Another English Premier League season kicks off this weekend highlighted by the league’s first ever season opener on a Friday night. Wagering on the Premiership presents different challenges than some of the other top flight domestic leagues in Europe and here to make sense of it all is our soccer insider James Kempton with 10 betting tips for tackling the season.
Knowledge of the upcoming schedule helps bettors make calculated judgments on potential changes to on-field personnel. What do I mean by this? When it involves handicapping the larger clubs that are forced to operate in midweek European competitions, pay close attention to the teams they have on deck. Lineups can look very different against derby rivals or bottom third opponents. Avoid laying big prices with certain sides until you check lineups; there’s no worse situation than holding a big ticket with a club not operating at full strength.
Use quarter goals to your advantage
The Asian handicap is a bettors best friend and different from anything in North American sports. Look to back teams laying a quarter of a goal on home soil, or receiving three-quarters of a goal on the road whenever possible, rather than betting into full prices. These lines increase value on home favorites while offering the opportunity of a back door cover when investing in certain pups away from home.
Bet numbers not teams
Across every sport this is one of the single biggest challenges bettors face every season; the EPL is no different. Huddersfield Town is this year’s equivalent of the Cleveland Browns or maybe the New York Jets; they won’t be very good, but in every situation the price point makes you take the time to consider them. Teams mired in relegation battles offer plenty of opportunity in the right situations and aren’t automatic fades on the goal line.
Can anyone outside the big six break into the top four?
Everton has had a bit of a clear out during the summer. They cashed in on Romelu Lukaku and seem to have spent the money rather astutely. Wayne Rooney is back with his hometown club, the likeable Ronald Koeman is at the helm for his second season, and in Michael Keane they signed the best young defender in England. It’s a juicy price for them to muscle their way into the top four, but if anyone can break the stranglehold of the ‘Big Six’ the Toffees are my pick.
Home field advantage counts
EPL home teams have a win rate just under 60%. Even in a league with huge disparities in talent and finances, no fewer than 14 of the 20 teams won eight or more of their home matches last campaign. Pay close attention to any game where you see home underdogs in matches involving clubs in the same competitive tier (Asking WBA to win outright against City, United, and Chelsea isn’t the best path to soccer riches).
Promoted teams will be rubbish on the road
Last season newly promoted sides compiled a road record of the following in 57 matches: Win 3- Draw 14- Lose 40; Goals for 32 / Goals allowed 110! So most games where Brighton, Huddersfield or Newcastle receive just half a goal (or less) away from home creates a perilous state. The horrific goal difference for those teams also suggests that any line priced with the home team -0.75 should not necessarily put you off that side either.
Just like snow in Green Bay, the wind and rain in Burnley and Huddersfield level out what on paper can look like a very uneven playing field. Poor weather, especially heavy rain, often decreases the number of scoring chances in any given fixture. Teams who have an abundance of European and South American talent may flourish in warmer temperatures, but find winter months hard work. Have you ever been to Stoke on a wet, windy and rain-filled evening in December? Hopefully the answer is no.
Learn to embrace Draws
Whether football or cricket there’s nothing more enjoyable to us English than playing for hours on end only for everyone to go home with nobody emerging victorious! From a betting perspective draws are often a value-priced option on the three-way, especially in matches where such a result is viewed as a favorable outcome for both teams. Close your eyes, pucker up, and think how smart you’ll feel when two teams muster the full spoils of victory but you do!
Backing the dog
Be patient if you’re wanting to back the underdog in matches against named clubs. Public perception plays a bigger role in the EPL than most North American sports given loyal international fandom. It’s often worth waiting until right before kick to place your bet ensuring the best of the number once betting houses and sports books like BetOnline.AG try to soften parlay liability.
There will never be another Leicester City story
If you think Leicester City will repeat their glory from two seasons ago, or if you believe Stoke is primed for UCL inclusion, or Swansea can finish atop the table than you’ve lost your marbles. Find the best available price offered on that bet, then double it, then add a few hundred more and I will personally book your action! The EPL is composed of the haves and have-nots; this year’s winner will come from one of last years top six finishers. Despite the occasional upset during a long season the cream usually rises to the top of the table after 38 matches.