SO close to the treble last week, Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) returns armed with three more Premier League weekend picks.
Burnley v Swansea | Saturday 15:00
Short-termism is the cancer of football. It’s a horrible, ignorant, thick-as-pig-shit trait that’s entered the punditry/social media world over the last few years. Teams, managers and players get praised to high heaven or written off completely on the basis of a handful of games rather than via a longer-term picture.
A good example at the moment is the plight of Sam Allardyce, who seems to be on his way out of West Ham after their awful FA Cup defeat to West Brom a couple of weeks ago. Umm, West Ham, you do realise you were in the Championship the season before last yeah? You do notice you’re now in the Top 8 in the Premier League after a sizzling season? Words escape me!
Anyway, stop havering on Chris. My point is that I really enjoy taking on these short-term views in betting and (hopefully) make it pay. This week I’m opposing Swansea because they’re too short in the betting. Why are they too short? Because they beat Manchester United last week that’s why.
If they had lost last week, I reckon they’d be around 5/2 to win this match at Burnley. Now they’re best price 19/10. Too short! That of course means I can get with Burnley, and I’ll do that with great pleasure.
This is a side that drew with Chelsea last week FFS! Yes, those wins have dried up of late, but at Turf Moor they’re a formidable side to take on. They’ve beaten Southampton and drawn with Tottenham there, and crucially have scored in 10 of their last 11 matches on home soil, including exactly two in their last three.
Swansea deserve huge credit for the season they’ve had, but they just haven’t been as prolific on their travels with three wins out of 12. They’ve accrued the same number of away points (12) as Sunderland and just one more than Aston Villa. Two weeks ago they lost at The Hawthorns.
BetVictor are allowing me to back Burnley off 0 on the Asian Handicap at 8/9. It’s essentially a Draw No Bet selection, stakes will be returned if the game ends level. It’s all about the price, and Swansea are just too short for me.
Newcastle v Aston Villa | Saturday 15:00
I’m going against all the stats here and backing Both Teams To Score in this match at 19/17 with 888 Sport. For me, it’s the most intriguing Saturday Premier League match and it’s huge for both sides.
Both Newcastle and Aston Villa will be hurting after last weekend. The Magpies were mashed into tiny pieces by a blood-thirsty Man City, while Villa got caught cold late against Stoke.
I’ve backed both these sides to go down. Villa before the season started, and Newcastle at 33/1 a month ago, and I think both have problems. The respective managers, John Carver and Tim Sherwood, are the kind of characters who’ve probably spent the whole week tossing and turning about last week’s defeats.
I can see both entering their dressing rooms on Saturday afternoon throwing naughty words about willy-nilly to try and (correctly) generate the feeling that this match is a big ‘un.
I’m expecting a fiery encounter in this match, with hopefully a few goals thrown in and some English grit from the managers. The last four Newcastle home games has seen the BTTS bet payout and I’m getting involved here at odds-against.
Stoke v Hull | Saturday 15:00
I should start this match preview by stating that I don’t think I’ve got Hull right all season. It’s been such a frustrating few months backing them. This weekend I’m taking them on as they travel to Stoke.
I’ve got lots of love for Stoke (the team rather than the place to be honest – I had a bad experience there in League Cup Final 2007 weekend) and I think they’re a super price at 20/21 with Betfred.
Hull have lost all my trust, and despite two wins in row and a tremendous draw against Man City in the preceding clash, I reckon they’re the kind of side who will take their foot off the gas and sink back into relegation troubles. They’ve won one of their last 15 games away from home in the Premier League and quotes of 18/5 for them to win here do nothing for me.
I’m not a fan of backing Stoke at short prices to be honest, as they’re perfect for siding with against the big boys at chunky odds, but I’ll make an exception here.
People have been crabbing their home form this season, but dig a little deeper and it makes decent reading. In their last 10 league matches at the Britannia they’ve lost to Chelsea, Man City and (yeah, fair point) Burnley. Victories have come against the likes of Arsenal, Swansea and Newcastle, while they drew with Manchester United on New Years Day there.
There’s just enough evidence here for me to gleefully back Stoke here. Their last poor result at home was in November and I’m certain they’re a level above bad-travellers Hull. 20/21 you say?
Burnley v Swansea – Burnley 0 Asian Handicap (8/9 BetVictor)
Newcastle v Aston Villa – Both Teams To Score (19/17 888 Sport)
Stoke v Hull – Stoke to win (20/21 Betfred)
What do you think about Chris’s picks? Are you in agreement? Is he being too harsh on Swansea?
Let us know in the comments box below. Much appreciated!