PREMIER LEAGUE analyst Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) takes a look at the best bets available in the 3PM kick-offs on Saturday.
Bournemouth v West Brom | Saturday 17th March 2018, 15:00
Goals have hardly been at a premium at Dean Court this season, with 46 in 15 encounters. That is something only three sides can better and given that managers like to play on the front foot – and West Bromwich Albion's increasingly desperate situation – it is hard to see a defensive struggle on Saturday afternoon.
With 33 points to their name, Bournemouth know that they are only likely need one victory and a couple of draws to ensure their Premier League status for another season. They will also know that they won't get a better opportunity than facing rock-bottom Albion, who have lost their last seven games in a row in all competitions.
Bournemouth are still freely available at around 17/20 and that price will surely have a lot of takers with many believing that West Brom's players have downed tools.
Having witnessed their second half showing against Leicester last weekend, I find it tough to disagree with such a notion but given that Eddie Howe's side have won just five of 15 home games, I feel that there is better value elsewhere.
Only Watford have conceded more goals at home than The Cherries' 25 and when hosts their last six league results have read: 3-3, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 2-2 and 1-4. With this in mind, I therefore take the view that Both Teams To Score at 5/6 with Ladbrokes is excellent value.
Albion' s profligacy in front of goal is well documented but they have still managed to find the net in 12 of their 19 games in all competitions since Alan Pardew took the helm and in three of the five away games against sides outside of the top six.
I have no idea which Albion side will turn up and do believe that Bournemouth will emerge victorious here. However, I am comfortable with a fairly conservative mode of attack as I am confident that both Bournemouth and West Brom will find the net.
Huddersfield v Crystal Palace | Saturday 17th March 2018, 15:00
If ever there was a game that you could make a case for all three results then this is it.
Huddersfield's performances in precisely these kind of games – home matches against sides outside of the top six – is the key reason why they remain four points clear of the relegation zone. They have amassed 17 points from ten such matches, with only West Ham leaving with a victory.
I do therefore feel that 2/1 on a home victory is too big but I am conscious that Palace could have Mamadou Sakho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Wilfried Zaha among their ranks once more this weekend. Palace are also eighth in the Expected points total and I don't believe a tally of two points from their last seven games tells the full story.
The Eagles have missed the aforementioned players for much of that run and that sample does include trips to The Emirates, Goodison and Stamford Bridge and home matches with Tottenham and Manchester United.
It also means that they only have one member of the top six still to play – Liverpool at Selhurst in a fortnight's time – and I think Roy Hodgson will be well aware that they have easier assignments than this one in their quest to stay up.
I feel that that will ultimately be successful but find it hard to make a case for the away side at The Kirklees Stadium.
Instead, I feel the draw offers most value at 11/5 with BetVictor. Five of Huddersfield's ten games at home to sides outside of the top six have finished in this manner and the same can be said for four of Palace's nine encounters away from Selhurst Park. I see a tight match in store and a stalemate looks overpriced.
Stoke v Everton | Saturday 17th March 2018, 15:00
When I saw that Everton were as short as 2/1 in places, I thought I needed to find a way to oppose them!
When The Toffees took on Chelsea at Goodison Park just before Christmas, I was shocked to see that Antonio Conte's men were as short as 4/6 to win the game. At the time I felt that – across a short sample of matches – Sam Allardyce had improved them and ignored the performance data to some extent.
While Everton escaped with a 0-0 draw that day thanks to the brilliance of Jordan Pickford, I was shocked at home badly they played and I don't believe they have improved much since – particularly away from home.
17 points from eight games at home sounds impressive but I do feel that flatters them. Away from home, however, performances and results have been appalling. Even if you ignore matches away to the big six – where they have been comprehensively outplayed – they've only managed three goals and four points from trips to Newcastle, Bournemouth, West Brom, Watford and Burnley.
Across those five matches they've lost the shot count 85-37 (27-14 in terms of shots on target) and I can't make a case for them this weekend. Stoke haven't been great under either Paul Lambert or Mark Hughes but I don't think they'll lose this. Since Lambert took over, they've drawn four of their seven matches, with their only defeats coming at home to Manchester City and away to Bournemouth.
I wouldn't rule out a fifth draw in eight matches so would rather back Stoke Draw No Bet at 77/100 rather than taking a bigger price in the outright market.
Six of Lambert's seven games have also seen under 2.5 goals being scored and given that Everton have found the net just five times in eight games under Allardcye, I feel that is also worth a punt. Under 2.5 goals is 3/4 – also with Marathonbet – and that seems fair enough to me.
Bournemouth v West Brom – Both Teams To Score (5/6 Ladbrokes)
Huddersfield v Crystal Palace – Draw (11/5 BetVictor)
Stoke v Everton – Stoke Draw No Bet (77/100 Marathonbet)
Stoke v Everton – Under 2.5 Goals (3/4 bet365)