[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Tottenham v Liverpool” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]
I’ve put Spurs down as my choice to win the title based on the fact they posted the best shot data, by my numbers, last season. Although they haven’t looked fantastic in their opening two games, they still managed to post some solid stats. With 33 total shots for so far v 22 against, they again look like they will be able to attain 70+ points.
Liverpool has had more shots than any side in the league, 42, this term whilst only Everton, with 13, have had more shots on target. It should however be remembered that Liverpool’s match at Burnley played out in a way that allowed the hosts to sit back, allowing Liverpool to have a large number of shots from distance.
I personally believe that Tottenham will finish ahead of Liverpool this season and a large part of this is due to the fact they are a better defensive unit. For all that Liverpool offer going forward, Spurs have shown that they are able to match them.
From a handicapping point of view, I believe that taking Spurs -1 is the best play here. I wouldn’t put anyone off taking them at 0, -0.25 or -0.5 but in all of those scenarios you’re still looking for them to win to make a profit. In taking the -1 line you get an increased price, but need Spurs to win by two clear goals for a profit. My goal expectancies are Tottenham 1.79 v 1.22 Liverpool, this means I believe that the hosts have a 53% chance of scoring two or more goals. I expect Tottenham to score at least two goals in this match, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they scored three or four. With that in mind, and all there is to like about the Liverpool attack I still don’t think they will be capable of scoring three plus times at White Hart Lane, a scenario I rate at 12%. In short, I believe that Spurs have a 35% chance of winning by two clear goals, or my stake being returned, however the bookmakers have only given this a 27% chance, therefore I have it as a value bet.
BACK TOTTENHAM -1 ASIAN HANDICAP at 3.70 (888 Sport)
[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Everton v Stoke” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]
I believe that Stoke overachieved last season when compared to their shot data and goal difference, so much so that I’ve backed them to be relegated this term. However I also don’t rate Everton as a solid Top-10 side, which is how they are priced up here. My numbers have this as Everton 1.55 v 1.23 Stoke, therefore Everton should be favourites but they should be priced up at 2.2x and not odds-on. Basically I believe that Everton and Stoke are of a very similar ability.
When looking at the Asian Handicap market for this game the 0 line on Stoke jumps out at me, I believe that they should be 2.49, yet they are backable at 4.00 here, with your stake returned in the event of a draw. At this stage of the season I’m still not convinced that Everton are any better than they were last season. A draw with Spurs at home is a good results, but I’m not going to mark them up for beating a West Brom side, who I rate as the second worst team in the league.
BACK STOKE 0 ASIAN HANDICAP at 4.00 (888 Sport)
[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Watford v Arsenal” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]
I’m always looking to oppose the odds-on away sides, especially in this league as I believe it’s difficult to make a case for any side to win over 50% of their away matches. That’s some rather crude maths, but the only side to win over 50% of their away games last season was Leicester City who managed to win 11 from 19, or 57.89%. In fact the only side to win more than 11 games on the road in so far this decade is Manchester United, who have managed it twice.
Arsenal are a consistent yardstick in the sense that they generally hit the 70+ point mark and they go to sides like Watford, bottom half clubs, and win. However as the gaps between the haves and have not’s decreases due tot the new TV deals we should be looking to oppose odds-on away shots even more.
I believe that Arsenal should be favourites for this match and I’ve given them 44.96% chance of doing so, yet the bookmakers believe they have a 58.13% chance of claiming the three points. These numbers mean that I want to side with Watford and the 0 Asian Handicap line/Draw no bet market, provides the optimum opportunity to do this.
My concern with this bet is that Watford, on the limited data we have available, do not look as good as they did last season. They’ve conceded 37 shots against in two matches, whilst only having a league low of 11 themselves. However at this stage I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt as that could be due to the tactics they employed after taking the lead in each match.
BACK WATFORD 0 ASIAN HANDICAP at 3.95 (888 Sport)