THE PREMIER LEAGUE returns this weekend and Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) is back to bring you his best bets for Saturday's 3pm action.
Huddersfield v Chelsea | Saturday 11th August 2018, 15:00
The layers aren't too bullish about Huddersfield's chances of improving on last season's survival, with the Terriers chalked up at 5/4 second favourites for relegation.
While David Wagner's side managed a couple of impressive draws against Manchester City and Chelsea to ensure their Premier League status, it deal feel like they stumbled across the line, with just one victory and three goals in their final ten games of the season.
Their pre-season signings also do little to convince me that they will be able to improve on last term's 28 goals and with Fulham and Wolves both likely to stay up, it could be a long season in West Yorkshire.
Chelsea looked poor in the Community Shield last weekend but the side new manager Maurizio Sarri picks is likely to be very different to that. Moreover, Manchester City are a far tougher proposition than they will face at the Kirklees Stadium.
8/13 is the best price for an away victory and while I think that is fair, I would rather take the 17/20 on a Chelsea victory and under 4.5 goals to be scored. This bet obliged in five of Huddersfield's six games at home to the ‘Big Six' last season and while Antonio Conte's outfit had a poor season, it would have also enabled a profit in eight of their 14 matches against teams from seventh down.
All of this makes me feel that BetVictor's price is more than a touch of value.
Watford v Brighton | Saturday 11th August 2018, 15:00
4th November 2017 was the last time Brighton claimed the spoils away from home. Across the whole of last season they managed just two victories, 11 points and 10 goals in 19 matches so I can't begin to make a case for The Seagulls at 12/5 at Vicarage Road.
Watford are a side that I generally struggle to take a long-term view on as they have such a high turnover of managers and players. Still, I believe this match is priced as if Brighton are a slightly better side and I don't see many statistics from last term that suggest there is anything between these two.
I rate Brighton boss Chris Hughton highly but do feel that he struggles to set his side up away from home and their record last term pays testament to that. Moreover, I am not convinced by new signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh will prove value for his £17m price tag.
While he was top goal scorer in the Eridivisie last season, many an attacking player has struggled in the Premier League (Ricky van Wolfswinkel is an example Chris Hughton knows only too well) following success in the Netherlands so I certainly don't feel that the signing of the Iranian can justify Watford being as big as 73/50.
That is the price Marathon are offering and given I feel The Hornets should be nearer 5/4, I believe it is excellent value.
Fulham v Crystal Palace | Saturday 11th August 2018, 15:00
As a general rule, I like one speculative punt a weekend and a 2-1 victory for Crystal Palace at 11/1 with Bet365 offers the perfect opportunity this weekend.
2/1 on Palace outright seems big to me, but given that they won by this scoreline in five of Roy Hodgson's 34 games last season, I think it's worth taking a bigger price.
It was also his scoreline of choice as West Brom manager and I simply feel that despite solid additions at the back, Palace remain better offensively than defensively.
There may be a bigger price on the exchange come kick off but 11/1 is plenty big enough to entice me.
Huddersfield v Chelsea – Chelsea to win & Under 4.5 Goals (17/20 Bet Victor)
Watford v Brighton – Watford to win (73/50 Marathon)
Fulham v Crystal Palace – Crystal Palace to win 2-1 (11/1 Bet365)