by Zack Lambert
October 14th, 2020
Liverpool/Everton Anytime Goalscorer: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (+125): This season’s Liverpool Derby is going to be much more anticipated by Everton fans than it has been in recent seasons thanks to the success the team have had early in the season. With Liverpool coming off a shambolic performance at Villa Park I don’t expect them to look great. The Reds’ defense has struggled recently and I expect a humming Liverpool attack to take advantage. Everton’s midfield is better than Liverpool’s and the team will be eager to take down their rivals. Calvert-Lewin is the hottest striker in the world right now and his teammates will be looking for him to put away their chances.
Chelsea -1 (-125): Both Chelsea and Southampton have put out fairly meddling performances in the new season, but to different degrees. The Saints kicked off their season with two losses to teams who are objectively more complete, but bounced back with two wins against Burnley and West Brom. Danny Ings has scored regularly but has yet to find his top form. Outside of their most recent win over Palace, Chelsea have been disappointing, especially in their draw with West Brom. That Palace win does give me some confidence in Chelsea though, and Southampton don’t seem able to play up to their competition. I like the Blues to not just win the match but do so in dominant fashion with Timo Werner finally opening his PL account.
Arsenal +1, +1.5 (+105): This line puzzles me a bit. It’s a big gap for a pair of teams who have played each other fairly evenly in recent meetings. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal look like one of the club’s best products in ages with a reshaped defense and offense who have yet to hit their stride. As for Manchester City, they’re really struggling to start the season as they’re rife with issues on the back line and their top striker options are either Raheem Sterling or Liam Delap, leaving a weakness no matter the choice. Arsenal will be looking to take the full points in this match and even in a poor showing I don’t see them being played off the field. Arteta knows this side very well and the Gunners will be prepared for whatever Guardiola’s side has brewing.
Manchester United/Newcastle Over 2.5, 3 (-115): This is probably the most controversial game of the week in my mind. At first I liked Manchester United to win the match by a margin, but then I remembered their form so far this season and immediately backed off. I swung my opinion to Newcastle keeping things close and covering the spread, but the instant offense that United is capable of plus a volatile Newcastle defense forced me off that. Then I liked the under but the quality of defenses leaves me where I sit now. Harry Maguire is an absolute disaster and both teams can score very well when the opportunity arises and I believe there will be plenty to go around.
Fulham ML (+280): It’s a pretty weird occurrence between these two teams, but they’ve played the exact same group of four teams through four matches: Wolves, Leeds, Arsenal, and Villa. By the table we should go with Sheffield, right? They’re once spot above Fulham even though both teams have lost all four matches. I’m not so convinced. Fulham have an attack that is much, much better than that of Sheffield and even though Fulham have given up a lot of goals, I don’t think Sheffield’s unit is much better. Fulham have simply been more impressive to me than Sheffield and actually displayed some semblance of an attack. Take Fulham to pick up all three points on the day.
Crystal Palace/Brighton Over 2, 2.5 (-105): I wouldn’t really have been surprised if this line had been set at 2.5, 3, but this one is a bit low for me and I would like to take advantage. The spread is at 0 and both teams are plus juice in the moneyline category, but it’s a really close game and I don’t know who can pull this one out. If we get the Palace we saw against United then they’re going to win, but if we get the Chelsea version of the team, the most recent version, they’re going to be eviscerated again. The same goes for Brighton. Their match against Newcastle was very impressive but they struggled in the League Cup against Manchester United and have lost their past three matches. Both teams are capable of winning the match but we have no idea what we’ll see from either side. All I’m really confident about is that both teams are capable of scoring goals quickly.
Spurs/West Ham Over 3 (EVEN): West Ham have been one of the most volatile teams in the country to this point, evidenced by their two wins and two losses on the season. Having lost to Newcastle and beaten Leicester and Wolves by large margins, this team just doesn’t make much sense. On the other hand, Spurs have looked fine so far this season, but showed out against Manchester United with a shocking 6-1 victory. Son and Kane are playing out of their minds and if Southampton and Man United can’t stop them, I don’t think West Ham can either. One the flip side, West Ham have been very good with the ball at their feet and I expect them to put some goals in as well. This is going to be a fun event with a lot of goals.
Leicester/Villa Over 2.5, 3 (-125): I don’t like to be basic with so many overs but this is another match I feel very good about and expect to go high. Both team’s last match was an anomaly. Leicester lost 4-0 to West Ham and Villa topped Liverpool 7-2 at Villa Park. Now, there’s four theoretical scenarios which could happen here. Both teams regress to the norm, neither team regresses, or one of each regresses. The only scenario in which I see the under hitting is if only Villa regresses and I actually find that to be the least likely of all the scenarios. Leicester is too talented to go scoreless against a team who was nearly relegated last season and they’ll put in at least two. Villa’s attack might have been on steroids but it wasn’t a fluke. Both teams are going to score and I see more than three goals easily.
Burnley ML (+195): If there’s an option to cancel this match then I think that could be the best option. I feel about the same way for the Sheffield/Fulham match, but this one especially. Both of these teams are very bad and the only wins they have in their past five matches are against Millwall and Harrowgate. West Brom is above Burnley in the standings mostly because of a terrible half of football from Chelsea, but also because Burnley is also a terrible top flight football team. The main reason I’m siding with Burnley is due to the talent they’ve flashed in the past. If Dwight McNeil can find some form and the defense doesn’t commit any howlers then I think West Brom won’t have a chance. Neither team is any good though and I’ll enjoy spending my time doing literally anything else while these two toil on the pitch.
Leeds ML (+145): This is another match where it’s just a mess. Leeds are a really good side and they’re extremely fun to watch play, but all in four matches we’ve seen Wolves dominate and be dominated by their opposition. I’m really not sure what the issues are at the moment but it’s clear that there is one. As for Leeds, I don’t think they have a problem. If you want to create one you could say that their team isn’t as talented as that of Liverpool and City, but that’s not a real issue is it? As much as I like Wolves and how they’ve turned the club around, I just don’t see them beating Leeds in the form they’re in right now. Maybe the international break will change things, but I doubt there will be that large of a gulf over two weeks when the team is not together.