Jared Smith's EPL Matchweek 3: Happy Hammers can win again
Before we dive into this week’s preview and selections, I’d like to take a moment and welcome you all to our new EPL betting column, which will likely drop every Friday. Here we will not only offer best bets and leans but also discuss futures and overall strategy for the Premier League season. Who knows, we might even throw in some bonus content from other leagues and countries.
Off the pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo stole the spotlight this week with rumors of a pending transfer. Then on Friday, news broke that Ronaldo’s old club, Manchester United, made a late play and struck an agreement to bring the striker back Old Trafford. The futures market reacted in kind, as Manchester United moved down from around +800 to +600 win the EPL title. They are still the fourth favorite on the board behind Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 27, 2021
On the pitch, we will bring a 3-0 mark with our best bets into Matchweek 3 for a net gain of 3.00 units. I will also do my best to track line movements and CLV (closing line value) for all of our picks. That is not an exact science, as not all bettors will use the same sportsbook, but we will always be as transparent as possible about which books we use and what numbers we bet. So far we have a positive CLV of 4.61%. All of this data can be found on the Google spreadsheet which tracks my picks, a link to which you can find on my Twitter profile.
My final piece of advice before we officially get started is to take each week in stride. It’s a long season and the ball won’t consistently bounce in our favor, but what will be consistent is our commitment to providing you with the most insightful analysis possible as we ride the highs and lows together.
Best Bet: Hammer down on West Ham to stay unbeaten
London Stadium was raucous on Monday as the home-team Hammers went up a man in the first half and did not show mercy against Leicester City in an emphatic 4-1 win. As mentioned earlier, West Ham has been the most prolific attack in the league this season with eight goals in two matches. They also are creating a ton of chances and lead the league with 5.30 xG (expected goals) according to Understat. Meanwhile, Palace has yet to score this season through two matches and are last in the league with 0.93 xG. I like the market direction here as well. West Ham opened around -160 on the three-way moneyline and the odds moved early in their favor, with a consensus ML hovering around -180 at the time of publication. While that price is a little rich for our blood at this stage of the season, there is a creative way to play this which involves a correlated prop, and improves our odds to plus money. West Ham is 3rd in the league this season in corner kicks taken (16) while Palace is T19th (5). For those with access to Same Game Parlays, if you combine West Ham ML with the West Ham Corner Match Bet the odds increase to +138, which will be our official best bet selection for Matchweek 3.
West Ham ML/West Ham most corners same game parlay +138*
*odds available on FD at time of posting
Leans: Matches that just missed our card
Liverpool vs Chelsea: Both teams are off to stellar starts with unblemished and identical 5-0 goal differentials. It’s worth noting this is a revenge spot for the Reds, who lost to Chelsea at home last season, a setback which set an all-time club record for consecutive home defeats at five. I think Liverpool can get it done at home, and if you are of the same belief, the best way to play this would be to bet Liverpool to win the EPL at around +430. If the Reds grab a result, I see that number shifting dramatically and perhaps even jumping Chelsea, currently around +250, for second place on the odds board behind the favorite Man City.
Norwich vs Leicester: I originally gave the Foxes a long look here in a buy-low spot off the loss at West Ham as Norwich have not looked impressive through two matches with the worst goal differential in the league (-8). However it’s worth noting those two matches came against powerhouses Man City and Liverpool. I would not be shocked if this one stayed tight as both teams have struggled to score. Norwich (1.36) and Leicester (1.29) are 17th and 18th in the league, respectively, in xG thus far. If I were to play this, I’d lean under 2.5 goals.
Make sure you also check out our four-game parlay for this Saturday in the English Premiere League