by Zack Lambert
September 11th, 2020
After a shortened offseason and busy transfer window for many of England’s top teams, the Premier League kicks back off with Arsenal visiting Craven Cottage for the first time since October of 2018. With the games commencing tomorrow morning for those in the States, it’s time to get your bets down and start the season off the right way. Below is the best bet for each game on the slate for the weekend, Monday included, so set an alarm, grab your coffee, and let’s get in gear for Premier League Mornings.
The Manchester City/Aston Villa and Burnley/Manchester United matches have been postponed to a later date and thus will not be in this article.
Arsenal -1 (-110): Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have been one of the best teams in English football in the past few months beating Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool twice, and taking a pair of trophies from those matches. The Gunners don’t always perform to their highest level against the teams who are below them, but that’s all beginning to change under the new regime. Arsenal are visiting Fulham to kick off the new season and they’re primed to take three points immediately. The newly promoted Fulham don’t have the best defense so Arsenal are going to unleash the hounds for a big victory.
Southampton ML (+130): This bet is a bit more about Crystal Palace than it is for Southampton, at least for me. Palace were very bad last season and had major issues scoring goals. Michy Batshuayi is going to help a bit but he isn’t someone who might change an entire season for a club like Palace. Southampton made major moves to improve their back line and have a serious assassin at the top of the formation in Danny Ings. Southampton will win this match and I like the prop for Ings to score at +300.
Liverpool vs Leeds; Both teams to score – 1H (+325): This is a bit of a deep one and at +325 you it’s obviously not something that bookies see too likely, but Leeds are a big club and they’re out to surprise the PL. Liverpool ought to take an early goal within 30 minutes as they’re known to do. Leeds, though, have made over €60M in purchases this offseason and are looking to make an impact. Liverpool’s defense has been a bit lazy recently and with Henderson at less than 100%, Liverpool ought to be caught out for Leeds to take the lead or draw level. Regardless of the scenario or order, both teams will get on the scoreboard in the first half.
Newcastle ML (+260): A quick glance at the rosters and injury lists of the two teams might have you scratching your heads wondering why I picked Newcastle to win this match, but it runs deeper than just player quality. West Ham have been calamitous in the offseason and had another terrible window under David Moyes who didn’t address any real issues for the Hammers. The team will have terrible morale, plus they finished 16th last season. Newcastle, on the other hand, have made a few very good pickups including Callum Wilson who has scored more goals against West Ham than any other opponent. Newcastle is a bit dinged up but the attack is much improved and Steve Bruce always runs a tight ship.
West Brom vs Leicester Over 2.5 (-105): The newly promoted West Brom were the runners-up in the Championship last season with 83 points, 10 behind champions Leeds. This season they’re a favorite to be relegated right back down into the second tier. Leicester, James Maddison or not, will kick that process into motion by letting Jamie Vardy stretch his legs while the midfield dances around. The health of the back line of Leicester is questionable but the replacements behind them are more than sufficient to take on WBA. I won’t be surprised if Leicester punches in three on their own and WBA is capable of adding another.
Spurs vs Everton Draw (+255): Spurs are certainly the more talented team with Kane, Min, Alli, and others in the mix, but with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm and a refinished midfield, Everton are looking fierce. Spurs play good football at home and won’t be denied a goal with a cohesive attack helmed by England’s #9. However, Everton have a dependable defense with a very good keeper, experienced fullbacks, two incredible new midfielders in James and Allan, and a pair of star strikers at the top of the formation. A newish defense and the skill of Everton will prevent Spurs from picking up all three points and instead force a splitting of the spoils.
Sheffield vs Wolves; First half goals – Exactly 1 (+155): Wolves and Sheffield are a pair of teams who were promoted fairly recently and are showing up in big ways. Both teams finished in the top ten last season and both narrowly missed out on European football. A common denominator between the two teams was a stout defense with Wolves allowing 40 goals on the season while the Blades bested them by a single shot. This is going to play a factor as there won’t be any wild scoring to open the match, just a single goal to force a comeback in the second half. Tough defense, coy attackers, and pair of pace-setting teams will make for a lackadaisical first half.
Chelsea to score in both halves (+140): Even with a drove of skilled players out for the opening match, the Blues are still overloaded with talent. I won’t bother to go through all the great players who are still in the lineup, but the ones you need to know are Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. Both players are German transfers who are unbelievably talented goal scorers. Chelsea can put some serious pressure on and Brighton aren’t fully equipped to handle a team like this. Chelsea will break through in both halves en route to a victory.