Bournemouth v Watford | Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 19:45
I was slightly surprised that this game was priced up so tightly with Bournemouth at 17/10 and Watford at 7/4. The Cherries are usually shorter in such fixtures and despite Watford’s decent season thus far, it can be said that Bournemouth are also having a successful 2018/19.
In my eyes there’s been a bit of an overreaction in the market to Bournemouth's recent heavy defeats at Wembley and Old Trafford; they were unlikely to yield any points and the south coast side struggle in games they don’t dominate. They’re back at their Dean Court base here though and it’s a more presentable opportunity to pick up points.
In addition to the two aforementioned games against Spurs and Man United, Bournemouth have played Chelsea, Wolves, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal in recent weeks. It’s been a tough fixture list for Eddie Howe’s boys but one thing that stands out is their strong home record against non-Big Six opposition.
They boast a W5-D2-L3 home record but those three losses were against Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool – no shame there. They’ve also notched at least twice in 6/7 home games excluding the Big Six. Defensively is where the problems lie but Javi Gracia is known for his historically poor road record and Howe will be targeting that.
The Hornets have won just two of their last 10 Premier League games and couldn’t beat lowly Newcastle last time out. They also have defensive injuries with Sebastian Prodl and Christian Kabasele ruled out.
This bet works the same as a draw no bet, with our stakes returned if the game ends all-square but we get a full stakes win should they run out victors.
I’m also happy to delve into the correct score market and back a 2-1 home win at an attractive 10/1 with Bet365. Bournemouth have won by this scoreline on four occasions this season and Watford’s last two defeats came by the same scoreline.
I can see the away side notching here but I’m expecting Bournemouth to show up and get a result.
Wolves v Crystal Palace | Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 19:45
I’m fancying another home win in this one too – Wolves can be backed at an odds-against quote of 13/12 and that appeals.
Nuno Espirito Santo watched his side put in a majorly impressive performance against Spurs last time out and will be hoping they can take that into this game. There’s clearly talent there as they’ve shown against the top teams, they need to get that winning mentality against the lesser lights though.
Diving into the data you’ll see the Old Gold in the top six on most metrics. In fact, they’re second when you look at Expected Goals ratio at home, only behind Manchester City with an impressive 68.93% return. They’re also third forExpected Goals ratio from open play; they just have to be more clinical but it’s encouraging to see them creating plenty.
Crystal Palace managed to beat champions Manchester City in their last away game but failed to score in their last two. It’s goals that’s been their achilles heel and they don’t have a regular and reliable scorer at their disposal.
I think there’s a big gulf in quality between the pair and the stats back that theory up. Wolves also won 1-0 in the reverse fixture and I was expecting odds-on for a home win so I’m more than happy to get on board with the 13/12 available with Marathon.