Premier League Saturday: Betting Value on Chelsea-Arsenal and Two Other Matches
Getty Images. Pictured: Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan
- Week 2 in the Premier League on Saturday is headlined by a London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
- There has been lopsided public betting action on five clubs around the league, including Everton and Newcastle.
- I've analyzed the betting market for each matchup and pinpointed three value plays to bet.
The opening Premier League weekend was a bit of a letdown due to favorites taking care of business and the lack of any real upsets. Crystal Palace (+200 at Fulham) were the biggest underdogs to win, and all six odds-on favorites were victorious.
Saturday’s Week 2 action is headlined by Chelsea-Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. The match will kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET. Both clubs are led by new managers — Unai Emery (Arsenal) and Maurizio Sarri (Chelsea) — and oddsmakers are forecasting a high-scoring affair.
For Saturday’s Premier League action I’ve broken down all six matches and picked out three value plays.
2018-19 Season Record: 1-3-1, -0.95 units
Newcastle at Cardiff City (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
- Newcastle Moneyline Odds+151
- Cardiff City Moneyline Odds: +230
- Draw Moneyline Odds: +211
- Over/Under: 2 (o-108)
Cardiff City were poor in their road opener last weekend, but their direct, long-ball approach should suit them better at home on Saturday against Newcastle.
Historically, this is the sweet spot for a draw, and there are two very profitable Bet Labs systems pointing toward to it based on the low total of 2 goals.
Around the market, public bettors have pounded Newcastle to the tune of more than 80% of tickets. Newcastle’s odds have come down slightly from +166 to +151 at Pinnacle, but they’re a very trendy road underdog that I tend to avoid. I see the value elsewhere, and think Cardiff City can definitely grab a point at home in the early kickoff.
The Bet: Draw (+211)
Southampton at Everton (10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold)
- Everton Moneyline Odds: -115
- Southampton Moneyline Odds: +388
- Draw Moneyline: +245
- Over/Under: 2 (o-150)
Southampton and Everton are coming off draws on opening weekend, both in disappointing fashion. Southampton played to a goal-less home draw with Burnley, while Everton drew 2-2 at Wolves.
The result wasn’t terrible for the Toffees, but receiving a red card in the first half was not the way they envisioned the season starting. That means center-back Phil Jagielka will be suspended for three matches, including Saturday vs. Southampton.
Even with the suspension, odds opened much shorter than I anticipated with Everton at +105. The home side has already moved to -115 odds-on favorites behind 81% of bets, making them the most lopsided wager of the day. Although they were very active at the end of the transfer window, players like Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes are not quite ready to play.
There’s also lopsided action on the spread of Everton -0.5 (-115), meaning public bettors don’t even want to take Southampton on the goal line. The odds feel fishy, and I’m more than willing to take Southampton on the goal line at plus-money.
The Bet: Southampton +0.5 (+104)
Wolverhampton at Leicester City (10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold)
- Leicester City Moneyline Odds: +106
- Wolves Moneyline Odds: +286
- Draw Moneyline Odds: +255
- Over/Under: 2.5 (u-117)
Despite dropping the season opener at Old Trafford, Leicester City were impressive against Manchester United and were a bit unfortunate to lose outright.
Newly promoted Wolves also looked pretty strong in their opener, but had to settle for a 2-2 home draw against Everton. Oddsmakers have been really high on Wolverhampton all summer long, and we’ll likely see shaded lines continue in the early stages of the season.
There has been very little line movement so far around the market, and public betting percentages are all dispersed evenly. I think this game could go any way and don’t love the value anywhere.
The Bet: PASS
Fulham at Tottenham (10 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
- Tottenham Moneyline Odds: -343
- Fulham Moneyline Odds: +1055
- Draw Moneyline Odds: +520
- Over/Under: 3 (o-120)
Fulham lost their home opener to Crystal Palace, 2-0, and will be lucky to compete with Tottenham on Saturday — the Cottagers are huge +1055 dogs to win outright and +520 just to steal a point.
Spurs secured a 2-1 win at Newcastle in the opener and are heavy favorites to pick up three more points against Fulham. It’s been a feast for Tottenham against newly promoted clubs, as they’ve won 18 straight home matches against first-year EPL teams. Saturday won’t exactly be a true home game since they still temporarily reside at Wembley Stadium, but the advantage will still be there.
Sportsbooks are optimistic about Tottenham extending the streak with a 77.4% implied win probability. Public bettors are on board and expect to see a blowout with more than 80% of spread bets on Spurs -1.5 goals. There may be some contrarian value on Fulham if they move to +2 goals, but I wouldn’t feel confident in +1.5.
The Bet: PASS
Bournemouth at West Ham United (10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports gold)
- West Ham Moneyline Odds: +108
- Bournemouth Moneyline Odds: +272
- Draw Moneyline Odds: +267
- Over/Under: 2.5 (o-125)
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth boys kicked off the year with a 2-0 home win over Cardiff City and are hoping to make it consecutive victories when they meet West Ham on Saturday. The Hammers were trounced, 4-0, at Liverpool to start their season, but that was to be expected.
The most notable betting action in this match has been on the over/under. The total of 2.5 opened with -115 juice on the under, but has since moved to -125 juice on the over. Both public and sharp bettors have been hitting the over, but this feels more like a 1-1 result. If the over/under happens to reach 3 goals, I would definitely take a shot on the under.
The Bet: PASS
Arsenal at Chelsea (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
- Chelsea Moneyline Odds: -118
- Arsenal Moneyline Odds: +334
- Draw Moneyline Odds: +299
- Over/Under: 3 (u-109)
In the biggest game of the weekend, Chelsea will host Arsenal in a battle between new managers Unai Emery and Maurizio Sarri. Last weekend Arsenal struggled to get anything going against Manchester City, but bettors shouldn’t be too quick to judge the Gunners based on that result.
Chelsea, on the other hand, easily dispatched Huddersfield, 3-0, and folks may be overreacting to the victory. Since opening at -127 odds, nearly 70% of bettors are taking the Blues to make it back-to-back wins.
While there’s no doubt Chelsea looked solid in the opener, things will be much tougher against Arsenal, both offensively and defensively. The Gunners have a potent attack but just weren’t clicking last week against arguably the best club in the world. Bettors and oddsmakers have taken note, and there’s been considerable action on the over, moving the total from 2.75 to 3 (via Pinnacle).
I’m projecting Arsenal with more than a 50% chance of grabbing a point in this one, so at +0.5 goals (+109), I’ll take the value on the Gunners to cover.
The Bet: Arsenal +0.5 (+109)
- Cardiff City-Newcastle Draw (+211)
- Southampton +0.5 (+104) at Everton
- Arsenal +0.5 (+109) at Chelsea
Good luck on your bets, and I’ll have a preview for each of Sunday’s Premier League matchups coming soon.