Premier League Betting Picks, Predictions: Projections & Best Bets, Including West Ham vs. Crystal Palace (August 28-29)

Premier League Betting Picks, Predictions: Projections & Best Bets, Including West Ham vs. Crystal Palace (August 28-29) article feature image
Credit:

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images. Pictured: Wolves standout Adama Traore.

  • We have another thrilling Premier League card on deck, with several intriguing games taking place.
  • Soccer analyst BJ Cunningham takes a deep look at the weekend card and delivers his top picks.
  • Check out his detailed insight below, including angles on two Saturday showdowns.

Matchweek Two was relatively straightforward in Premier League action, with many favorites taking care of business. However, Manchester United was the only clear favorite to not get all three points, settling for a 1-1 draw at Southampton.

The top of the table is a little crowded right now, with Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United winning their first two matches of the season.

This weekend should provide more entertainment and fireworks, as we have two huge games on the schedule. Reeling Arsenal takes on the defending champion Manchester City,  plus a potential match of the year with Liverpool hosting Chelsea.

If you’re new to our soccer coverage, I will be providing my projections for every Premier League match, along with every other game from Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1, plus Champions League and Europa League when they kick off in September.

If you’d like to read more about how I determine my projections, you can check it all out here.

You can use these projections to identify betting value on current lines, plus follow me in The Action Network App to see any bets I make during the week.

Premier League Projections

Best Bets

West Ham vs. Crystal Palace

West Ham Odds -175
Crystal Palace Odds +525
Draw +310
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -105)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Odds updated Thursday morning via DraftKings.

West Ham is off to a dream start after winning their first two matches, including Monday’s resounding 4-1 victory over Leicester City.

The Hammers offense, which averaged 1.59 xG per match during the 2020-21 campaign, has not missed a beat. They have scored scored eight goals and created the most expected goals (5.30) of anyone in the Premier League over the first two weeks.

While West Ham’s offense gets all of the praise, they have one of the best defensive central midfield pairings in Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček, who completely dominated Leicester’s midfield.

With those two pairing in manager David Moyes’ 4-2-3-1 formation, West Ham was incredibly effective, putting up a +9.48 xGDiff when playing out of it last season, while also averaging 1.72 xG per 90 minutes. So, they should be able to dominate a Crystal Palace side that hasn’t looked great through their first two matches of the season.

Crystal Palace’s offense has been lost so far, creating a total of 0.96 xG, 19 shot-creating actions and only 26 touches in their opponents’ penalty area, which is second worst behind only Norwich City.

They are in a bit of a transition period with a ton of transfer activity this summer and a new manager at the helm, so it might take a while for the Eagles to find their form.

I have West Ham’s spread projected at -1.40, so the true odds on their current spread of -1 would be -127, so I think there’s plenty of value on +105 odds on Hammers spread of -1 in this spot.

Pick: West Ham -1 (+105)

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Newcastle vs. Southampton

Newcastle Odds +155
Southampton Odds +175
Draw +255
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Odds updated Thursday morning via DraftKings.

While Newcastle didn’t look good in their first two matches of the season, this is a really solid price to buy them against a horrendous Southampton side.

Newcastle’s offensive numbers weren’t that great last season, but they had to deal with a lot of injuries to their attack. Two of their best offensive players — Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson — were only on the field together in 17 of Newcastle’s 38 matches.

When they played together, the Magpies averaged 1.30 xG per contest. Without them on the field, they averaged 1.04 xG per match. Newcastle also had a burst-out star in Joe Willock, who spent the second half of the season on loan scoring eight goals in 14 appearances. He made his first start last weekend against Aston Villa and will not be a regular in Steve Bruce’s attack. 

Newcastle did suffer a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa last weekend, but if we look at non-penalty expected goals, they were the slightly better side, out creating the Villans by a 0.71-0.59 xG margin. They also held 53% possession in the match, so it was a big improvement from their opening fixture against West Ham.

Southampton was one of the worst teams in the league over the second half of last season. After their 1-0 upset win over Liverpool in January, the Saints picked up 14 of a possible 63 points, the lowest point total of any team in the top flight over that span. A lot of their issues last season came in front of net: the Saints averaged just 1.19 xG per match.  

They were one of the worst teams away from home as well, going 4-4-11 with a -13.24 xGDiff last season. They also sold their best striker in Danny Ings and one of the top center backs — Jannik Vestergaard — in August, so things aren’t looking good for the Saints who have been out-created 4.65 xG-1.17 xG through their first two matches.

I have Newcastle’s Draw No Bet line projected at -142, so I think there’s some value on the current -120 odds at DraftKings and would play it up to -128 as my top pick.

Pick: Newcastle — Draw No Bet (-120)

Wolves vs. Manchester United

Wolves Odds +400
Manchester United Odds -135
Draw +275
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -110)
Day | Time Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET
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Odds updated Thursday morning via DraftKings.

Wolves may have lost their first two matches of the season, but they’re really undeserving to have no points. Looking at non-penalty expected goals after facing two top-seven clubs in Leicester and Tottenham, they out-created them by a combined 2.84 xG-1.63 xG margin.

The real bright spot for Wolves has been the resurgence of Adama Traore, who has been tormenting opposing defenses with his speed and power off the left wing.

Adama Traore has completed more take-ons than any other Premier League player since the start of last season (173).

He also ranks fourth for chances created from open play in that time frame (60). 💪 pic.twitter.com/l2WPCdRxC6

— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 23, 2021

It’s seriously crazy that the ball hasn’t found the back of the net yet for Wolves, because they have the second most shot-creating actions (64) in the Premier League, while only allowing (29), per fbref.com. That said, they should be able to give Manchester United’s defense some problems.

The Red Devils’ strength last season was defense. In fact, they were one of the best in the league over the second half of last season, allowing 0.98 xG per match since the start of the year. Now, their defense is only going to improve with the addition of Raphaël Varane, who is one of the best center backs in the world.

They had a lot of bad luck at Southampton last weekend, creating 2.16 xG, but only putting one in the back of the net. However, Manchester United’s offense was highly overrated last season, as they scored 73 goals, but only created 63.17 xG in the campaign. So far, they’ve scored six goals, but only created 3.90 xG this season.

I have Wolves’ projected odds at -109 for their spread line of +0.5, so I think there’s value on their current +120 at DraftKings and would play it down to +106 odds.

Pick: Wolves +0.5 (+120)

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