PREMIER LEAGUE expert Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) is back to attack Saturday's 3pm best bets.
Fulham v Bournemouth | Saturday 27th October 2018, 15:00
Sometimes in punting you have one of those weekends, where simply nothing seems to go for you. That was certainly the case for me last weekend, with Hugo Lloris producing some stunning saves to prevent West Ham from securing a deserved point and Crystal Palace missing a penalty which may well have seen our Everton and Both Teams To Score bet land.
After losing weekends its importance to have an understanding of variance and consider whether you would make such bets again. Having analysed all the information available, I would do the same.
I fully expect West Ham to surge up the table and Everton and BTTS to be a positive angle at Goodison this term. Anyway, on to this weekend and I am once again confident of landing some winners, starting at Craven Cottage.
Bournemouth have enjoyed an excellent start to their Premier League campaign and with the underlying data backing up their positive results, I think they will have plenty of backers against a Fulham side who looked desperate against Cardiff last weekend.
I, however, will not be one of them. Fulham are as big as 19/10 in places and that is simply too big in my opinion. Their home record isn’t too auspicious, reading W1-D1-L2 but I don’t believe that tells the full story.
The Cottagers dominated Crystal Palace in the first 45 minutes of their opening day fixture and had a blatant penalty denied. Moreover, Arsenal’s finishing in their 5-1 loss was incredible, converting five of their nine shots on goal. Over their four home games, Fulham have won the combined shot count 76-44 and I expect them to dominate such stats again here.
Bournemouth’s last two away results have been a 4-0 loss at Burnley and a 4-0 victory at Watford. Neither results were an accurate reflection of the game but I am fully aware of the threat they will pose a leaky Fulham defence. Still, they have won just 13 of their 42 away games against sides outside of the Big Six so I cannot back them at 7/5.
Instead I will side with Fulham at 59/50 with Marathon in the Draw No Bet market and a 2-1 victory for the home side at 11/1 with Bet365. I couldn’t put you off backing Fulham and BTTS at 7/2 with the same firm but I would rather take a bigger price and a smaller stake.
This has been the scoreline in five of the Cherries losses in that 42-game sample, and in a game where goals are expected, this is worth a few pennies.
Brighton v Wolves | Saturday 27th October 2018, 15:00
Backing the second-biggest club in the Black Country doesn’t come easy to me but sometimes you have to do things that go against your social conscience!
Some may be surprised that Wolves are a best-price of 6/4 to beat a side with such an impressive home record but I think Brighton’s recent results have really flattered them. They’ve enjoyed two 1-0 victories in their last two games, but lost the shot count 44-17 across those matches.
The Seagulls were particular fortunate against Newcastle last weekend and I don’t see such luck continuing.
Wolves have already won at Selhurst Park and The London Stadium, while they were the superior side at Old Trafford. Their only away loss came at Leicester and they were comfortably the better side in that game.
I believe Wolves' pace on the counter will cause the Seagulls plenty of problems and the loss of top scorer Glen Murray is likely to be felt by Chris Hughton’s men.
8/11 with Betfred on Wolves in the Draw No Bet market is plenty big enough for me and that is where my money is heading.
Southampton v Newcastle | Saturday 27th October 2018, 15:00
When two sides who cannot buy a win face each other and 12/5 is available on the draw then I think you must oblige. These two have one win between them from 18 games this term and I cannot make a case for backing either.
Southampton have drawn at home to Burnley and Brighton already this season and also lost to Leicester and Chelsea. They have been draw specialists at St Mary’s in general over the past couple of campaigns, drawing 15 of their 43 matches.
While there are clearly issues on Tyneside, Newcastle are not the worst side of the league and but for a mixture of bad luck and a tough starting schedule – they’ve already faced five of the Big Six, losing each by a single goal – they wouldn’t find themselves in such a perilous position.
At the prices, if I was to side with either side it would be the Geordies, but 12/5 on the draw with Bet365 is too big to miss.