Like in the NFL or College Football, the first week of the English Premier League season will lead to plenty of overreactions, which in turn can lead to betting value by going against the hysteria.
After a long offseason, we finally have games to talk about, which is excellent, but at the same time, the sample size is so minute that we don’t learn anything of note after just 90 minutes of soccer.
With that in mind, here are four betting takeaways from Matchweek 1 of the 2022-23 Premier League season:
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English Premier League analysis, previews, and betting takeaways
Buy low on Manchester United?
Erik ten Hag’s Old Trafford debut did not go well as United lost to Brighton, who closed as +460 underdogs, in front of a sold-out crowd at the Theatre of Dreams. And while Manchester United’s play was relatively poor, especially in the first half, Brighton & Hove Albion are a strong side with one of the game’s best managers. United should always expect to beat a team like Brighton — especially at Old Trafford –, but this wasn’t some major shock, and it won’t be the only time the Seagulls take a big scalp this season.
Whoever cashed that on BetMGM, well done.
Nonetheless, the media frenzy surrounding United is similar to that of the Yankees, Lakers, or Dallas Cowboys, so the loss to Brighton is being treated with a doomsday tone when it was more about a pesky team taking advantage of a pretty good opportunity. It’s going to take time for ten Hag to get this United team, which doesn’t have the correct personnel for his press-and-possess style yet, up to speed, but there’s still plenty of talent for him to work with, and the Red Devils should be better going forward.
United are even-money favorites on the road against Brentford, a team not too dissimilar from Brighton, in Matchweek 2, and while that price isn’t attractive, it’s worth keeping your eye on the Red Devils’ contest with Liverpool in Week 3. Depending on how things shake out against the Bees, we could see a fabulous, buy-low opportunity on United against Liverpool in a fortnight.
One of the essential questions about Fulham and their chances of surviving relegation was whether or not manager Marco Silva would modify his approach from the Championship’s title-winning campaign. Silva wants his teams to press high up the pitch and play a high-risk, high-reward style of soccer, and that’s what they did in a rampaging season in the second-tier, but the prevailing thought was that for the Cottagers to survive this season, they’d need to add hints of pragmatism into their game.
So far, it looks like the prevailing thought was wrong as Fulham was wholly impressive as +1000 underdogs in a 2-2 draw against second-favorites Liverpool on Saturday morning.
Fulham looked precisely like the team we saw last year against a massive favorite, which is when most managers opt to play it safe.
By going for broke against Liverpool, which seemed to catch the Reds off-guard, Silva signaled to the rest of the league (and to bettors) that his team will continue to push the pedal to the floor; no matter the opponent.
Fulham overs, anyone?
Just How Good Are Tottenham Hotspur?
Spurs were a trendy pick to finish inside the top-2 coming into the season and only amplified those calls with their performance against Southampton in Week 1. Tottenham fell behind in the first 15 minutes but took over the match from there en route to a dominant 4-1 victory.
And while it’s hard not to get carried away by what we saw from Spurs against Saints, it’s also worth remembering that Southampton is a picture-perfect opponent for Antonio Conte’s side and not just because of their lack of talent.
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Southampton plays an up-tempo pressing style of soccer, trying to win the ball in their attacking third and capitalize on mistakes. On the other hand, Spurs are a lethal counter-punching team that thrives when teams commit too many bodies forward. Tottenham picked Southampton apart time and again on Saturday, which got tongues wagging that maybe Spurs’ bid for a spot at the top of the table should be taken seriously.
But what came quickly against Southampton will likely not be there against Chelsea in the Matchweek 2 headliner. Chelsea is a much more stoic, organized side compared to Southampton, so it would be a bit of a stunner to see the Blues leave themselves susceptible to Tottenham counterattacks.
At the time of writing, Spurs are a +220 underdog on the road against Chelsea, a team that the market viewed as Tottenham’s equal coming into the season. It’s fair to expect that Spurs will take the lion’s share of the money in the lead-up to this game, so there is a chance that bettors can get Chelsea at a reasonable price as a slight home favorite on Sunday.
Don’t Buy Erling Haaland Golden Boot Tickets
It was a dream Premier League debut for Manchester City’s new superstar, Erling Haaland, as the Norwegian talisman potted two goals in the Cityzens’ 2-0 victory at West Ham. Haaland came into the season as the favorite to win the Golden Boot, and his performance shortened his price to +130.
And while there’s every chance in the world that Haaland storms the Premier League and wins the Golden Boot (most goals in a season), the case against him was more about his health than anything else. Haaland missed significant time in each of the past three Bundesliga seasons, so buying high on the 21-year-old carries some significant risk, no matter how great he looked in his first spin.
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