English Premier League Betting Picks for September 15th-17th
Published on September 13, 2018
It feels like ages have passed since the last round of games from the English Premier League. Honestly, I hate these international breaks, as I prefer club soccer.
Sure, there are some exciting moments, like watching the new generation of Spanish players trash the World Cup finalists, but overall, I find the breaks boring.
This is why I’m happy to see club soccer and the EPL, in particular, back. This represents a good opportunity to explore the betting odds offered by the bookies and share my next batch of free picks for this weekend.
I’m satisfied with how the season’s going so far, as a good chunk of my picks have been successful. Let’s take a closer look at what this particular week offers.
Let’s start with the mainstream betting markets that are related to this EPL match.
I must admit I’m a bit surprised by the prices provided by the online gambling sites. Watford’s record is perfect so far, and the side has been magnificent. The defense is not exactly perfect, but the team has been scoring all sorts of goals.
On top of that, it’s not like Watford has only beaten weak teams so far. In the last match before the international break, the Hornets were able to mount a comeback from a goal down and win against Tottenham.
This is a true testimony to the confidence and character of this team.
At the same time, they do face a strong opponent in Manchester United, but it’s one that’s hardly at its best. The atmosphere surrounding the Red Devils is still intense, and they have yet to convince with their performances.
The goals market makes sense to an extent. The 2.5 line is what I expected, but I thought the price for under 2.5 would’ve been a bit higher. After all, both teams average 3+ goals in their matches so far.
Let’s dive a bit deeper and check what the best possible betting picks are for this English Premier League game.
I will start with Watford, and I must admit that the side keeps proving me wrong. I didn’t expect much from the Hornets, so they are the biggest surprise since the start of the season.
The defense of the team looks more solid than anyone thought, while the front line is providing all sorts of goals.
I think the credit has to go to the manager, Javi Gracia, who installed a lot of confidence in his players. They feel they can beat anyone, and this was evident in Watford’s last home game against Tottenham. Spurs managed to score first, but the hosts reacted instantly.
They started winning every loose ball and pushing hard. As a result, Watford became the first team to beat Tottenham from behind in a long, long time. Both games were from set pieces, and this is one of the strongest weapons of the team, but Watford can score in so many ways.
It’s curious that skipper Troy Deeney mentioned after the game that the side actually ignored the instructions of the manager.
Still, the overall impression is that Watford is a well-drilled side that’s full of confidence after the bright start of the season. They are not scared of any team out there and can switch the tempo at will.
The team is capable of patiently playing from the back or causing havoc in the opponent’s half through long balls and set pieces.
The start of the season has been abysmal for Manchester United, at least when it comes to the side’s performance. The defense has conceded plenty of goals and looks insecure, while the front line is not working as expected.
Still, I think the loss against Tottenham wasn’t that bad, as the Red Devils missed too many chances and were punished too severely. At the same time, I wouldn’t take much from the win against Burnley, either.
The opponent was distracted by its Europa League game in midweek, which helped Manchester United win with ease.
United is a team that’s beatable, for sure, but it’s also strong and confident in many ways.
The big question is if Jose Mourinho will find a way to steady the defensive part of this team. He obviously doesn’t have the personnel he wanted, and the injury of Luke Shaw won’t help. Marcus Rashford will also miss the game after his red card against Burnley.
The win against Burnley improved the climate around Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, but I don’t think it was enough to restore the confidence of the team and fix the problems we saw at the start of the season.
The side still lacks confidence, many of the players are far from their best, and the manager simply can’t find a working formula at the back.
This could lead to another loss against a strong Watford team. The Hornets are flying right now, and the home crowd should be able to help further. To be honest, I’m torn between two betting picks for this match.
The first one would be to back the over 2.5 goals option. Both teams can score, and both can concede, as we saw since the start of the season. The price of 1.99 is quite tempting, and I feel it has solid value.
The other pick I like is for Watford not to lose this match. The hosts +0.5 Asian Handicap can be found at prices around 1.90, which is more than decent. The side is looking stronger than Manchester United so far in the season, so getting at least a point seems likely.
I think that both picks contain positive value, but I prefer to back Watford. It could easily end 1-1, which would be a winner but would lose if I go for the over 2.5 goals.
First things first, so let’s start with the betting odds for this game.
The bookies obviously expect a trashing here, and I couldn’t agree more. Chelsea is another team that has started the season with a perfect record, and everything seems to be working well for the Blues so far.
They are scoring plenty of goals – 2.5 on average per game, to be precise – while the defense looks solid. This is the reason the odds for a home win are so low against the relegation candidate Cardiff City.
I assume this is the reason behind the decision to set the under/over line at 3.00 goals, as Chelsea alone could easily cover it.
There were plenty of question marks about what would happen at Chelsea after the bleak last season and the arrival of new manager Maurizio Sarri. A lot of people expected the Blues to struggle, but the side has managed to win all four games in the EPL so far.
Certain players like Alvaro Morata and Willian look rejuvenated under the new management, while the likes of Hazard and Pedro are playing well, too. The new goalie, Kepa, hasn’t been tested too much but looks solid at this point.
To be fair, I expect Chelsea to hit a tough streak at some point of the season, but it’s too early for that.
One of the reasons for that is the strong defense. The match against Arsenal aside, Chelsea has barely looked troubled so far in the season, and I expect more of the same against a Cardiff side that seems bound for relegation.
Another positive is that with the exception of Cesc Fabregas, Sarri doesn’t have to deal with any injuries. The whole squad is at the Italian’s disposal.
It’s going to be a long season for Neil Warnock and his boys. To be fair, the start of the season is somewhat better than what most people expected. The manager was capable of building a strong defense, as Cardiff City already kept two clean sheets in four games.
Unfortunately for the club, it didn’t manage to score in those two games. Still, two points so far is not the end of the world.
Warnock’s biggest challenge right now is to find a way to fix the attack. Sure, Cardiff scored twice against Arsenal, but the current formation of the Gunners is extremely shaky.
It has leaked a bunch of chances in each game so far, so I’m more inclined to attribute Cardiff’s success in attack to Arsenal’s issues.
I don’t think Chelsea will give the Welsh side so much space, and it could be tough for Cardiff to create goalscoring opportunities.
I feel that Cardiff City is doomed at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will certainly find a way to score a couple of goals, and the visitors don’t have the firepower to respond. The price of 1.19 for the Blues is actually decent, but I have another idea.
BetOnline provides you with the opportunity to back Chelsea -2 Asian Handicap, and the price is 1.90. I think this represents solid value, as the Blues should easily win this game. If they manage to trash Cardiff with three goals or more, the bet is a winner.
Even if they struggle to cover the whole line, and the margin is only two goals, you still get your wager back. Since I predict something like 3-0 or 4-0 in favor of Chelsea, this is the betting pick that makes the most sense.
Here are the most popular markets for this EPL match.
According to the odds, the bookies see this as a pretty close game, and only the home advantage is what makes Bournemouth a slight favorite. I would argue that’s not exactly the case, and there are reasons to believe that the hosts are better, but more about that later.
As for the over/under goals market, I feel it’s fairly balanced, and the prices reflect that. Both teams have scored six goals and conceded five so far, so neither is too leaky or super prolific up front.
This is the reason why the line is set at 2.5 goals.
The start of the season has been great for Bournemouth. The team already has seven points after four games and sits in the top half of the English Premier League. Furthermore, the only loss came away from home against a strong Chelsea side.
On top of the good form in the league, Bournemouth also beat 3-0 MK Dons at home in the League Cup.
I would argue that the steady progress of the club under the young manager Eddie Howe will continue this season as well.
I feel that Bournemouth will be one of the pleasant surprises of this season, as the team has both a strong defense and creative attack. On top of that, Howe taught his players how to keep the ball well and move it around on the ground.
This style brings a lot of success to the team, especially against teams from the bottom half of the table. Leicester is not exactly that, but it’s not much better. I expect Bournemouth to be a strong host this year, and the team has yet to lose at its own stadium.
If you look at Leicester’s results and point tally, the start of the season is more than decent. However, I think the club has been lucky on a couple of occasions. There was a lot of good fortune involved in the wins against both Southampton and Wolverhampton.
Leicester let the opposition create a ton of chances in those games, and only the inability of the opposition to score was the reason the Foxes weren’t punished. Still, I have to admit that Leicester was lethal on the other end of the pitch.
The team’s style hasn’t changed much. It relies on a strong defensive performance by most of the players on the pitch and deadly counters on the other end.
Perhaps the biggest problem for Leicester is that the side will struggle against teams that have enough creativity to open up their defense. Wolverhampton and Southampton did that without getting a result, but I feel that it will be a different story against Bournemouth.
As you’ve probably noticed by this point, I expect Bournemouth to dominate this game and eventually beat Leicester. I’m quite certain that the hosts will create more chances. The question is if they will manage to take them.
My only concern is that the Bournemouth players are struggling to convert enough of their big opportunities, as the stats since the start of the season suggest. This is exactly how Leicester beat Southampton and Wolverhampton.
The price for Bournemouth is too good to miss, though, so I will take the 2.25 provided by most bookies. I feel it’s time for Leicester’s luck to end, and Eddie Howe and his boys have the quality to get all the points here.
In terms of a correct score prediction, I believe Bournemouth will win either 2-1 or 2-0.
There are a couple of other games that looked interesting, but I wasn’t exactly sure if there’s enough value available. For example, I feel that Arsenal’s defense will struggle away against Newcastle, and the Magpies could get something from this game.
I also fancy Wolverhampton to beat Burnley, but Sean Dyche and his boys are done with their Europa League involvement. This could boost their performance, so I will wait and see how that goes before I pick any Burnley games anytime soon.
What do you think about the next round of EPL matches? Do you agree with my picks? What are your own selections for the upcoming weekend?