This Season: 36-33-12 (+3.6 Units)
Matchweek 6: 5-3-2 (+2.0 Units)
Slowly but surely I’m getting myself back to where I was a few weeks ago. That’s why whenever you have a bad week, you just need to stick to your principles and keep going. Well, as long as you can trust your principles…
Let’s dive into this weekend’s matches, which include some trap games for a few big teams and the Madrid Derby.
English Premier League
Saturday, September 28th
7:30 am EST
Liverpool @ Sheffield United (TV: NBCSN) – Liverpool have played one home game since late August and now travel to Sheffield, a team who just beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park last weekend and one who hasn’t lost by more than one goal all season. But Liverpool are just too tough of a team to defend against, especially when they’re constantly forcing the issue and not letting the match settle. They’re averaging 2.3 goals scored per game so far this season and they’ll be Sheffield’s first real test this season so far. That to me is the difference here, they’ve yet to face a team like Liverpool. I’ll take the European Champions here. Liverpool -1.5 (+105).
10:00 am EST
West Ham @ Bournemouth – Through six matches these teams are sitting 5th and 6th respectively, only seperated by one point. Bournemouth are coming off of their first ever win at the St. Mary’s Stadium and West Ham are coming off of a big win at home to Manchester United. But both of these teams slipped up this week in the Carabao cup against third division teams, slowing down a decent run of form for both clubs. But prior to that loss for West Ham, they were on a six match unbeaten run with four wins mixed in. They’re playing solid footy and are earning every result in the league so far while Bournemouth has been inconsistent with how they’ve played week to week. I’ll take West Ham on the pickem here as I have more confidence in their consistency to get points. West Ham Pickem (+105).
Burnley @ Aston Villa – Villa will be very disappointed with their result last weekend after blowing two leads while also man up to Arsenal and eventually losing the game. But one thing I’ve loved about how Villa have played this season is their willingness to go at teams who are better than them, showing that they’re not scared. Burnley meanwhile are coming off of a solid win at home to Norwich, but they’ve been very abject away from home (0-2-1 this season). Just like West Ham, I feel way more confident about Villa’s chances at points here than Burnley. Aston Villa Pickem (-135).
Brighton @ Chelsea (TV: NBCSN) – I have no idea what to think about Chelsea right now, they might be allergic to covering the spread. They’re 2-7 ATS this season but they face a Brighton team who have only won one match in the league this season. I actually think this is the perfect match for Chelsea to begin to right the ship and get their first home league win of the season. I think it could push, but there’s more upside on Chelsea’s side with the possibility of it being a 2 or 3 goal win than it is with a draw or a Brighton win. But one thing is for sure, if they don’t cover here they are in some serious trouble. Chelsea -1 (-130).
Norwich @ Crystal Palace – Betting on Norwich this season has been a roller coaster. They either win in dramatic fashion or lose in a disappointing performance. They have no draws so far this year, they beat Man City and they’ve lost by more than one goal once this league season (losing by more than one goal, three times). Palace meanwhile have been a little bit easier to predict this season and they’re undefeated at home so far. Even though they’re outright favorites, and I was hoping this would be more of a ‘juiced pickem’ scenario, I like Palace to take care of business at home here. Crystal Palace -0.5 (-110).
Southampton @ Tottenham – Spurs are somehow going to have to get over the fact that they lost to fourth division Colchester in the league this week and focus on playing Southampton, a team who is 4-0-1 away from home this season in all competitions. But take that stat with a grain of salt as those away wins came against Brighton, Fulham, Sheffield and Portsmouth. Plus, Spurs are slowly turning their new stadium into a fortress and even though they’ve had some shaky results this season, their squad is now solidified and there are no more excuses. I think Tottenham make up for their embarrassing loss here and get the win against a Southampton team who will face their first real away test this season. Tottenham -1 (-135).
Watford @ Wolves – Wolves are not even close to where they thought they’d be after six matches; 19th place and without a win. But it could be worse as Watford sit behind them in 20th place with half as many points. The thing about Wolves though is that they’ve had to balance a tough European schedule before and into the start of the league season, and they’ve only lost 2 matches in the league this season (six teams have lost more). Things look bright for them if they can start to figure out how to win games and this is the perfect moment to start. Watford are the most inconsistent team this season and have the ability to completely break down, especially away from home. I expect Wolves to turn it around here with their best opportunity to get a win so far this season. Wolves -0.5 (-115).
12:30 pm EST
Manchester City @ Everton (TV: NBC) – This would really seem like a trap game for City here if it weren’t for Everton’s totally inconsistent play this season. Everton’s two wins in the league this season are against Wolves and Watford (19th and 20th place) and they’re coming off of back to back league losses including last weekend at home to Sheffield where they only allowed one shot on target. City meanwhile have bounced back after their loss to Norwich a few weeks ago, going 2-0 and +11 since (yes, they were against Watford and Preston but still good to see that they can respond with force). They’ve found a temporary solution at center back in Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne is back to being the best midfielder in the world. I’ll take City here as I expect them to keep reminding everyone what they’re capable of, especially with the gap from Liverpool not likely to change anytime soon. Manchester City -1.5 (-115).
Sunday, September 29th
11:30 am EST
Newcastle United @ Leicester City (TV: NBCSN) – Normally I’d pick Leicester here and call it a day but there’s something that really worries me about this game for the Foxes. James Maddison, Leicester’s best player this season, will likely be out with an ankle injury. He leads the squad in touches and assists and is the linchpin in that Leicester midfield. Without him we don’t know how Leicester will play and I think it’s Newcastle’s opportunity to take advantage, especially with how they’ve been playing recently. Newcastle have one loss in their last five in all competitions including a draw in 90 minutes against Leicester in late August in the Carabao Cup, with Leicester’s only goal coming from… James Maddison. They’ve also covered or pushed in four of their last five matches and have also covered and won outright in their last two trips to the King Power Stadium. I’ll take the points here. Newcastle +1 (-110).
Monday, September 30th
3:00 pm EST
Arsenal @ Manchester United (TV: NBCSN) – The Premier League match of the weekend includes two of the most historic clubs in the history of England. But this time around, they’re both grasping at straws to make something out of this season. Arsenal may be sitting in 4th right now, but they haven’t impressed or had a normal match all season long. Last week’s comeback against Villa while man down did show that they may be starting to get their ducks in a row though. Meanwhile United are in complete shambles. They may only have two losses in all competitions this season but they were at home to Palace and away to West Ham. They barely escaped Astana in the Europa League last week and third division Rochdale at home in the Carabao Cup this week, needing penalties. Not only are United lacking an identity, but they can’t seem to get a starting XI that works for them or that balances out the youth and experience that they have in their team. Not only am I going to take Arsenal on the pickem line, but I’m also going to take a flyer on their moneyline as well, which sits at 2/1. Arsenal Pickem (+120) and Arsenal (+200).
Spanish La Liga
Saturday, September 29th
3:00 pm EST
Real Madrid @ Atletico Madrid (TV: BeIN Sports) – The first Madrid Derby hits us in Matchweek 7 in La Liga. Most people would see Real’s start to their season as bad, but somehow they are atop La Liga through those seven matches. But there are some cause for concerns for Madrid as they’re currently battling the injury bug (Mendy out and Isco, Modric, Marcelo all likely not match fit) and have had a few interesting results this season (3-0 loss at PSG, draws to Villareal and Valladolid). Atletico meanwhile have had a little more stability. They’re playing the footy that Simeone wants them to play with only one loss this season and ranking 2nd in goals conceded. I feel more confident in taking the home pickem here especially with how Atletico’s defense has been looking in the league. Atletico Madrid Pickem (-130).
That’s all for this weekend’s edition of my betting preview. Good luck to all!
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.