IT'S the last batch of Premier League bets before Christmas, but what are the three best bets? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79), tell us!
Man City v Crystal Palace | Saturday 12:45
I expected Man City to be a bit shorter for their home clash against Crystal Palace. I had gone more around the 2/9 mark than the 3/10 best price available at Coral. So when this happens, there tends to be an angle to get with the strong favourites. I've found one.
I think the bookmakers have gone that price instead of my estimate because of Sergio Aguero's injury and City's inability to score more than one goal against Leicester last weekend. You might recall I went Under 2.5 Goals on that match last week, so it was no surprise to me that City failed to destroy the Foxes.
The difference this week is rest time. According to my research this will be the first blank midweek Man City have had with their players since August. A combination of Premier League, Champions League, Capital One Cup and international football has meant a hectic schedule for the Etihad club. I think they will have thrived from the break this week.
Weirdly I have more faith in Leicester than I do for Crystal Palace. I felt Nigel Pearson's side might provide tough opposition for City and that proved to be the case. I don't have the same feel for Palace. It's just one win in 10 for Neil Warnock's side and they've fired blanks in three of their last six matches. They haven't won away since September, and have three blanks in their last five road matches.
Yes, I fully expect a comfortable win for Manuel Pellegrini's side. They've won seven in a row and are starting to put pressure on Chelsea. I'll be backing them giving Palace a goal start. Skybet go 5/6 on Man City -1. I like this.
QPR v West Brom | Saturday 15:00
Another defeat for QPR on Monday night as they lost 3-1 at Goodison Park. That was their eight straight defeat away from home in the league this season and it consigned them to another few days in the relegation zone. P8 L8 is a vile away record and needs to be improved if they're to stay in the league. But let's talk about their home form…
Suddenly things look a lot rosier when you view their Loftus Road record. Instead of P8 L8, it reads P8 W4 D2 L2. Those figures are good enough to see them in the Top 8 of the Home Table. Three home wins in their last four games bodes well, and when you think they held Man City in West London last month it's clear they're not to be dismissed on home turf.
To see quotes of 6/4 on them beating West Brom surprised me. The Baggies secured a precious win over Aston Villa last weekend, but before that they'd lost four out of their previous five fixtures. There seems a bad vibe over The Hawthorns at the moment with the fans unfairly getting on Alan Irvine's back.
I'll take QPR to exploit that bad vibe and continue their impressive home record on Saturday.
Tottenham v Burnley | Saturday 15:00
Tottenham eh? One week I'm hearing pundits telling me that Mauricio Pochettino is struggling, the next week they spout that's he's finding his groove. That inconsistency sums up their season.
Spurs have won seven times in the league this season and lost on six occasions. Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool are certainly defeats you can deal with, but West Brom and Stoke? Not good enough Mauricio!
I think Tottenham might struggle to finish in the Top 6 this season and I'm taking them on on Saturday. They've flopped at odds on on four occasions this season, with all of them at White Hart Lane. As well as West Brom and Stoke, you can add in the defeat to Newcastle and the draw to Crystal Palace. It's all a bit dodgy.
I'm always willing to take Spurs on in these circumstances, and on Saturday all the cards fall into place when they host Burnley. Sean Dyche's side are flying just now with three wins in their last six matches and only one defeat. Remarkably they've climbed out of the relegation zone. Respect!
I'm still a wee bit unsure of them away from home (just one win in seven, and five blanks) so I'll back them with a goal start on the Asian Handicap at 11/10 with BetVictor. The twin factors of Burnley's improved form and Tottenham's flakiness against the smaller sides at home point me in the direction of this bet.