Premier League | 10th September 2016

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Arsenal v Southampton” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]
Southampton are a bit of a mystery this season, it appears that the markets have overrated them and all three of their games so far have resulted in them losing against the handicap.

However it’s not all bad, in their opening fixture of the season they recorded 24(?) shots, this was then followed by a trip to Manchester United, where they outshot the hosts. Last time out they drew 1-1 at home to Sunderland, yet they managed 16 shots, with 7 on target. Sunderland by contrast were only allowed 5 shots, of which two were on target and their goal came from a penalty. The most concerning thing for Southampton in that match was that all their shots were from outside the area, which reduced the chances of them going in. It was a similar tale against Watford, with four of their six SOTs coming from outside the area, one from the 18 yard line. With Mane and Pelle gone they need the likes of Long, Austin, Redmond, Tadic and Rodriguez to step up. At this stage I believe those players are capable, especially Jay Rodriguez. I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt on the basis that they’ve got a new manager and some new players, which may just mean it’ll take a few games to gel.

Arsenal are going to have a typical Arsenal season in my opinion. I’ve not seen anything to suggest they’ll be breaking the 80 point barrier, with results and performances so far backing that up. Twitter followers will know that I believe Arsenal over achieved defensively at home last season, they only conceded from 15.07% of the SOTs they faced, that’s unsustainable and I fully expect them to concede more than the 11 goals they let in at home last term.

I have Arsenal priced at 1.91 in this match, based on goal expectancies of Arsenal 1.72 v 1.05 Southampton. That means I believe Arsenal are 0.65 goals better than Southampton, whereas the market believes they are superior by a full goal.

arssouI believe that the best bet to have in this match is to take Southampton with a +1 start in the Asian Handicap market. If they only lose by a single goal stakes will be returned, a win or a draw will result in a profit being made.


[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Bournemouth v West Brom” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

I’m a big fan of Bournemouth and have them down as potential top ten finishers. Last season they massively underachieved defensively, conceding from 43.51% of the shots on target they faced. I still believe that they are a good side, but the defensive issues still appear to be there. I watched them against Crystal Palace last time out and they were awful in the second half.

West Brom are a side that I don’t have a lot of time for, I rate them as the second worst side in the league, yet they still seem able to produce results, via keeping it tight at the back. The reason I don’t rate West Brom highly is due to the lack of offensive firepower.

However with all that taken into account my goal expectancies have this at Bournemouth 1.31 v 1.05 West Brom, this means that I make Bournemouth favourites, but not as strong as the odds suggest. I would price them at 2.36 to win this match and not the 2.05 currently on offer. Back in May Bournemouth were 1.92 top win this matchup, yet they drew 1-1.

bouwbaWith the way this market has developed, money coming for Bournemouth, I now see West Brom as the value bet in a low scoring match. My SOT expectancies have this at 4.30 v 3.28, so I don’t see a large number of goal scoring chances. If West Brom score, a 65% chance in my book, we know that they are able to restrict their hosts. I don’t see Bournemouth scoring twice in this match, therefore I am going to side with West Brom on the 0 Asian Handicap market, which means stakes will be returned if the match ends in a draw.


[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Liverpool v Leicester” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

This is the most interesting game of the weekend and the one that is priced up the strangest. Many will know that I don’t believe in the Klopp myth and I don’t particularly like Liverpool football club. However that’s where building models and basing my betting opinions on numbers has helped. I have no emotional attachment to this or any other match I bet on. I actually have Liverpool down to finish 3rd in the league this season, so I think it’s clear I have no personal bias in my calculations.

At this stage of the season I don’t see how Liverpool can be priced up at 1.6x to anyone, let alone the current champions. Liverpool were good for 20 minutes against Arsenal, they scored four goals. They went to Burnley and were beaten and despite what twitter/the media say I don’t believe they deserved to win a Tottenham, where I believe 1-1 was a fair reflection of the game.

According to many, Leicester were a great bet on the opening day of the season I wasn’t one of those people as I initially have Hull rated 11th. Leicester lost that match and the doom-mongers appeared. They then got draw at home to Arsenal, a game they could have won if the referee was competent. That was followed by a very good performance against Swansea. I don’t believe that Leicester are now going to go into freefall and I can see them finishing somewhere between 6th and 8th.

I have made a slight change in my sums for this match, which has increased Liverpool’s goal expectancy, whilst decreasing that of Leicester’s. These new numbers are based purely on home v away shot stats. This doesn’t change my view that siding with Leicester is the ‘value’, but it does mean that I may be under-staking. However for this matchup I think it’s worth airing on the side of caution. My new goal expectancies are Liverpool 1.50 v 1.22 Leicester; this makes Liverpool favourites and gives them a 43.66% chance of winning the match, in my book.

livleiIn my opinion the optimum bet to have here is Leicester 0 Asian Handicap/Draw No Bet at 4.20. However I wouldn’t put anyone off backing them +1 at 1.80, which then provides the added security of stakes being returned in the event of Leicester losing by a single goal. My feeling is that this game will play out perfectly for Leicester as they’ll be able to sit back and hit Liverpool on the counter attack.


Just for some interest, please vote in the poll below as I’d like to know if the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ produces acurate results.

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