It’s been a long (not really) 83 days since last year’s premier league season ended, but now it’s time to get back to business. The first weekend is always interesting to see which teams are in shape, in form, and ready to jump to the top of the table early with 3 points under the belt.
Let’s get right into the picks for the weekend.
Burnley @ Chelsea 10:00 am ET:
Chelsea (-417) (-2)
The champions kick off their ’17/18 campaign with history in their favor. Only once have the returning champions lost in Matchweek 1 on the season of their title defense. Chelsea should have Stamford Bridge rocking on Saturday and they should cruise to a very commanding 3-0 victory against a weakened Burnley side who stands little to no chance.
Swansea City @ Southampton 10:00 am ET:
Swansea City (+460)
Southampton (-164) (-½)
Compared to Chelsea, history is not on the side of Southampton, as they have never won a home opening day match in the Premier League. With that being said, the Swans (a.k.a. Big Cat’s Swans) haven’t won at Southampton’s home ground of Saint Mary’s Stadium in over 2 and a half years, losing 3 and drawing 1. I think Southampton will edge one out here with a late winner to make it 2-1.
Manchester City @ Brighton & Hove Albion 10:00 am ET:
Man City (-294) (-1½)
(O/U 2 ½, 3)
Manchester City might as well wear black to this one, as they’ll be burying Brighton on Matchweek 1 this season. City have won their last 6 opening fixtures, the best current run in the league. In those 6 games, Sergio Aguero has scored 5 goals and with the added firepower to the City front line, Brighton will be lucky if they can hold it to 2 or even 3 goals. But I think this one gets out of hand, with the OVER seeming like the right play in this one. 4-0 to City.
Other Saturday Picks:
7:30 am ET Liverpool (-164) @ Watford
10:00 am ET Huddersfield Town @ Crystal Palace (-124)
10:00 am ET Stoke City @ Everton (-143)
10:00 am ET Bournemouth @ West Brom: Bournemouth +1/2
Tottenham @ Newcastle United 8:30 am ET:
Newcastle United (+428)
Spurs start their campaign traveling to one of the new kids on the block; Newcastle. But don’t be fooled as Newcastle have been one of the Premier League’s most historic clubs only witnessing a downturn in the last year or two. After spending one season down below, they’re back and have plans to stay. They also have an American named Deandre Yedlin in their starting lineup so if you’re looking for someone to root for, he’s your guy. Sadly they have to face Tottenham who’s young stars have transformed their club from the laughing stock in London, to arguably the most talented team over the last two years combined. Spurs will have trouble from the start in what may be one of the better home field advantages in the league, but should find their footing once Harry Kane finds the back of the net. Spurs win 2-0,
*Note: there have been 14 goals scored in the last 3 premier league matches between these two teams at St. James’ Park, but with two very different sides compared to now. OVER could be in play, but tread lightly on the possible treacherous 2-0 scoreline*
West Ham United @ Manchester United 11:00 am ET:
West Ham United (+1047)
Manchester United (-319)
Man U begins their season at home this year, against what can sometimes be a deadly West Ham side. But there are two glaring facts here that will make you side with United. Jose Mourinho has NEVER LOST A HOME PREMIER LEAGUE GAME ON A SUNDAY (86W-26D). That is Bill Belichick-esque numbers. To add to that, Man U are unbeaten in their last 9 home matches against the Hammers, winning 7 and drawing 2. There is nothing else needed to be said about that. In classic Mourinho fashion, they will dominate the game and West Ham will not have a chance, but United will still win 1-0. That is what we call a ‘Mourinho Masterclass’ in the biz.
If you are wondering where my Friday Arsenal v. Leicester pick is, it is in my previous blog in the 2017/2018 Preview. (Arsenal to win 3-1)
UPDATE: *Arsenal won 4-3. Gunners took a 1-0 lead in the 1st (Lacazette) until Leicester tied it in the 4th minute (Okazaki). Leceister then went up 2-1 (Vardy) only for Arsenal to tie it 2-2 (Welbeck) before the break. Leicester came out in the 2nd half with a goal to make it 3-2 (Vardy) but blew the lead in a wild finish with goals from Arsenal in the 83rd (Ramsey) and the 85th minute (Giroud), giving Arsenal three points to start the season. What a match.
Parlay of the Week:
Man City (-294), Chelsea (-417), Man U (-319) = +120 (10 to win 12)
If you know anything about me, I LOVE parlaying games with results that should happen. The combination of these three games are three close to sure-fire wins and are worth the close to even odds. Never get googly-eyed by high odds and big payouts; take the probable-to-guaranteed wins and combine them into a sure-fire parlay. (Combining anything above -250 to -300 all the way to including games that are -1000 or above).
NOOB TIP: if you win your first two games on Saturday (Man City and Chelsea) then you can hedge with the spread of the Man U’s opponent West Ham on Sunday, which will most likely be +1½. That way you guarantee either splitting even or coming out with winnings regardless (Man U wins 1-0 then you win your moneyline AND your spread bet). Obviously, if you are experienced then you should know this well-known tactic which can be used across all sports.
Houston Dynamo (-120)
New York Red Bulls (-175)
FC Dallas (-200)
Toronto FC (-149)
Most of the other leagues around the world start in the next coming weeks, so I’ll be sure to include some picks from the marquee matchups around Europe’s top 5 leagues when they present themselves.
I’ll also have a weekly Christian Pulisic Baby Jesus Watch segment.
But until then…
Stay kickin’ it. Peace.