A busy Saturday in the Premier League. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) picks out his best bets from the card.
Huddersfield v Southampton | Saturday 15:00
It’s hard not to be captured by the good, heady vibes surrounding Huddersfield at the moment. Written off as the biggest underdogs ever to grace the fat, gross Premier League, the Yorkshire club have won their opening two fixtures.
An unsettled Crystal Palace were beaten 3-0 on the opening weekend before they beat promoted club Newcastle 2-0 last Saturday.
Brilliantly bespectacled manager David Wagner continues to impress while summer signing Steve Mounie might just follow in the footsteps of Kevin Philips, Ricky Lambert and Charlie Austin in racking up a bundle of goals for a promoted side.
Just imagine how boisterous the town is at the moment. It must resemble the time local band Embrace hit the top of the album charts in the late-90’s.
These are glorious times for the club and there’s no way I’m deserting them at the weekend as they host Southampton.
Saints have adapted well to the new manager Mauricio Pellegrino’s methods but the way they lost their winning position against 10 man West Ham last week was worrying.
Whether it’s a lack of cutting edge up front or a vulnerability at the back, there still needs to be more evidence to be created before I can back them at a shade of odds against here.
At 3/1 the home side look bigger than they should be. We saw with similar-sized Blackpool seven years ago how these kind of sides can be turbo charged in their early Premier League games and I’m expecting another bold show from the Terriers.
With the way the game has been priced up I’m able to back Huddersfield to avoid defeat at 13/16 with Unibet.
Newcastle v West Ham | Saturday 15:00
Crikey, this already looks like a massive game and we’re still in August. Both sides have accrued no points from their opening two fixtures and the vibes aren’t particularly great at either club.
However, I just feel there’s more reasons to be positive if you’re a West Ham fan at the moment. Newcastle’s issues feel more serious.
Newcastle’s relegation odds have been chopped from 4/1 into 5/2 after the opening two weeks and there’s maybe some juice in that.
I mentioned the 4/1 in my relegation piece earlier in the month with the flag that if Rafa Benitez left there’s a real possibility it could land.
Things could hardly have gone worse for the big Spaniard with defeats to Huddersfield and Spurs in the league and a League Cup elimination at the hands of Nottingham Forest.
Perhaps more seriously there doesn’t seem to be any hope that Benitez will be furnished with riches before the transfer window. The situation looks grim.
West Ham also have no points but there were lots of positives to take from their 3-2 loss at Southampton last week.
The Hammers went down two goals and one man and faced a huge task to salvage anything from the match. Boy they got close though, primarily thanks to brilliant new signing Javier Hernandez who poached two goals in typical fashion.
Hernandez looks a constant danger and is capable of flirting with the 20 goal mark this league season. Newcastle have nothing to compare.
The pressure is on the Magpies and the crowd are bound to be tense and demanding on Saturday. It might just be an awkward day up north.
West Ham have been chalked up at 12/5 which appeals enormously more than the 11/8 on the home side. Unibet offer the Hammers at 4/3 on the Draw No Bet market and it’s one I’ll get involved with.
Manchester United v Leicester | Saturday 17:30 | BT Sport 1
Stoke and West Brom were the two sides I got hard for in a betting sense last season but so far in 2017/18 it’s Leicester.
I think the Foxes are capable of having an excellent season after the euphoric turmoil of the last campaign and Top 8 looks achievable.
There’s been lots to like so far. They were unlucky to lose against Arsenal on opening night but did manage to smash three goals past the erratic Gunners and then last week put up a professional display as they cruised past Brighton with minimum fuss.
Manchester United have got off to a flying start with two wins out of two and eight goals scored without reply. Looking good eh? Well, ugh, maybe, but didn’t we see the same thing happen last year before they suffered a rude awakening in September when Man City came to town?
Jose Mourinho’s side have been excellent so far but they’ll face sterner tasks this season than a limp West Ham and a struggling Swansea outfit. I need more evidence before I believe they can win the title.
So it’s Leicester making me excited here at 12/1. I’ve toyed with the idea of backing them on the handicap but feel goals is the way to go.
The Foxes have notched five times already this league season (only their opponents have scored more) and with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez in rich form again they’re more than capable of getting in on the act on Saturday.
Leicester are 9/11 with column sponsors Unibet simply to score on Saturday and I feel it’s a bet worth taking. The Foxes have scored in 14 of their last 15 league games, why stop now?