Premier League | 23rd September 2017

The mid-week football action was excellent for the Cheeky Nando’s boys, unless they backed Real Madrid of course. There’s no such thing as free money in this game. For me it’s all about long term value and grinding out a return on my investment that is better than the banks or the hourly wage from a second job.

Manchester City v Crystal Palace

No goals, no points, my club have become a bit of a laughing stock. However dig a little deeper and it’s not all doom in this knee-jerk reaction results business. Only last seasons top six have taken more shots than Crystal Palace. Whilst the same six clubs are he only sides to have allowed more shots against, than the 55 Palace have conceded. There are two things we should all be sure about, Palace won’t end the season with a 0% shot to goal ratio and less 50.91% of the total shots faced will be on target, come May. Some may say that shot count doesn’t matter as all the shots could be from 50 yards. Whilst in some respects that is true, it’s unlikely that Palace have taken 71 from that distance.

When you look at FACTS and not sensationalist nonsense, you see that Palace have taken 59.15% of their shots from inside the penalty area. For a reference point Manchester City has taken 54.83% of their shots within the penalty area.  With the underlying numbers looking strong, backed up with solid locations, I’m happy to simple put this goal drought down to bad variance.

Crystal Palace will improve and most likely end the season in around 11th position. They are not 2016/17 Sunderland, 2015/16 Aston Villa, who both went off a shorter price than the current 26.0 we see the South Londoners chalked up at. Even Derby in their ELEVEN point season were never priced higher than 26.0.

Obviously Manchester City should be favourites, they should be odds-on, but they shouldn’t be priced up like Real Madrid are against Granada.  I’ll likely need an away goal, of even two for this bet to cover. I’ve priced Palace at 1.85 just to score, a 54% chance, so the 2.10 on offer for them to get at least one goal looks good value.

My bet here will cover me in the event of Palace not scoring, but only losing 1-0, or returning my stakes in a 2-0 defeat. Two goal starts are massive in football and when my numbers show me that they’re the best bet I’m not going to ignore them. Amazingly you can’t even get a 0 Asian Handicap line, let alone a -0.25 line, I don’t remember seeing that before in this league.

As yourself a simple question, is this match the biggest mismatch in Premier League history? If your answer is no, then you must be backing Crystal Palace in some form.


Southampton v Manchester United

Another Manchester United game and another chance for me to oppose them. As I said before the Stoke match, they’re not going to keep a clean sheet every week, they’re not going to win by two clear goals every week. I’m now going to add in, they won’t score three goals after the 80th minute every week.

I always seem to back Southampton against Man Utd, with no success. A combination of wonder saves, offside goals and poor refereeing always appear to cost me. That may be some for of confirmation bias, however even if it is everything evens itself out in the end.

There isn’t much point in me repeating the same stuff from the season so far. I believe that opposing Manchester United in the Asian Handicap market, when my numbers guide back that theory up, will results in a profit from their games come the end of the season.


Swansea v Watford

I don’t think they’ll be too much between these two sides come the end of the season. However Swansea need to start improving. No side in the league has taken fewer shots than their 31, whilst only Burnley have conceded more than the 104 shots given away by The Swans. I haven’t done my first big numbers update for the Premier League this season, which means last seasons numbers still relevant in my calculations.

Looking at this seasons numbers for Watford, they sit 13th in total shots with 55. In terms of shots against they’ve conceded 73, which puts them 15th on that statistic. Longer term it’s unlikely they’ll improve either of those placing to top half numbers, as by definition they are a lower to mid-table side. This is the exact same category that I’d place Swansea in.

The numbers say that Swansea are a decent bet here and it looks a good opportunity to push the line to -1. Swansea have more scope for improvement than watford, in terms of their underlying numbers, as I don’t believe they are the worst side in the league.

BACK SWANSEA -1 ASIAN HANDICAP at 4.10 (888 Sport)

Leicester v Liverpool

Klopp is gegenflopping! Take away the boom boom rock and roll quotes, Liverpool biased media love in and you’re left with a manager who hasn’t actually won much, that likely has a questionable browsing history.

There’s a time and a place to back Liverpool, away from home at odds-on isn’t one of them. Liverpool have been odds-on (sub-2.00) 16 times in the league away from home in the Klopp era and only won 8. If you had backed Liverpool in all of those matches, you would’ve lost money. It’s not specifically a Klopp problem, Liverpool has been over-rated away from home for my entire betting career. However the Klopp ‘effect’ isn’t helping them to break that mould, therefore they’re still being priced up too short.

It’s simple, Liverpool are odds-on away from home. Opposing them is a long term value play.


Everton v Bournemouth

Everton get their first realistic chance of a win since their season opener against Stoke. Games against man City, Chelsea, Spurs and Man Utd have seen them only gain a solitary point and goal from those four fixtures. Bournemouth is a step down in grade for them and we should expect them to gain maximum points.

My current Premier League numbers are largely based on the 2016/17 season. Bournemouth do not appear to have improved from last season. If anything they’ve got worse. They’ve taken 45 shots, the third lowest in the league. Whilst they’ve conceded 78 shots against, only three sides have faced more. Looking at Bournemouth’s fixtures, they’ve faced Watford and Brighton at home, with a trip to West Brom as their opener. They conceded an average of 14 shots per game in those fixtures. These numbers do not point to Bournemouth replicating their top half finish for last term.


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