THE Premier League is heading to its conclusion for the season and Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) is here with his best bets for a selection of the 3pm games this Saturday.
Leicester v West Ham | Saturday 5th May 2018, 15:00
Both Teams To Score was the obvious market to me here given that these two sides lead the league in strike rate, Leicester at 63% and West Ham at 60%. The Hammers recent record is even more encouraging, with 14 of their last 17 league games seeing this bet emerge triumphant.
Given their need for a result and their defensive issues, the 8/11 PaddyPower are offering is just big enough to tempt me.
I also like the look of Riyad Mahrez in the anytime market. Marathon price this at 11/4, with an implied probability of 27%. The Algerian has scored in 10 of his 33 league games, a strike rate of 30%, so you already have a little edge.
Factoring in that West Ham have conceded a league-high 67 goals from 35 games and are awash with injuries at the back, that should give you even more confidence that this is a value bet.
West Brom v Tottenham | Saturday 5th May 2018, 15:00
I have read and listened to many debates about what punters should do at the very end of the season when – in theory – the need to win is far greater for some sides than others. Some argue you should barely bet at all, others say you should half your stakes and others believe decisions should be made on a case by case basis.
On a personal level, this season I have tried to find bigger prices at this stage as I would rather a smaller stake at a bigger price than play handicap markets or goal lines. This logic hopefully explains my bet in this match.
Initially, I felt West Brom +1.5 was the way to go. Overall it has been a very trying season for Albion but with eight points from their last four matches, caretaker boss Darren Moore has led a bit of a resurgence.
Moreover, despite their troubles, Albion have only actually lost by more than a single goal in two home matches all term – against Chelsea and Leicester. They lost 3-2 to Manchester City, 2-1 to Manchester United and secured draws against Arsenal and Liverpool.
However, with Stoke playing before them, relegation may be confirmed before a ball is kicked and a Swansea lead – the Swans play Bournemouth at the same time as West Brom entertain Tottenham – may cause a muted atmosphere at The Hawthorns, which could impact the players.
With this in mind, I would rather take the 5/1 BetVictor are offering on West Brom draw no bet than back Albion on the handicap at around 5/7.
The Tottenham outright price is as short as 2/5. They were 1/3 to win at Stoke a few weeks back and I really wanted to oppose them but couldn’t find any data to back up this view. They secured a fortuitous victory that day in a generally unimpressive performance, which has become characteristic in recent weeks.
Since then they were pretty abject in a 3-1 home loss to Manchester City, average in a 1-1 draw at Brighton, poor in the cup defeat to Manchester United and functional at best in a 2-0 home victory against Watford when the result certainly didn’t tell the full story.
These two sides drew 1-1 at Wembley earlier this season and given that that scoreline has occurred in four out of their last five Premier League meetings, I believe the 8/1 bet365 are offering on such a price is also worth a small play.
Leicester v West Ham – Riyad Mahrez to score at anytime (11/4 Marathon)
Leicester v West Ham – Both Teams To Score (8/11 PaddyPower)
West Brom v Tottenham – West Brom draw no bet (5/1 BetVictor)
West Brom v Tottenham – West Brom 1-1 Tottenham (8/1 Bet365)