AFTER a week of FA Cup upsets it’s back to the familiarity of the Premier League. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) is on hand to take us through his three best bets.
Hull v Newcastle | Saturday 12:45 | BT Sport 1
Should Newcastle really be as big as 33/1 to go down? During a moment of curiosity on Thursday I checked that price expecting them to be around the 10/1 mark, I was so shocked at seeing 33’s I let out a little squeal of surprise.
Over the last decade I’ve barely ever wavered from my view that Alan Pardew is a very good manager. I thought he was superb at Newcastle and he’ll be a big loss to the club.
There seems real dissatisfaction at the club’s decision to appoint John Carver till the end of the season and with three defeats and a draw in his four matches in charge it hasn’t really started well.
Newcastle have Hull, Stoke, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa in their next five league matches and a couple of wins there should end talk like this, but what if they slip up in those games and enter March under pressure with some tough games on the radar? It’s food for thought.
Anyway, as I mentioned above they’re playing Hull this weekend and with the home side at 17/10 with BetVictor I have to find a way of siding with them.
Yes, Steve Bruce’s side are hardly in great nick themselves, but they did win their last home game on New Years Day, and as a Geordie and former Sunderland manager beefy Bruce will be eager to win this game.
I’m taking on Newcastle as opposed to backing Hull if you get me, so it’s Hull off 0 on the Asian Handicap for me at 11/13 with BetVictor. As long as they don’t lose I won’t shed my cash. A draw means my stake will be returned.
Crystal Palace v Everton | Saturday 15:00
It might be that in a few months time after Everton get their shit together and finish in the Top 8 that I’ll look back and reprimand myself for doing this but I simply have to back Crystal Palace at 19/10 with William Hill this weekend.
I had Palace as slight favourites in my own tissue prices (I do try you know!) so I was naturally surprised to see them at 19/10 to win on Saturday. Could you come across two sides in such different mental places than these two?
One of Palace’s favourite sons has returned to the club to take the reins. His first four games in charge have produced four wins and against the likes of Tottenham and Southampton to boot. The place must be buzzing!
While the South London club are doing group high-fives, it’s more deep introspection for Everton. One win in 13 is positively alarming and the fans are now beginning to question Roberto Martinez. They need to get back on track quickly.
Do I want to back them at 17/10 to beat a side on their own patch pumped to the guts full of endorphins? I most certainly do not. October was the last time Everton won away in the league and I’m happy to take them on this weekend.
It’s happy Palace for me at a massive 19/10 to continue Alan Pardew’s incredible start. Pardew’s the kind of nasty guy that will smell blood and make Everton suffer.
Man Utd v Leicester | Saturday 15:00
Back to my favourite betting market in this match. I’m backing Leicester to score a goal at Old Trafford on Saturday at 10/11 with Coral. The first time this bet has ever let me down was last week when Cambridge failed to score against the Red Devils at 6/5. I didn’t expect United to also fall short.
Quite a few of you got on touch with me on Twitter asking why I didn’t just back Both Teams To Score at 8/5 instead. It was a fair comment as the prices were quite disparate. Usually, and again in this case, a matter of a baw hair separates the price of Both Teams To Score with the outsiders scoring Over 0.5.
Because of that I’m happy to unclutter my bet and just focus on the outsiders. Imagine backing BTTS in the Man City v Middlesbrough game last week just because you felt Aitor Karanka’s side could notch. Hear me?
I’ll side with Leicester here as I detect a rising spirit amongst their camp. That last minute winner against Tottenham last week in the FA Cup might do wonders you know?
Nigel Pearson’s side have lost just once in their last six games and picked up four wins since Christmas Day. They’ve scored in six of their last seven matches and a win here could see them escape from the relegation zone.
Yes, Manchester United have been far more proficient at home this season, but they have conceded in four of their last six league matches and in three of their last four Old Trafford Premier League games.
Hull v Newcastle – Hull 0 Asian Handicap (11/13 BetVictor)
Crystal Palace v Everton – Crystal Palace to win (19/10 William Hill)
Man Utd v Leicester – Leicester to score Over 0.5 Goals (10/11 Coral)