In the EPL’s first weeks back in action, I view the teams as being in better form than previous years, having just a short break from the conclusion of the previous year to replace friendlies. Favorite plays will be EPL picks where I agree with the results driven by my betting model and I feel comfortable placing at least a unit.
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Favorite EPL Picks
Leeds United vs. Fulham: Leeds United Moneyline (-162)
Arsenal vs. West Ham: Arsenal Moneyline (-186)
Two clubs which were promoted together meet up as Leeds takes on Fulham. Leeds posted the best defense in the Championship, allowing 0.73 goals a game. Fulham allowed a goal a game and and relied on their offense to carry the load. In their most recent match, Leeds put a beating on Fulham 3-0 and carry the promise of more success in this EPL campaign. Both clubs were handed losses in their EPL debuts, but Leeds looked the more ready club as they gave last year’s champions, Liverpool, a run for their money. Fulham were shut out by Arsenal 3-0 and their defense was exploited. I do not think Fulham will be shut out again, but Leeds should be able to handle this one convincingly to the tune of 2-1.
Arsenal looks to keep rolling in this match against West Ham. Both clubs had easier matches to start the campaign. West Ham could not close it out against last year’s fourth-worst defense in Newcastle. Arsenal should roll through West Ham, whose defensive woes continue, allowing 1.2 expected goals against a weak offense and looking like the second-worst defense in the EPL. They allowed an expected goals against of 61.9 a year ago. The addition of Willian paid early dividends for Arsenal with two assists, and that should continue in this matchup. I like Arsenal to take this match 2-0.
The value on both lines is poor, so I will look to parlay the win with Leeds and Arsenal. That said, a straight wager should do just fine, depending on your comfort level. For more value, laying a goal on the line of the Arsenal game would increase the return but comes with push risk if Arsenal manages just a 1-0 victory.
Chelsea vs. Liverpool: Over 3.5 (+150)
The early clash features two clubs that should sit top-4 by seasons end should be a good one. Chelsea finished last season with the third-ranked defense, allowing an expected goals against of 37.3. Liverpool finished fifth with an expected goals allowed of 40. Offensively they sat two and three behind Manchester City in expected goals. If you look closer, their defenses are not immune to allowing blunder goals. These star-studded offenses can take advantage. Most of the goals started to trickle through towards the end and continued into this early EPL season. I like the offenses to get it done here and see the end result as a 2-2 draw. In addition, both teams are even money to take the victory, so if you favor one club or the other, a 3-1 or 3-2 edge swinging either way could be worth a half unit.
Bonus EPL Plays/Other Leagues
Liga MX: Club Atlas vs. Pachuca: Over 2.5 (+105)
Liga MX: Mazatlan vs. Cruz Azul: Cruz Azul Moneyline (+105)
EPL: Leicester City vs. Burnley: Leicester City Moneyline (-155)
Bundesliga: Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Arminia Bielefeld: Eintracht Frankfurt Moneyline (-160)
Ligue 1: Marseille vs. Lille: Marseille Moneyline (+137)
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