by Zack Lambert
June 20, 2020
Crystal Palace at AFC Bournemouth
Spread: Even; O/U: 2.5
Moneyline: Palace +200, Bournemouth +150, Draw +215
Time/Location: 2:45 ET, Dean Court, Bournemouth, England
Crystal Palace (LLWWW)
If you need a nap after a long morning of football, Crystal Palace is the perfect afternoon team to rest your eyes to. They’ve scored the third least goals in the Premier League at just 26 while allowing a very low 32 in to their net. That spills out to exactly two goals per game on average. Many of the top performers for Palace are defenders or defensive-minded players so that all begins to make sense when you look at personnel.
Palace are probably kicking themselves for not selling Wilfried Zaha to United or Arsenal last summer as he’s played well but lacks the eye-popping stats. With just three goals and three assists on the season they can expect a large drop in price. Palace aren’t a likely team to come from behind to win, so getting a lead and settling in on defense will be imperative.
The Cherries are having a very difficult time winning games right now and that starts with their attack. They’re averaging just a single goal per game while middling on the defensive side of the ball. If there’s something good to take away from this team that’s sitting at 18th in the Premier League it’s that they’re fielding an exceptionally young team, one that, if nothing else, has a tight core to grow in the future. If this team can edge back into the League next season there should be extreme improvement in many positions.
The Cherries prefer possession that pushes up the field and attacks opponents, but that leaves them open to counters, the defending of which is a large issue. Bournemouth is also bad at defending more prolific players and shutting down bigger gamble plays like through balls and longer shots. If they can shut down Zaha and contain the chances they give up they’ll have a good chance of claiming points.
Analysis and Pick
I don’t like the look of this game to be a blowout either way thanks to the lack of attacking prowess on either side of the ball, but I do expect some goals. We’ve seen a lot of shoddy defending in the games since the restart so there shouldn’t be much difference here. Avoid the spread here as this game is going to end in a draw.
The draw moneyline pays out in a big way and with both teams just treading water it makes a lot of sense. The better team is playing away and favors a defensive mindset. Both teams will land strikes but both will walk away from the battle. Take the draw moneyline and the under as this game ends in a 1-1 draw.