It was another profitable weekend as two of my three bets won, although it was frustration at St James Park, as Newcastle picked up their first three points of the season. Charlie Nicholas was reporting Watford missing chance after chance on Soccer Saturday but at half-time with the score at 0-0, I was hoping for a push on my over 2.0 goals bet.
However, looking back at it dispassionately I’m disappointed not to come away with a winner. While Newcastle created very little, Watford created a lot of high-quality chances but their finishing badly let them down.
The total xG returned 3.16, so having backed over 2.0 goals, I can feel pretty hard done by. Based on the xG we should be expecting the bet to win 77% of the time, so I’ll just have to put this one down to variance.
I was really pleased to bounce back immediately Saturday night though, as Tottenham deservedly overcame Wolves. Most people weren’t giving Spurs a chance, but with betting everything is about price, and Tottenham were far too big. They produced an efficient performance, hitting the target with 8 of their 10 efforts and cruising into a 3-0 lead by the hour mark.
Value bets and late goals
Only two errors from 20-year-old Juan Foyth on his debut gifted Wolves two penalties to make the scoreline closer than it should have been. Based on the non-penalty xG, Spurs ran out 1.63 – 0.89 winners. In terms of odds, that makes them around a 1.86 shot, which was pretty much what I suggested with my 1.83 estimate so that goes down as a very good value bet.
That put us in profit for the weekend as despite it taking until injury time for over 2.5 goals to come in between Bournemouth and Man Utd on Saturday lunchtime, I never felt the bet was in doubt. Both sides created tonnes of chances in a predictably open game and there were 36 shots between the two clubs, with nine on target, returning a total expected goals of a whopping 5.22.
So you can see why I was confident it was only a matter of time that our over 2.5 goals bet clicked and based on that xG figure we can expect the bet to win 89% of the time.
Having backed the overs at 1.82 (55%), it was a great bet regardless of the outcome and betting at a good price is what winning is all about. Everything else is just variance.
Back to the well this weekend…
Onto this weekend, and I’m sorry (not sorry really) but I’m going back to the well once again.
That’s right, it’s goals in Bournemouth games!
My record stands at nine bets, with seven winners, one half loss and one full loss, so I’ll continue to bet it while I feel it remains value and not purely because there is a trend. I don’t want to go over old ground too much, but I’ve already mentioned it was unlucky Newcastle’s match last weekend didn’t go over the expected goal line and obviously Bournemouth’s did.
Generally, the key is to find value long-term, especially when we can take over 2.25 at a competitive price here.
Looking at the bare facts, 25 of Bournemouth’s last 32 games have gone over 2.5 goals (78%), with an average goals-per-game of 2.86. And if it’s not them scoring the goals, then they are equally as poor shipping them with just six clean sheets in 36.
Now as mentioned last week, Newcastle’s games aren’t quite producing the goals the underlying data shows, but at some point, they should move towards the mean.
The expected goals in their matches since the last season is producing 2.78 per-game and Bournemouth’s is a similarly impressive 2.99.
So with a goal expectancy of 2.6, we know long-term we will make money given this data.
Being able to back over 2.25 also means we have the security of half stakes back if only two goals are scored. The last time they met there were four goals with a total xG of a whopping 5.75, so more of the same on Saturday please!
Let’s return to take on the wolves pack
Continuing on a theme, I want to take Wolves on again this weekend.
They’re away at Arsenal on Sunday, and with the home side available at 1.64 it looks too big to me.
I think my reservations about Wolves attack are well founded, as excluding the penalties, last weekend they created just one chance above 30% and they’ve scored just 11 goals in 11 games, which is the 6th worst in the league.
Arsenal are the same odds as Man Utd were at Wolves, and I think it’s obvious Arsenal are better than Man Utd this season. The Gunners are around 1.89 at Bournemouth next weekend, yet United went off at 1.96 after being as big as 2.10, so I think we’ve some margin for error here.
I’ve checked a model, and they’re in agreement, rating Arsenal a 68% chance or 1.47.
Arsenal have won 12 of their last 14 games and I think they can outscore Wolves and win. I’m keeping it simple with a straight win, as I’m of the opinion complications can arise when you back a team to win by more, such as motivation and squad rotation. But I’m happy to have 1.5 points on the outright here.
- Over 2.25 goals Newcastle v Bournemouth ~1.82 – 1.5 points
- Arsenal ~1.64 – 1.5 points