0.42 expected goals (in Wolves favour) separating the sides. However, it was Brighton who created the biggest chances during normal time (2-1) and it took until the 92nd minute for Wolves to create their best opportunity as they threw everything at Brighton.

The home advantage at the Amex helped get Mark’s biggest bet of the season over the line last weekend.

It was further joy as another above average bet won when I staked 1.5 points on Watford to beat Huddersfield. They duly did so with a resounding 3-0 win that was fully deserved. They created 82% of the chances, convincingly winning the expected goals count 2.20 – 0.49 as once again Huddersfield failed to perform offensively. It could have been a full house too, as having backed over 2.25 goals Leicester and West Ham played out a 1-1 draw.

Overall there were 32 shots, 10 on target, with the total xG returning 3.51. Having been on at 1.84, the xG here suggests the probability of winning should have been around 75% so I’ll just have to put this one down to variance. Of course, having taken over 2.25 rather than over 2.50, it meant half my stake was returned.

It all shows how it’s important to keep a good balance between aggressiveness and cautiousness

This week’s bets…and we’re back to Bournemouth

Onto gameweek 11 of the Premier League, and want to return to a bet that has served me so well this season. Yes, that’s right, it’s goals in Bournemouth games.

It was no surprise to see three goals in their game at Fulham with a goal line of 3.0, but here we can take advantage of a 2.5 line even though their last 48 games have seen 137 goals at a rate of 2.85 per game.

Crucially, this data is backed up by their expected goals stats which is returning an average of 2.94 per game so we could even see more goals in their games.

With 64 goals scored and 73 conceded since the start of last seasons, you can see they’re equally adept at both scoring and conceding, keeping just six clean sheets in their last 35 games

Jose’s side have been anything but rock solid at the back this season.

Manchester United are the visitors on Saturday, and defensively they have begun the season poorly, shipping 17 goals in their first 10 games making them the 5th worst defence in the league. It’s no surprise to me as I alluded to in my pre-season preview that they along with Burnley were significantly overachieving in this area. As a result, it’s meant that Jose Mourinho’s side has needed to score goals themselves to keep him in a job.

As a result, there’s already been 34 this season involving the Red Devils (3.4pg).

The xG is pretty much justifying all these goals as well, returning 3.3 per-game, as the flimsy Utd defence is leaving David de Gea exposed time and time again.

When you consider 24 of Bournemouth’s last 31 games have seen over 2.5 goals (77%) I’m more than happy to continue on the bandwagon and will have half a point here.

Gan up the toon for goals

Next up I want to focus on St James Park, where a Newcastle Utd side lying second from bottom welcome Watford.

Here we have a goal line of just 2.0 which to me makes no sense. To the naked eye the basic stats may say Newcastle’s games don’t contain a lot of goals but if we dig deeper using expected goals, we can actually see last season their matches averaged 2.70 per-game.

This season has begun the same way with 2.80 per-game and for the visitors, there has been a similar looking number since Javi Gracia took over.

He has only presided over 24 games, but we can already see the impact he’s had this season with Watford sitting high in the table in seventh, and their total match xG up from 2.27 last season under his tutelage to 2.67 per-game this season

The Javi Gracia effect has been on full show even early in his Watford tenure.

The two matches last season saw three goals apiece in each game with an average xG of 3.68 so with a goal expectancy of just 2.35 here, over 2.0 goals has to be attacked.

I’m having a much larger bet than in the Bournemouth game and will be betting 1.5 points on the over 2.0 goals line here.

Taking on the Wolves at home

Finally, it’s off to Molineux for Saturday night football as Wolves host Tottenham and I want to take The Wanderers on again.

After last weekend’s blank, it’s now just nine goals in 10 games they’ve scored, making them the 5th worst in the division for attacking goals. And their lack of high-quality chance creation against Brighton further enforces my views on their offensive quality.

Tottenham’s season is seemingly being downplayed for some reason but they sit just five points off the top of the league and I think Mauricio Pochettino has done a great job managing the squad this season considering NINE players were involved in the World Cup semi-finals in the summer and then Heung Min-Son playing in the Asian Games.

Harry Kane will look to bounce back from some pretty average form this weekend.

It’s been a bit of a juggling act for Pochettino but he looks to have most of his key players back fit with Eriksen, Alli and Son all making the bench v Man City on Monday night.

Spurs are around a 2.4 chance and that’s just really difficult to agree with based on ability. I’ve checked another model which is in agreement rating Tottenham a 55% chance or odds of 1.83

Spurs have won 11 of their last 16 Premier League games going back to December and their average odds across those matches was 1.93.

Are Wolves that much above average to make Spurs a 41% chance?

I think not, and being able to back Spurs -0.25 appeals massively so I will be having another 1.5 points on this one to see out Saturday night.

Recommended Bets

  • Over 2.5 goals Bournemouth v Man Utd – 1.82 – 0.5 points
  • Over 2.0 goals Newcastle v Watford – 1.79 – 1.5 points
  • Tottenham -0.25 – 2.0 – 1.5 points

  • On this week’s Football Podcast Ali Maxwell is joined by Mark O’Haire and Nigel Seeley to preview the Weekend Premier League action. If you haven’t already subscribed, search for ‘Matchbook Betting Podcast’ on your preferred podcasting app.