Leicester City vs Crystal Palace
Really excited for this match. Two of my favorite teams to watch in the Premier League. Leicester have loads of attacking talent, but also make tons of mistakes at the back. Palace have a stronger defense, but have some nice attacking pieces and play with some punch. I would lean Palace +0.25 on the side, but I am passing. It feels to me Leicester are due for a result or two, but I do like the over. If you have been reading my work, you know Leicester Overs are a thing this season. More than 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches, and 8-1 on the season. The combination of a good attack and a poor defense leads to that. Palace are less potent, but have gone over in their last 2 matches. Neither of these teams will settle for a point, as they sit 15th and 20th in the league. I think this should be open and maybe a 2-2 here. The Foxes concede 1.60 NPxGA/90, which is 3rd worst in the league, and Palace are 13th in this metric. Both attacks are less impressive from a metric standpoint, but I am going to trust the talent I see with my eyes. Over, easy bet, every week at this price.
Leicester City / Crystal Palace Over 2.5 (-114) 1.5 Units
Fulham vs Bournemouth
Two newly promoted sides face off Saturday, as Bournemouth travel to the dreaded Craven Cottage. Bournemouth and Fulham sit 9th and 10th in the table, which is shocking frankly. Funny enough, both should be in the bottom 3, but here we are. Fulham have a good attack, but an abhorrent defense. Bournemouth have a better defense, but a horrendous attack. Net net it lands you 19th and 20th in NPxGD. Fulham are conceding an eye-popping 2.20 NPxG/match, which a league worst. Bournemouth are better, but still poor at 1.54 (14th ranked). Both of these clubs will come back to the pack over the course of the season. This is not a top-10 matchup! However, I think this is an over based on how poor these defenses are. Bournemouth are also much less steadfast on the road than they are at home. Give me Over 2.5 at a good price.
Fulham / Bournemouth Over 2.5 (-110) 1.5 Units
Manchester United vs Newcastle United
The Magpies head to Manchester to take on United this Sunday morning. This match sticks out to me for a few reasons. One being that Man United are an interesting team under Erik ten Hag, and I think the market is still trying to figure out how good they actually are. The other reason is the fact that Newcastle United are good, and also think the market doesn’t quite know where they should stack up. I think it would surprise most when I say that Newcastle are better than Manchester United at the moment. The Magpies rank 3rd in NPxGD, with an expected goal differential of +0.70/90 while Man United’s NPxGD ranks 9th at 0.02/90.
Basically, Man U’s xG differential is flat, which is bang average. Newcastle’s is in-line with a team like Liverpool, who are still a really high-quality side. I say all of this to also say that I think the market could have this match priced incorrectly. United are an even money favorite on the moneyline, and I think this should probably be closer to -0.25, or another 20 cents shaded towards Newcastle. On top of that, the Red Devils also had to play a Europa League match Thursday, where they had to go all game, only to squeak out a 1-0 victory over Omonia Nicosia. They struggled with them in the prior week as well, winning 3-2 in another nail biter. Travel won’t be an issue, but them being not easy matches does. I could see a world where Newcastle are the fresher side. For all of these reasons, I will be on Newcastle double chance come Sunday.
Newcastle United +0.5 (-118) 2.0 Units
Leeds United vs Arsenal
The Gunners will have to travel to Elland road Sunday morning as well to continue their blazing hot form in the Premier League. They also played Thursday in the Europa League, away to Bodo Glimt in Norway. Arsenal edged it 1-0 in a very blah performance. And now they have to head to a ruckus environment away to Leeds. Going out on a bit of a limb here, because Arsenal and the over have been very good for most of the season. I like the under here. I think most think of Leeds as a high scoring and high conceding bunch. And that is true somewhat, but they have had more than 3 goals in just one of their last 5.
Under 3 probably pushes a lot, but I do think it is valuable based on what I have seen from Leeds lately. And what I have seen is better defending and less of wide open attacking play. Their xG stats place them at about 10th in xG and xGA, and I just think Under 3 is a touch high for that profile. On top of that, Arsenal have the 2nd best defense in the EPL, conceding just 0.82 NPxGA/90. I will likely need a Gunners clean sheet to cash this, but I do like it based on both of their profiles I have outlined. Combine this with an away Europa League match, and I am going Under 3.