Premier League Odds & Picks | Best Bets, Featuring Chelsea vs Luton Town, Newcastle vs Liverpool
Pictured: Alexander Isak of Newcastle United. (Photo by Domenic Aquilina/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
We're into match week three in the Premier League with Manchester City, Arsenal and Brighton being the only three teams to win their first two matches. We have some fascinating encounters this weekend with the headliner being Newcastle vs Liverpool in what could be an early indicator of who finishes inside the top four.
BJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo are here to take you through the upcoming matches and offer up their best bets on the slate.
Cunningham and Dabbundo, who are part of the Wondergoal podcast crew, will be guiding you on the weekend Premier League fixtures and delivering their favorite picks along the way.
If you'd like to see picks from Cunningham and Dabbundo during the season for all UCL action and all five European leagues, follow them in the Action Network App.
Here are our weekend Premier League odds & picks.
Premier League Odds & Picks
|Luton Town Odds
|Over / Under
-188 / +150
Cunningham: Chelsea are going to eventually become an elite team that is deserving of a number like this, but right now they are nowhere close to that. They had another bad finishing performance against West Ham, which was the story of their entire season last year.
To be honest, the performance against West Ham was good. Chelsea created close to 2 xG, tilted the field at over 80% and forced eight high turnovers. The problem is with all of these new attackers they still don’t have a true No. 9 and it’s something that is going to plague them for a majority of this season.
In this match, Chelsea are going to tilt the field at over 80% and are going to live around Luton Town’s penalty area, but let’s talk market price. Brighton closed around this number on opening weekend and yes they did dismantle Luton Town, so they did get downgraded.
However, for a Chelsea team that was a negative xG differential team, has gone through a massive squad overhaul, is implementing a new tactical system and is going to be without Christopher Nkuku, Reece James, Wesley Fofana and Carney Chukwuemeka for an extended period of time, it’s a little insane they’re basically laying two goals here.
Luton Town may end up being one of the worst teams we’ve ever seen in the Premier League and the disparity in talent between these two sides is massive. But, Luton Town does play a style that could give Chelsea some problems.
In the Championship last season, Luton Town averaged just 45.3% possession. However, they finished with the highest direct speed because of how effective they were with their pressing.
Luton Town were off last weekend, so they’ve had a full two weeks to prepare for this match at Stamford Bridge, which is a big advantage.
To get Chelsea at this number you have to make adjustments to their power rating to essentially make them on par or better than Brighton. There is no world where right now where Chelsea are as good as Brighton, so they are overvalued here.
Pick: Luton Town +1.5 (+120 via BetRivers)
|Over / Under
+110 / -138
Dabbundo: Everton and Wolves have both picked up right where they left off last season as the two worst finishing teams in the Premier League when you compare their xG output to their actual goal tallies. Wolves' lack of a true striker and finisher and the Toffees' reliance on Neal Maupay in the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin has left both clubs short on goals.
The Toffees have been an aggressive side under Sean Dyche and their transition defense and box defending has really struggled as a result. It’s helped their pressing numbers and increased their ability to force high turnovers, which has been a major issue for Wolves through the first two matches of the season.
Even with their struggling attack, Manchester United produced more than 2 xG and forced 16 high turnovers in that opening weekend match. Wolves were able to find some real attacking threat through the midfield once they broke through the press against United and Brighton and it should be even easier to do so against Dyche’s Everton.
Wolves won’t continue to produce 19 shots per game like they have the first two weeks, but it’s clear that Gary O’Neil’s bet on the transition ability of this squad will lead to Wolves playing higher event matches than the previous manager. Despite these finishing struggles for both clubs, both defenses are far too porous to warrant the price on both teams to score being -115 or better.
Pick: Both Teams to Score (-110 via DraftKings)
Dabbundo: Even though there have been just three goals combined in Manchester United’s first two matches of the season, no team in the league is playing a higher event style than Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils. Wolves had the second-most penalty box touches against United in the first match week and Spurs followed that up with an impressive attacking showing in their 2-0 victory against United last week.
United have been effective at forcing high turnovers in the first two weeks. Even though they’ve been inefficient at scoring and converting chances off of those high turnovers, you expect more production given the baseline attacking talent in this United team. Now facing a porous Nottingham Forest defense, it could be a long afternoon for the Trees on the road.
Man United's increasing high press out of possession has placed more stress on Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro in defensive transition. Neither has played up to their usual standards thus far in this season and both could be even more stressed due to the injury to Mason Mount. The expected fill in for Mount is midfielder Christian Eriksen, who adds more passing value and attacking output next to Bruno Fernandes.
Eriksen is much worse at pressing than Mount and doesn’t have the same athleticism to compete in midfield defensively. Forest had a -33 goal difference in 19 away matches last year, but the attack has taken a clear step forward since Taiwo Awoniyi has been a bigger part of the first team as the central striker.
Pick: Both Teams to Score (-110 via DraftKings)
|Over / Under
-200 / +162
Cunningham: The price on Newcastle has come down quite a bit, but I do think there is still some value on the Magpies.
The absence of a No. 6 in the middle of the pitch is massively important because Liverpool won’t have anyone to stop Newcastle in transition, which is pretty difficult to do. Liverpool are not the team like Manchester City to build up through Newcastle’s pressure and also control the match.
What Manchester City did to try and neutralize Newcastle’s high press was build up in a 2-3-2-3 to overload the middle of the pitch and get their wingers into a lot of 1-v-1 situations and force Trippier or Burn to jump on them to create space for Haaland and Alavarez to make runs. Liverpool have been building up in a 3-2-5 and against Bournemouth they allowed the Cherries to force eight high turnovers, with three shots and a goal coming off those high turnovers.
Newcastle conceded twice early on last season against Liverpool at home and then Nick Pope got sent off. When they were down to 10 men, they still created over 2 xG, had an xThreat of 1.9 and won the field tilt battle.
Outside of that one match, Newcastle were one of the best home teams in the Premier League, putting up a +1.46 xGD per 90 minutes. Liverpool went on a great run to end the season and almost get inside the top four. During their final 10 matches of the season they played four road matches and those came against West Ham, Leeds, Leicester and Southampton. In five matches on the road against the top six last season, Liverpool had a -7.6 xG differential.
Newcastle’s man to man high pressing can give Liverpool tons of problems and Liverpool don't have the personnel to stop Newcastle in transition. I have Newcastle projected as a -119 favorite, so I like the value on them at +123.