It’s nice that the Premier League throws a reliably-timed bone to its viewing audiences in North and South America.
Not to say that there aren’t lots of us here in the United States who are addicted to waking up in the morning, or – ahem – waiting up all night for the EPL’s broadcasts on the NBC network.
But as long as there are Monday matches, it’s nice to not have the Premier League taking place while rushing to work in the morning. The EPL’s algorithm has given us a Monday fixture between entertaining clubs AFC Bournemouth and visiting Crystal Palace that begins at 3 o’clock on the east coast.
There might be a few bleary eyes in Egypt, but from where I am, that’s a sweet kickoff. Bournemouth is favored at (+130) on the 3-way moneyline and by (-½) of a goal at most Vegas sportsbooks. The O/U (total goals) line for Vitality Stadium stands at consensus (2 ½) and peeking higher at a few sites.
The squads have 5 victories between them, and have certainly not looked anything but alive and cracking in late summer.
The Cherries have experienced a see-saw season full of controversial fouls and bounce-back results. For a low point, try last Sunday’s bid at Turf Moor, where Bournemouth failed on 8 out of 8 corners and lost 4-0 despite only 5 on-target shots against keeper Asmir Begović.
On Tuesday in the Football League Cup, the squad got a bit of an emotional lift as Callum Wilson scored the decisive injury-time goal over Blackburn. On September 15th, Cherries routed Leicester City with the first 4 goals unanswered.
Matchday 6 didn’t come with any more tallies for Crystal Palace, but the Eagles managed a point with an 0-0 draw against Newcastle. Keeping the clean sheet was Welsh GK Wayne Hennessey, who has not given up a tally since a 2-0 loss to Southampton on September 1st.
Hennessey is aided by a zonal defense that is difficult for many opponents to prepare for. Mamadou Sakho adds fresh quality on the backline. CPFC has won only 2 matches while allowing just 6 goals.
Suppose Bournemouth does manage to break through the tough Crystal Palace defenders and get some chances. Despite Wilson’s positive chemistry with fellow 4-4-2 forward Joshua King, the opportunities likely won’t come easy. Cherries will be picking…corners to fight through to try to earn more corners. Goals can occur, but then what of the seemingly-broken host backline?
Bournemouth has not kept a clean sheet since Matchday 1, a 2-0 win over marginal Cardiff City in which an early Ryan Fraser tally helped keep the team defense-conscious. They only tried 4 on-target shots in the win, and 2 weeks later were in a sloppy pitched battle and 2-2 draw with Everton.
It can be argued that “Cherries” and “defending” (and goalkeeping) only clung in conjunction for a brief period earlier in September, when the squad held firm against Chelsea for 71 minutes before overcoming a 46-54% possession disadvantage in the Leicester City triumph.
There are many Asian Handicap goal spreads available for this match as usual. A word about Asian Handicaps – I’m not overly fond of them, and few career sports gamblers have built successful businesses with Asian Handicap goal-spread predictions as the centerpiece.
Still, if you like the goal spread at your favorite betting site (Asian Handicap or not), go ahead and make your pick and place the bet. Always bet confidently if you’ve done your homework.
For my pick in Monday’s Bournemouth-CPFC fixture, I’m going with a “lay” on Bournemouth or (at conventional American books) a moneyline draw bet at (+225).
These squads can potentially match each other’s rushes and tallies in the 2nd half, and have drawn 8 of their last 10 meetings – a Vegas-style “trend” line that even I will stop and pay attention to.
Kurt has authored close to 1000 stories covering football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, prize-fighting and the Olympic Games. Kurt posted a 61% win rate on 200+ college and NFL gridiron picks last season. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.