Mark Stinchcombe
2 months ago - 7 minute read

Mark Stinchcombe: “This bet would have only lost in 6 of Leicester’s last 44 games (14%) and I’m going to be betting fairly big here”

The international break is over and I’m celebrating with three value bets this week, starting off with a trip to the south coast where we’re off to the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon as 12th meets 10th and Brighton host Leicester City.

I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog how much of Brighton’s good work comes at home, so it should be no surprise that I want to side with them here especially as they are pitched up as outsiders.

I’m not sure Chris Hughton and his staff are getting the credit he deserves, particularly by the markets.

Since he took over at Brighton at the end of 2014, he has guided them from 21st in the Championship to a solid Premier League side. Given the background of chairman Tony Bloom, it should be no surprise at their continued success based on their analytical, long-term approach.

The home advantage at the Amex has been a very real factor again this season.

A total of 39 of their 54 Premier League points have been achieved at home (72%) and outside of games against the ‘big 6’ they’ve lost just one of their 16 home games.

Leicester, on the other hand, have lost 10 of their 16 Premier League away games and I’m not sure they should be as strong a favourites as they are. Their main goal threat Jamie Vardy as only half as many goals as he did at this stage last season, with only two goals from non-penalties.

Vardy’s dip should perhaps be no surprise considering the departure of Riyad Mahrez, with the Algerian assisting Vardy the highest assist-scorer combination in the league last season.

I’ve checked a model which is in agreement rating Brighton as a 34% or 2.90, and seeing as we can get Brighton +0.25 on the Asian handicap here I feel like this is a good value bet and I’m having 1.5 points here.

Goals galore on the south coast?

Continuing on the south coast, I also want to be with goals here, when over 2.0 goals is available to back at a competitive price as 1.75.

Brighton have scored twice as many at home as they have away and their home games have seen 63 goals in the 24 matches at a rate of 2.63pg. Meanwhile, since Mahrez left, this season Leicester’s games have seen 33 goals at a rate of 2.75pg.

Obviously, it is too simplistic to rely on that figure given we only have 12 games worth of data. However, if we look at the xG data since the beginning of last season for both sides, 98 games worth of data, that should give us a very good indication of what is happening.

Brighton’s matches are averaging 2.72 xG per game and Leicester’s 2.78.

So when presented with a goal expectancy of just 2.35, it’s an easy decision to back overs.

Claude Puel’s Leicester side have been a good team for an Over of late.

This bet would have only lost in 6 of Leicester’s last 44 games (14%).

Leicester won this game 2-0 last season (Brighton’s only home defeat outside the big 6) with both goals coming in the last 10 minutes, in a game where Brighton outshot the visitors 15 – 6, winning the xG count 1.76 – 1.12 for a total xG of 2.88.

So I’m happy having a fairly big bet here at 2.5 points on over 2.0 goals.

Backing Burnley to win ugly

Finally, I want to concentrate on an unfashionable team to try and get the job done. Yes, that’s right, it’s the big Monday night fixture at Turf Moor as Burnley take on Newcastle United.

The away side are favourites but I don’t think there’s any way I could back them.

They’ve won just four of their last 24 away games since the beginning of last season (17%), losing 13.

Burnley on the other hand, have lost just four of their last 18 against the current bottom half.

Burnley are never going to win any prizes for their style of play but we always know they are going to be competitive and well drilled.

In fact, Burnley’s net spend in the summer was £30M compared to Newcastle’s £8M, and I think that just goes to show the ambition of both clubs long-term, particularly after the Clarets flirtation with European football.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche as per usual will have his side well drilled on Monday night.

I think this match is set up perfectly for Sean Dyche.

Monday night, under the lights in front of the TV cameras and Dyche will have had plenty of time to work with his players on his tactics after the international break. Everything will be geared up for Burnley achieving success in this match. I’ve checked a model and they’re in agreement rating Burnley a 37% chance (2.70).

Burnley won this fixture 1-0 last season, coincidentally also on a Monday night, creating the better chances, winning the xG count 1.12 – 0.60.

In their last match Newcastle lined up without any English players so will Rafa Benitez’s foreigners be up for it on a cold night in Burnley? Let’s bet and find out.

Recommended bets

  • Brighton +0.25 ~1.81 – 1.5 points
  • Brighton v Leicester over 2.0 goals ~1.75 – 2.5 points
  • Burnley +0.0 ~2.03 – 1.5 points

  • Mark joined Mark O’Haire and Ali Maxwell on the Matchbook Betting Podcast to preview this weekends football action. Listen below, and search for ‘Matchbook Betting Podcast’ on your preferred podcasting app to subscribe.