Oh hey there! Looking good! Did you lose weight?
Nope, me neither. Every year I put on more weight over the Christmas period than Gonzalo Higuain after he seals a €90 million transfer.
Anyway, I’m back, and ready to rumble. Rumble like the ground does when Gonzalo Higuain… Okay, okay, that’s enough.
I went into the Christmas break hot, hot, hot. In my last column, I won 1/2 of my Best Bets, and a tidy 5/6 of my Tasty Tips. Overall, I’ve hit on 33 of my last 41 bets, for a decidedly un-shabby 80% winning percentage.
Where can I go from here? Well, the only way is down! Only joking – I’ll heroically try to simply maintain the excellent pace I’ve been on.
We’ve got a strange old slate of games this week.
Very few of them will actually be interesting to watch, but… that’s why we gamble! For betting purposes, matches which would otherwise seem catastrophically dull – like Cardiff vs Huddersfield – actually represent excellent opportunities.
No really, they do!
I’ve got three Best Bets this week, four Tasty Tips, and the usual smattering of flyers and multiple bets.
Let’s crack on, shall we?
(All odds are provided by William Hill, and are correct at the time of writing)
Welcome to the “Variety is Overrated”, BTTS Special Edition of my Best Bets section. How many different ways can I think of to write “both defences are rubbish”? Time to find out!
I’ve hit on my Best Bets consistently throughout the season, including four of my last five.
They’re surer things, which means lower odds, but a greater chance of success… obviously. Ramp up your stakes accordingly.
1) West Ham vs Arsenal, Both Teams to Score – 4/9
I love the Arsenal BTTS bet like it’s my own child. I make it every single week, and every week I end up that little bit richer. Yes, I’m an Arsenal fan, but there’s no reason I can’t profit from our defensive ineptitude.
Since the start of October, Arsenal have kept one clean sheet… and that was at home to Huddersfield. They couldn’t even prevent Fulham from scoring last time out, for God’s sake.
As for West Ham’s defence, guess what? They’re rubbish too! They’ve got the worst defensive record in the top half of the table, although – to be fair – they have mustered a mighty two clean sheets since October, to Arsenal’s one. And they came against offensive juggernauts Newcastle and Fulham.
This should be a fun game. It’ll be an extra fun game if you’re betting on goals, goals, goals.
2) Tottenham vs Man U, BTTS – 8/15
Oh ho ho, this is another fun one. Spurs and Man U are the two form teams in the league, so what should we expect when they clash? No, not disappointment, you cynic. Entertainment! Goals!
Spurs have been simply demolishing everything in their path recently… y’know, except when they got done 3-1 at home by Wolves. That hilarious game aside, they’ve scored six, five, three and seven goals within their last six games. Nasty.
Man U haven’t been quite so prolific since Ole, Ole Ole Oleee took over, but they’ve still been scoring plenty o’ goals. 14 in their last four games, to be precise.
There’s no question that Spurs will score. On the other end, their defence is no joke, but I still don’t see them keeping Man U’s newly-unleashed attacking force at bay.
3) West Brom vs Norwich, BTTS – 4/7
I will literally be at this game! You can be too, in a much less exciting way, by following the Full 90 Football Twitter account.
In terms of pure attacking football, this is the most enticing clash of the weekend (y’know, out of the leagues I actually know stuff about). West Brom are comfortably the highest-scoring team in the Championship. Norwich are second in that category.
What do you get when you calculate the sum “goals + goals”? Goals!
In case you missed me bragging about it earlier, I went 5/6 on my last set of Tasty Tips.
I’ve got four more for you this week, all of which should help offset the boredom of some of the worst Premier League matchups imaginable.
1) Burnley to Win or Draw vs Fulham – 3/10
Hey, listen. You don’t get to where I am today by not taking a few risks along the way. Got it?
Are Burnley terrible? Of course. But… are Fulham also terrible? Yes!
Thus, this game qualifies for my “If two equally terrible teams are playing each other, just take the home team” rule. It’s served me well throughout the season. I’m hoping it does so again.
(Also, Burnley have won two on the spin now).
2) Cardiff to Win or Draw vs Huddersfield – 2/7
Cardiff have actually been not-abysmal at home this season. In fact, they’ve won three of their last five games at the imaginatively-named Cardiff City Stadium, with the other two games coming against Man City and Spurs.
Huddersfield have been actually-abysmal on the road in 2018/19. They’ve got the second-worst away record in the league, with their sole win – strangely – being a 2-0 at Wolves.
Anyway – two terrible teams; we’re taking the home team.
3) Cardiff vs Huddersfield, Under 2.5 Goals – 1/2
This atrocious matchup also qualifies for another of my rules – “Bet on it, don’t watch a second of it.” I’m predicting 90 minutes which are low on quality, entertainment and goals. Apart from that, it should be a decent game.
Both these teams are rubbish at putting the ball in the net. Huddersfield have the worst attacking record in the league. Cardiff’s is joint-third worst. Between them they’ve scored one more goal than the not-exactly-prolific Everton this season.
Accordingly, guess what? I’m betting there won’t be many goals in this game.
4) Crystal Palace vs Watford, Under 2.5 Goals – 4/6
Out of the four, this is the Tasty Tip I’m least confident in.
Watford are already on my list of Stay Away teams, in terms of betting the actual result, thanks to their staggering inconsistency. In terms of actual goals, they also oscillate between being profligate and prolific.
This is more of a bet on Crystal Palace, who have a very solid defence indeed. They’ve got the best defensive record in the bottom half of the table (better than that of other Defensive Teams™ Brighton and Newcastle), and have conceded less than a goal per game at Selhurst Park. For the purposes of this bet, it also helps that they’re terrible at actually scoring goals!
It’s an unusually packed Flyers section this week. Well, there are still only three picks… but that’s more than the one or two I usually have, right?
These are bets which I still like, but not enough to put a sizable stake on.
1) Leicester to Beat Southampton, 10/11
This very nearly made it into the Tasty Tips section. The only thing that held me back was Leicester’s impressive inconsistency.
You probably remember that they beat Chelsea and Man City back-to-back. But, do you remember the two games either side of those? They came in having just lost to Crystal Palace 1-0, and followed those famous victories up by… losing to Cardiff 1-0. At home. Palace and Cardiff!
It pains me to avoid putting a full stake on this, because the odds are fantastic… but as Tim Sherwood once said, discretion is the better part of valour.
2) Aguero to Score Anytime vs Wolves – 3/4
Regular readers will know I simply don’t like making goalscorer bets. They’re too random, which is why they always end up in the Flyers section.
This one was particularly tempting, though, and I will still be putting a small stake on it. Aguero always scores at home, he looked great against Liverpool, and he’s scored two in the three games he’s started since returning from injury.
3) Aubameyang to Score Anytime vs West Ham – 10/11
No force on heaven nor earth can prevent this man from scoring goals. He’s emerged from a slightly slow patch to start banging them in again, having scored four in his last four games.
This week’s victims are West Ham, who – as I outlined earlier – are not very good at defending. Yes, Arsenal are away, but I don’t think it matters.
Accumulator Betting Tips
You know the score. Multiples are very hard bets to win, and rarely offer good value, so don’t put much money on them.
But… they’re also fun, so do put them down!
Here are this week’s editions of my usual three multiples.
1) Premier League Favourites – 0.37/1
- Chelsea vs Newcastle
- Man City vs Wolves
2) Frisky Little Acca – 2.64/1
- West Ham vs Arsenal
- Brighton vs Liverpool
- Chelsea vs Newcastle
- Man City vs Wolves
3) European Favourites – 1.89/1
- Man City vs Wolves
- Barcelona vs Eibar
- Atletico Madrid vs Levante
- Inter Milan vs Sassuolo
- Amiens vs PSG
Right, that just about does it. I’m officially back!