OUR Correct Score man Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) returns with his best bets from the Premier League.
Everton v Stoke | Saturday 12th August 2017, 15:00
This season’s column is off to an adventurous start, picking a 1-0 win for a home favourite at 6/1 (William Hill).
Whilst there are several Premier League sides (Newcastle, Watford and Chelsea to name but three) that I would avoid betting on as much as possible in the early stages of the season, these two are very much established at this level and have been relatively consistent for several years.
That said, the noises coming out of Goodison Park appear a great deal more positive than those at the Bet365 Stadium and I believe the 73/100 Marathon are currently offering on the Toffees in the outright market is very reasonable.
With three signings of over £20m and the return of former wonderkid Wayne Rooney, there appears to be genuine belief on Merseyside that Everton can challenge the top six. Only time will tell whether that is that case but I do believe they will have too much for the Potters on Saturday.
Stoke have lost a key attacking threat in Marko Arnautovic and it is hard to see them breaching Everton’s backline. The loan signing of Kurt Zouma makes them look even stronger at the back, however, and I foresee a low-scoring opening to the season.
1-0 is a common result between these two, occurring on three of the nine occasions they have met at Goodison in the Premier League era. William Hill are offering 6/1 on it becoming four out of ten this weekend and I think that represents a fair price.
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield | Saturday 12th August 2017, 15:00
I have seen several tipsters that I rate back Huddersfield to begin their first Premier League campaign with a win but I struggle to endorse such a view.
Although new Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer is a relatively unproven manager (a seemingly positive spell at Ajax was followed by an 85-day nightmare at Inter) I believe there is enough quality in the Eagles side for them to finish in the top half this season.
The Terriers have been far more active in the transfer market, signing nine players and spending the best part of £40m before a ball has been kicked. Still, given that they ended the Championship season with a -2 goal difference, it was clear that several signings were needed to bridge the gap between the two divisions.
David Wagner appears very happy with their activity and I would back the West Yorkshire side to shock a few this campaign but I do not envisage it starting in South London. Back 2-0 to Palace at 15/2 with William Hill.
Manchester City v Brighton | Saturday 12th August 2017, 15:00
Blindly, I would have thought that the 2/1 on offer for Manchester City to win and Both Teams To Score would represent good value. However, a little more analysis showed the last time such a bet (City winning away from home and both sides scoring) came in was 26th November!
Brighton boss Chris Hughton has plenty of Premier League experience and has always set his sides out to be both compact and organised but also rather cautious. It is no surprise that they kept 12 home clean sheets in the Championship last term and I do not believe they will be blown away on Saturday evening.
That said, given the quality within City’s ranks, I find it hard to back against them here. They won by my proposed 2-0 (6/1 William Hill) and 3-0 (8/1 BetVictor) scorelines against sides in the relegation mini-league (those finishing between eighth and 20th) on four occasions out of 13 last term, suggesting combined odds of 9/4 would be fair.
Everton v Stoke – Everton 1-0 Stoke (6/1 William Hill)
Crystal Palace v Huddersfield – Crystal Palace 2-0 Huddersfield (15/2 William Hill)
Manchester City v Brighton – Manchester City 2-0 Brighton (6/1 William Hill)
Manchester City v Brighton – Manchester City 3-0 Brighton (8/1 BetVictor)