Mark Stinchcombe
2 weeks ago - 7 minute read

Mark Stinchcombe: “The markets tell us that Brighton are only a marginally better team than Huddersfield – I’m not having that”

It was my first losing week for a while last weekend, but it’s not as bad as it sounds as the overall loss amounted to less than a unit so it’s important not to get too down about it.

Brighton +0.25 returned half a win as they drew 1-1 with Leicester, and over 2.0 goals in the same game returned a push. The loser came as Burnley lost a potential 6 pointer at the hands of Newcastle at Turf Moor on Monday night.

After 27 minutes at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, I was feeling pretty confident with Brighton both a goal and a man up. With two thirds of the game left, I was expecting another Brighton goal to give +0.25 a very good chance of winning and then be free rolling on the over 2.0 goals. Unfortunately, nothing really happened in the game until Jamie Vardy’s 77th-minute penalty.

The home advantage at the Amex didn’t quite pay dividends for Mark last weekend.

Brighton failed to capitalise on their man advantage, and a draw was probably a fair result, while the expected goals returned 1.96 so pretty much spot on the 2.0 goal line. In hindsight perhaps the red card hindered the flow of the game, particularly for Brighton, rather than helped and it’s something we can’t factor it into our pre-match analysis. So, unfortunately, will just have to settle for a small profit this time.

Once bitten, twice Burnley

There were no hard luck stories at Turf Moor on Monday night, though, as Newcastle deserved their 2-1 success. Burnley may have had more efforts on target but Newcastle were the superior side and even the expected goals result of 1.27 – 1.68 is perhaps not a true reflection of the game.

Perhaps if Matt Ritchie had converted his open goal chance from two yards out that would have been a fairer result.

Newcastle had lost their last 10 Monday night matches before this which I don’t think is coincidental, it just so happens that in this iteration I was unfortunate to involved in the time they overturned that run.

Onto this weekend then, and it may surprise you I want to be with the same sides again despite last week’s results. But for me is a good thing because it means I’ve identified sustainable edges.

Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle bounced back at Turf Moor on Monday night.

As such I’m happy to take on Crystal Palace at 1.66 in their game against Burnley. They’re the joint lowest scorers along with Huddersfield with just 8 goals in 13 games, and if you can’t score goals then you aren’t going to win football matches. The xG has them as the 7th worst side, but for all their players underachieving it has Wilfried Zaha, undoubtedly their best player, overachieving.

It’s the lack of goals, stupid

I’m not going to read too much into this relatively small sample size and concentrate on the fact they’re struggling to score goals. They’re posting the fifth worst shots-per-game, so I think we can be confident that they are a side somewhere near the bottom in terms of quality at the moment and are certainly not a side that should be 1.66 to win a Premier League match.

Burnley, 6.9, a 14% chance, meanwhile are certainly never going to win any prizes anytime soon for their style of play but it can’t be argued that it isn’t effective.

Burnley have won 8 of their last 26 away games (31%) and actually have a good record in this matchup, winning three of the six Premier League meetings, including three of the last four, with nothing separating them goals wise (8 – 8).

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has his side set up to play a no nonsense type of game.

I kind of feel this is a similar matchup to Wolves vs Huddersfield last weekend, with two bottom half sides facing off with the home side a short-priced favourite.

I’ve checked a model which rates Burnley a 19% chance, or 5.1, and whilst that might be a little short, I think the true prices lies somewhere in between so I want to side with the Clarets. But rather than back the +1.0 handicap, I’m going to chance the draw no bet around the 5.0 mark.

Huddersfield failing the eye test

Onto the John Smith’s stadium where Brighton take on Huddersfield, and the markets tell us that Brighton are only a marginally better team while my eyes and instinct tell me that’s wrong. Huddersfield are actually a level below. I’ve already mentioned they’re the joint lowest scorers in the league and the xG confirms that.

It’s been a problem since they were promoted to the Premier League last season, with them only managing 28 goals in their debut campaign, the second worst in terms of expected goals.

They have a knack of picking up unexpected wins, but they’ve only won three of their last 23 Premier League games, and there’s no way I could back them at 2.52.

Aaron Mooy is one of Huddersfield’s key men.

I’ve mentioned Brighton a few times this season, and thankfully been on the right lines, and having also opposed Huddersfield a couple of times, it’s a good matchup for me.

Again I’ve checked a model which rates Brighton a 3.0 shot, so I’m happy to take Brighton +0.25 at around 1.9 when they’re 3.56 in the match odds.

Recommended Bets

  • Burnley DNB – 5.0 – 1 point
  • Brighton +0.25 – 1.90 – 1 point

On this week’s Racing Podcast Ali Maxwell is joined by debutant Adrian Clarke and Mark O’Haire to preview Derby Day Super Sunday. Listen below and search for ‘Matchbook Betting Podcast’ on your preferred podcasting app to subscribe.