We finally broke out of our soccer prediction slump at WagerBop with an excellent 5-2-3 record on Matchday 10 of the English Premier League.
Which means I feel compelled to give some old-fashioned, well-worn, moth-eaten advice before moving forward.
I’m usually the person who rejects casino-oriented instructions for sports bettors. Rules of thumb like “don’t chase losses” are meant for roulette wheels and poker tables. If you’ve lost $500 at a blackjack counter then yes, it’s absolutely a poor idea to risk losing over $1000 total just trying to get back to even. Wagering on sports just doesn’t work in the same way. The timing is different and not constrained to hours spent stacking chips. If you have open “futures” bets at an online gambling site, you’re pretty much gambling on sports all the time. It doesn’t stop and start again like visits to the riverboat. To never “chase losses” on a sportsbook account is to never place another substantial gamble once the stake is $10 below where it started.
So yes, it’s valid to ignore the “don’t chase losses” stuff as applied to sports, and to bet confidently, even aggressively when down a few dollars. It’s certainly better than admitting some type of permanent defeat at the hands of a bookie and surrendering any chance do better next time.
But when you’re up? Rolling in cash? When a weekend of betting went extremely well and you’re eager to get on to the next? That’s when caution and self-governance come into play.
There’s nothing so dangerous as forgetting what it’s like to lose a bunch of wagers, especially on a Premier League ruled-over by a single team with all other 19 clubs capable of losing on any day.
Here’s another round of 10 picks on Premiership soccer as squads prepare for Matchday 11. At the end of each blurb, I will include a self-policing “why this wager could lose” analysis, and if the devil seems too likely to jump up we’ll lower the units-to-invest recommendation for that market.
AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United
Online bettors seem to like Red Devils over Cherries in this fixture at Vitality Stadium, shrinking United’s line by “.40” to (+115) with several days’ worth of action. There are a few reasons why this is the case – for instance AFC Bournemouth has not scored a goal in a Premier League match in the month of October. The backline of Cherries has been stingy-enough that the underappreciated club is 3-4-3 on the season anyway, but MUFC presents a different level of speed with the football than foes like Watford and Norwich City – which have each fought Bournemouth to 0-0 draws in recent matches.
It’s not because Paul Pogba is back, though – the gold-medal midfielder is still hurt and (what else?) plagued with transfer rumors. Fred will take his place and is getting the appropriate amount of media hype. I’m skeptical of grand results from the change right away, as anyone other than Pogba is a downgrade in midfield. But my gut is telling me the public is right and United will prevail on the maiden early match of Saturday.
Why United-to-win might lose: Red Devils have been a flaky team for 2+ seasons and Fred might dread the immediate transition.
Pick: Man United (1 unit)
Arsenal FC vs Wolverhampton
Bettors are “manually laying” Arsenal, a club which has been almost as staid and draw-happy as visiting Wolves. Those trends have pushed the Saturday moneyline on Gunners to (-130) while shrinking Wolverhampton to shorter than 4-to-1 and moving the Draw moneyline to (+270).
I’m more interested in the total, which has fallen to (2.5) goals. Arsenal tallied twice in 3 minutes at Emirates Stadium last weekend despite zonal defense from visiting Crystal Palace.
Why the Over might lose: It’s Wolves.
Pick: Over (2.5) (2 units)
Aston Villa vs Liverpool
Everyone likes Reds to prevail over Villains on Saturday, moving Liverpool’s line to (-280) while pushing the Draw market to longer than 4-to-1. Salah’s squad may have drawn with Man United 2 weeks ago but I’m not expecting this match at Villa Park to be the (inevitable) end of an unbeaten Premiership run, nor another 1-1 deadlock.
Why Liverpool-to-win might lose: All things, nay, unbeaten streaks must pass.
Pick: Liverpool (3 units)
Brighton vs Norwich City
I believe bookmakers had pegged this fixture correctly with Brighton opening around 1/1 in London and Las Vegas. Since then, gamblers have gone all-in on Seagulls thanks to the club’s recent victories, but Brighton is due for a classic “reversion” right around now.
Why Norwich City-to-win might lose: It’s a (+365) moneyline.
Pick: Norwich City (1 unit)
Manchester City vs Southampton
This is an interesting clash of styles that could create chaos and lots of goals, and sure enough the Over/Under has tended to come-out on the high side through the last 10 matches between the clubs.
Why the Over might lose: It’s ticked-up to (4) goals as other handicappers come to the same conclusion.
Pick: Over (2 units)
Sheffield United vs Burnley FC
Sheffield is getting some extra moneyline action at (+130) but nothing to write home about. The subtle line-movement may be related to Burnley striker Chris Wood’s injury woes.
Wood isn’t the only important player ailing for Clarets:
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) October 31, 2019
I’m liking the Over (2) as a simple against-the-public wager here, considering that the line has dipped into the depths after opening between 2 and 3 goals.
Why the Over might lose: You can imagine Clarets playing for a draw while trying to stop a costly skid, though the 2 recent losses came at the hands of Leicester and Chelsea…and Burnley scored 3 goals in the 2 matches.
Pick: Over (2 units)
West Ham vs Newcastle United
Nobody likes Magpies to win, at least not at western betting sites. Bovada Sportsbook’s moneyline has expanded to (+370) on the visitors, thanks in-part to central midfielder Sean Longstaff getting short-staffed by a red card suspension headed into Matchday 11.
But Hammers only managed a draw with Blades last weekend, while Newcastle has beaten Man United, lost to Chelsea by 1 goal and drawn with Wolves over the past 3 fixtures. I’m sensing an upset.
Why Newcastle-to-win might lose: Magpies haven’t scored in half of their last 10 matches with West Ham, but that’s probably a fluke trend apart from Newcastle not ranking atop the Premiership in attacking talent.
Pick: Newcastle (1 unit)
Watford FC at Chelsea
Blues are a hot club and a hot wager, peeking at (-1) ATS vs a lowly Watford team at Vicarage Road on Saturday. But the spread is still (-.75) at most books, making this pick a gimme.
Why Chelsea ATS might lose: You don’t always make gimmes, but they’re easier than 20-footers.
Pick: Chelsea ATS (3 units)
Crystal Palace vs Leicester City (Sunday)
Foxes are about as hot of a betting commodity as Chelsea Football Club, but an expected difficult challenge from host CPFC on Sunday is holding the Leicester moneyline at (+120) in a fixture with a cautious (2.5) O/U total.
Perhaps speculators were impressed by Eagles’ competitive loss to Man City on Matchday 9. But you can’t say it was very impressive last week when Crystal Palace suffered breakdowns and a massive loss of momentum before scratching back to a draw in a 2-2 result at Arsenal.
Leicester, of course, is coming off a record-setting 9-0 win over Southampton, showing just how much respect gamblers have (O/U (2.5)?) for the expert zonal defense of Eagles at Selhurst Park.
I like the Draw market with a reasonably-hefty payoff line of (+245).
Why “Draw” might lose: Leicester could punish Palace as quickly as Arsenal did without as many defensive lapses-to-follow.
Pick: Draw (1 unit)
Everton FC vs Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday)
Sometimes, a pair of clubs are struggling, and it causes handicappers to forget that 1 team clearly out-classes the other.
You can make the argument that Tottenham is a quality squad still trying to put the pieces together. Hugo Lloris has proven to be a costly loss, but there was still a noticeable improvement in form for Spurs in Matchday 10. Harry Kane scored almost as quickly as a match with Liverpool began, and it took Reds almost the entire match to secure a lead on Salah’s controversial penalty goal in the 75th minute:
Meanwhile, you can’t make the same argument about Everton because Toffeemen could be on their way to the worst season in recent club memory.
Everton Football Club lost to Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 last week thanks to a mishap in the 94th minute, but more importantly from an analysis POV only controlled the ball for 44% of the match.
Tottenham’s moneyline has actually expanded, not tightened, to (+160) with betting action on Sunday’s fixture at Goodison Park.
Why Spurs-to-win might lose: Tottenham is stricken with various injuries, lacks depth at key positions, and obviously lacks the starting GK. I’m still liking the visitors on the ML in a battle of resistible force and movable object.
Pick: Tottenham (2 units)
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.