by Zack Lambert
October 1st, 2020
Chelsea/Crystal Palace Over 3 (+105): I initially wanted to go in on the spread in this match, specifically in the first half, but upon reflection the over seems a bit better. Sitting at just three goals I feel as though both teams are capable of doing some damage. Three weeks into the season the league as a whole are scoring goals at an unprecedented rate, nearly four per match, so two teams with plenty of scoring power should be able to keep that pace up. Palace just lost their first match of the season and Chelsea were humbled, but both teams are more than capable of scoring in bunches. If Werner is in fact out I might not be as confident in this pick but with Zaha scoring at the rate he is and the entire attacking unit of Chelsea trying to find a groove I like the prospects of a high scoring match.
Everton/Brighton Over 2.5 (-115): If you haven’t been keeping up, Everton have been one of the top teams in England this season and there is no fluke about the matter. Carlo Ancelotti has built a very strong team revolving around a world class midfield with Allan and James. With Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison scoring at the top of the formation they can really score on any team, evidenced by their recent romps. Allan may miss the match with a groin injury but I have faith that the club can still score. As a matter of fact, Allan missing the match may help Brighton get on the sheet as well. The Gulls have terrorized most of the side they’ve played this season including Manchester City and Chelsea. Tariq Lamptey, Leandro Trossard, and Neal Maupay have been stellar and could have beaten Manchester City by a huge margin if not for hitting woodwork a record five times. 2.5 seems very low for this match.
Manchester City/Leeds Over 3.5 (-115): I really dislike the prospects of this match for so many reasons. Manchester City have the ability to beat any side on the planet some days and others they get smothered by Leicester thanks to their ridiculously poor defending. Leeds style of play is sometimes referred to as “kamikaze” which can be accurate at times, but it’s generally a lot more organized than that. They score a ton thanks to ridiculously refined and organized chaos. On the other side we can also get organized chaos on the attack, but unorganized on the other end. City gave up three penalties to Leicester and lost 5-2. Do I think City can win and win by a lot? Of course. Do I think Leeds could win considering the striker dilemma for City? Absolutely. However, both of these teams are very adept at scoring goals and with City’s defense in shambles and de Bruyne going against a promoted team I have to recommend the over.
Newcastle ML (+140): This bet is just as much about Burnley as it is about Newcastle. Neither team is going to be contending for European competition, though only one seems to be a candidate for relegation. Newcastle have put up a fight in their matches for the most part but in a limited sample size Burnley look very poor. The Newcastle win over West Ham and draw with Spurs indicate a lot of potential for the side and with so many players still out for Burnley I have to give the edge to the team higher in the table. Allan Saint-Maximin should be able to find some stable footing in the game and make a good impact on the left side. Also, Nick Pope is playing awful football in this young season so look for the opposition to bombard him with shots.
Southampton -0.5, 1 (-105): While Southampton haven’t been a pillar of excellency this season, they haven’t been all that awful. Their loss to Spurs was quite forgettable but there was little they could do to stop Son and Kane that day. The victory over Burnley showed a more likely team and one we’ll see more often. West Brom showed an ability to compete in their first half victory over Chelsea, but the dematerialization of the team that came in the second half was one of the more demoralizing performances I’ve ever seen. The attack is not good for West Brom as they were gifted some goals and the defending is clearly not up to Premier League standards. Danny Ings should be running rampant in the back line. Even if half of this bet pushes I’m okay with that, I guarantee a win for Southampton.
Leicester/West Ham Over 2.5, 3 (-120): If you’ve not been keeping up with the league this season, Leicester are back at the top of the table. They’ve deconstructed every team they’ve met in the league this season including Manchester City to the tune of 5-2. The line for Leicester to win this match is weirdly low at just -155 and the spread is profitable at -125, but the over looks best in my eyes. The Hammers have scored in every match they’ve played this season besides the Premier League opener against Newcastle. That means goals against Wolves, Everton, and Arsenal. While Leicester are playing incredible football this season, they have allowed their share of goals. In the same breath, Leicester have scored 3+ in each match this season, so I have little doubts that these sides can put together a good number of finishes in their lunchtime brawl.
Wolves -1 (-115): I don’t know with this one. I’m not going anywhere near this match myself because I have no clue what Wolves are. We know what Fulham is. They’re awful. Their only wins on the season have come against Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday and they’ve only scored in a single loss, the 4-3 event against Leeds. They allow tons of goals and struggle to find it themselves. On the other hand we have Wolves. A 2-0 win over Sheffield showed what we thought might be a dominant offense which could still challenge to be one of the better sides in Europe. Then a pair of losses, a respectable one to City and a vaporization from West Ham, have me thinking the other way. Is the loss of Jota that monumental? Is it just the injuries? I have no clue what the issues are for Wolves but I know the very talented version we saw last season is still there somewhere. They have the ability to crush Fulham but I have no clue if they’ll show up.
Arsenal -1 (+105): After an impressive return to the Premier League last season, Sheffield are arguably the worst side in the league to this point. Their defense is usually their calling card but this season it’s been more of a liability. Their two most recent matches have been losses to Leeds and Aston Villa, teams who were also promoted in the last two seasons. Arsenal, on the other hand, have been one of the better sides in the league, their one loss coming to a Liverpool team who were utterly unbeatable. The Gunners will be looking to avenge that loss and an especially prone Sheffield side seem to be some of the easier prey they’ll have in the near future.
Tottenham Hotspur +0.5 (-105): This match between Spurs and Manchester United could be one of the best matches of the weekend and it should be pretty revealing as well. While Bale is not able to play and Son is doubtful, we could see a match that features Lo Celso, Ndombele, and Reguilon. Impact is needed to justify the prices of Ndombele and Lo Celso and Reguilon impressed against Chelsea in the League Cup. For Red Devils, they’ve been saved by a very late penalty against Brighton to earn their first win of the season but have looked very bad early in the season. The forwards are not producing and the midfield is struggling to really control the game. I’ve not been convinced by anything I’ve seen this season that the club can earn a Champions League position. Both managers have a warm seat, so this could be a big boost or big hit for either man. I like Spurs to keep the match close and earn a share of the points. Their squad is growing with real quality and despite the injuries they can still compete with most teams. Look for Kane to stay hot.
Liverpool -1.5 (-105): I actually really like the Aston Villa roster and think they’re going to be able to survive relegation this season if Sheffield is this bad, but this might be a match to miss for Villain fans. In their last league outing against Arsenal, Liverpool looked unbelievably good. Arsenal didn’t play all that well but the Reds deserved to score at least two more goals than they did. The whole team was extremely impressive and they should be fielding the entire top team considering they’re out of the League Cup now. Villa haven’t played poorly this season and the defense has been especially good with Martínez and Mings playing great football, but they don’t have a shot this weekend. Liverpool are out for blood.