Premier League Picks, Predictions, Preview: Three Favorite Bets, Including Brighton & West Ham (Oct. 2-3)

Premier League Picks, Predictions, Preview: Three Favorite Bets, Including Brighton & West Ham (Oct. 2-3) article feature image
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Jon Super/PA Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Brighton & Hove Albion standout Neal Maupay.

  • We have another busy schedule this weekend on the Premier League soccer landscape.
  • Analyst BJ Cunningham takes a deep look at the busy card, plus unveils his best bets, projected odds and totals.
  • Check out below why Brighton and West Ham headline his top selections.

The Premier League is starting to heat up as we enter the final round of matches before the international break.

Last weekend, there was great drama when Manchester City notched a 1-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a potential title-defining match. In other action, Aston Villa earned a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on a late header from Kortney Hause.

𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗧 moment. 𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗧 noise. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/7EMPUBytej

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 28, 2021

The previous round of matches also saw Arsenal capture the North London Derby via a 3-1 against Tottenham Hotspur, thanks to three goals in the first half at Emirates Stadium.

The noise when the ball hits the back of the net 😍 pic.twitter.com/yV1s4Bxn5W

— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 27, 2021

And finally, we can’t forget about Brighton & Hove Albion drawing with Crystal Palace at the death in Monday’s game on Neal Maupay’s equalizer.

WHAT DRAMA AT SELHURST PARK. Brighton equalize with seconds to go and earn a point! #CRYBHA pic.twitter.com/zLb1apLgEu

— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) September 27, 2021

This weekend’s fixtures are headlined by a heavyweight matchup between the last two Premier League champions — Liverpool vs. Manchester City — that could play a big role in the title race.

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 are in action.

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

Chelsea vs. Southampton

Chelsea Odds -250
Southampton Odds +750
Draw +360
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / -105)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Chelsea’s defense under manager Thomas Tuchel is incredibly difficult to breakdown. Since he took over in January last season, Chelsea is only allowing 0.73 expected goals per match.

This season hasn’t been great from a defensive perspective, considering the Blues have conceded 6.61 xG through their first six matches. However, a lot of that came from the match against Liverpool when Reece James was send off at the end of the first half and this past weekend’s loss to  Manchester City.

For example, Chelsea has allowed 108 shot-creating actions so far, but 57 of those came against Manchester City and Liverpool. In fact, Chelsea has only yielded a combined 2.83 xG total in the four other matches against Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Tottenham.

Southampton hasn’t done anything offensively of late, getting shut out in their last three games. The Saints have a total of 4.5 post-shot xG off 7.4 xG, so the xG they’re creating are very savable for opposing goalkeepers.

However, their defense has stepped up the last three matches, with just one goal allowed and 2.82 xGA facing West Ham United, Manchester City and Wolves. In fact, Southampton held all three offenses to their lowest expected marks so far this season.

I only have 2.46 goals projected for this match, so I love the total under 2.5 goals at -105 odds.

Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (-105)

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Brighton vs. Arsenal

Brighton Odds +195
Arsenal Odds +150
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (+100 / -125)
Day | Time Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Brighton is somehow getting all of the positive regression, despite not having the great xG record they had last season.

The Seagulls have actually overperformed up to this point in the season, as they have a +3 actual goal differential, but a -1.3 xG differential. However, their defense has been incredible through their first four games, as they’ve only allowed 5.8 non-penalty xG and 4.7 post-shot xG, which are both in the top four in the Premier League.

While the offense hasn’t created as much as it did last season, Brighton have been clinical in front of net because they have 6.2 post-shot expected goals off 6.0 xG (per fbref.com), meaning the chances being created are of the highest quality and difficult for the goalkeeper to save. Also, since the start of last season, the Seagulls have a +18.87 xGDiff at the American Express Community Stadium in only 22 matches.

Arsenal looked amazing versus Tottenham last Sunday, winning 3-1 at home to make it their third straight victory in the English top flight.

Made in Hale End ❤️@emilesmithrowe 🤝 @BukayoSaka87

🙌 @ArsenalAcademy pic.twitter.com/9pzR2H4PxS

— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 27, 2021

The difference between the first three matches and the last three is the Gunners are finally healthy. Gabriel and Ben White as a center-back pairing have yet to lose a match when both of them start. And when Gabriel starts, they’re unbeaten and have allowed just three goals in eight games.

However, the three-match winning streak was against lesser opponents and Arsenal’s overall metrics for the season are nothing to write home about. The Gunners have allowed the third most non-penalty xG; sixth most shot-creating actions; and, fourth most touches in their own penalty area, per fbref.com.

I have Brighton projected at +113, so I think there’s good value on their Draw No Bet line of +110 odds.

Pick: Brighton — Draw No Bet (+110)

West Ham vs. Brentford

West Ham Odds -120
Brentford Odds +360
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 /-110)
Day | Time Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
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West Ham has looked amazing to begin the season with a +3.36 xGDiff through their first league six matches.

The Hammers, under manager David Moyes, have been incredibly effective out of their 4-2-3-1 formation, putting up a +14.54 xGDiff dating back to last season and averaging more than 1.78 xG per 90 minutes. Having a defensive central-midfield pairing in Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček has been huge for the formation’s success, so these two should be able to dominate the middle of the pitch against a weak Brentford midfield. 

Also, going back to last season, West Ham has been one of the best home teams in the league, going 11-5-6 for the second-best mark in the first division.

Brentford has run hot to begin their campaign since earning promotion, especially after a chaotic 3-3 draw at home last weekend against Liverpool.

🧘♂️ ¡WISSAGOL! 💥

💪 Yoane Wissa pica la pelota ante la salida de Alisson y empató nuevamente el partido.

Brentford FC 3-3 Liverpool

📱 APP Telemundo Deportes ➡️ https://t.co/4hfFzDYopG #LigaPremierTD pic.twitter.com/fCiycGwHD8

— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) September 25, 2021

However, the Bees’ offensive prowess is going dip in the coming weeks if they keep putting up the same metrics going forward. They’re  bottom two in the Premier League in touches inside the opponents’ final third;  touches inside the opponents’ penalty are; and, carries into the opponents’ penalty area, per fbref.com.

Brentford play somewhat similar to that of Leeds United in the fact they utilize high-tempo, high-intensity “heavy-metal” football. It’s a very vertical style that condenses the middle, allowing wingers and fullbacks to get space on the outside in their 4-3-3 formation.

Through the first three matches, Brentford have the third most pressures, but they’re facing a West Ham side that’s really good against the press, ranking third in pressure success rate allowed so far this season.

I have West Ham projected at -145, so I think there’s some value on them at -120 via BetRivers and would play it up to -125 odds.

Pick: West Ham ML (-120)

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