Manchester City, the favorites to win the Premier League, have begun the 2018 season with consecutive victories averaging four goals per game.
Behind Man City are Liverpool, Chelsea, Watford, Tottenham and Bournemouth — all of whom have won their first two matches this season.
At the other end of the table there are nine teams (West Ham, Arsenal, Newcastle, Southampton, Wolves, Huddersfield, Burnley, Fulham and Cardiff) that have yet to win.
Of those nine, seven are averaging less than a goal per match. As a contrarian gambler, this seems like a great time to buy-low on these underperforming teams.
Why? It is early in the season, it is important to not overreact to a few matches.
However, that is precisely what recreational gamblers will do. Oddsmakers understand this tendency and will thus shade the lines in games featuring poor performing teams.
Using the Bet Labs database, I found a winning system confirming my assumption that has two matches for Saturday.
Since 2012, when we began tracking Premier League data, teams that averaged less than a goal per game have been undervalued. These clubs have gone 290-738 (28%) straight-up.
The losing record isn’t surprising but despite winning fewer than one-in-three matches a $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,183 wagering on these bad teams.
>> Sign up for The Action Network’s daily newsletter to get the smartest sports conversations delivered into your inbox each morning.
This system improves when we look at only early season games (August-November), which is about a third of the season, and home teams.
In this scenario, we lose some of the raw units won but the winning percentage and return on investment improve:
Saturday’s Premier League slate features six games. Two games are matches for this system. If you buy the theory and the data behind it, head to a ticket window near you.
Southampton vs. Leicester (10 a.m. ET): Southampton opened as a +143 favorite. In early betting, more than 70% of moneyline tickets are on Leicester but the line has moved in Southampton’s direction. This is called reverse line movement and is an indication of sharp money.
Huddersfield vs. Cardiff (10 a.m. ET): This is an interesting match since both clubs have scored less than a goal per game. In this scenario, it has still be profitable to bet the home team. Huddersfield opened +125.