Premier League Betting Picks, Predictions, Preview: Projections & Best Bets, Including Newcastle (Oct. 16-18)
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images. Pictured: Steve Bruce.
- Can Brighton keep its stellar play going? Is there value on Newcastle facing Spurs?
- BJ Cunningham dishes out his projected odds and totals, plus his bets bets, for this week’s Premier League card.
- Check out below for his detailed insight and betting angles tied to his selections.
The international break is finally over, with the Premier League returning this week without a big time fixture, but plenty of matches for us to wager on.
Before the hiatus, we were blessed with a thrilling match between two of the title favorites, as Manchester City played to a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.
A look back at our draw with Liverpool! ⏮
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 5, 2021
This weekend is headlined by a few intriging encounters, including Leicester City hosting Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United. We also have Everton welcoming West Ham United to Goodison Park.
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’re 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
Norwich City vs. Brighton
|Norwich City Odds||+250|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+110 / -143)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds via FoxBet. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Brighton’s numbers through the first seven matches aren’t even close to how good they were last season, highlighted by only a +0.22 expected-goals differential. However, the Seagulls were by far the best team on the pitch against Arsenal before the break.
Even though it was a 0-0 draw, Brighton won the xG battle by a 1.4-0.5 margin, had 35 shot creating actions to Arsenal’s 13 and 18 passes that led to a shot compared to only five for Arsenal. So, this is the same club we all fell in love with last season.
On the other hand, Norwich City has been really bad through their first seven matches of the season and only have a single point to show for it.
The Canaries allowed the most non-penalty expected goals at 13.3; second-most passes into their final third; second-lowest pressure success rate; and, the most touches in both their own final third and penalty area.
Offensively, things aren’t much better because they have the fewest xG created in the Premier League at 5.63; fewest shot-creating actions; and, sit in the bottom three of just about every metric you look at.
I have Brighton projected at -134 odds, so I think there’s some value on our Seagulls at +115, which is currently available at FoxBet and would play it down to -110 odds.
Pick: Brighton ML (+115)
Southampton vs. Leeds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-138/ +114)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Southampton enters this match in a bad run of form after getting trounced by Chelsea right before the international break in a 3-1 loss.
The Saints have no offense to speak of at the moment. They’ve only scored one goal in their last four games and have a total of 5.5 post-shot xG off 8.9 xG as well. So, the xG they’re creating are very savable for opposing goalkeepers.
For Southampton’s offense, basically everything has to come through the middle of the pitch. In manager Ralph Hasenhüttl’s 4-4-2 system, the Saints like to press high up the field and that has morphed its approach into a 4-2-2-2 formation at times, squeezing the middle of the pitch and forcing opponents to go out wide.
That has had the opposite effect on them offensively, because Southampton has completed only seven crosses into the opponents’ penalty area, which is the second-lowest mark in the Premier League. On the flip side, Leeds has allowed the second-fewest crosses into their own penalty area.
To make matters worse for Southampton, their captain and best central midfielder — James Ward-Prowse — is suspended for this match after getting a red card against Chelsea before the international break.
He is the conductor of their attack going forward and has the most shot-creating actions on the team, so it’s going to be difficult for the Saints to create chances without him on the pitch.
Leeds has had dreadful start, picking up only six points from their first seven matches. However, the club’s problems have mainly been in the defensive end of the pitch where they’ve conceded 12.2 xG. That’s almost to be expected in manager Marcelo Bielsa’s style of play, which isn’t for the faint of heart.
Leeds essentially plays a full-court press at all times. Whenever the opposing team has the ball, the Peacocks press forward in hopes of winning the ball and starting a counter attack. It sounds great on paper, but why more teams don’t employ this style of play is because it often leaves you exposed at the back, which is why they concede so many chances.
However, Leeds has been very effective going forward this season, creating 10.2 non-penalty expected goals, which is the fifth-highest mark in the league. The Peacocks’ all out press should be very effective against Southampton, which ranks 13th in terms of pressure success rate allowed this season.
Without Ward-Prowse I have this match projected closer to a Pick’em, so I think there’s value on the Leeds Draw No Bet wager at +116 odds via FanDuel and would play it down to +115 odds.
Pick: Leeds — Draw No Bet (+116)
Newcastle vs. Spurs
|Over/Under||2.5 (-130 / +105)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Newcastle has had a dreadful start to the season, picking up only three points in their first seven matches.
After it was announced that the Saudi-backed ownership group will be purchasing the club, things are going to change very quickly in northeastern England. However, as it stands, the Magpies are in desperate need of a result Sunday at home against Tottenham Hotspur.
The biggest problem for Newcastle to begin the season has been their defense. The Magpies have allowed 16 goals from 13.3 xG, but a lot of that had to do with some terrible goalkeeping in the first part of the campaign.
For the first four games of the season, Newcastle was playing third-choice goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, who really struggled in front of net. The last three matches have featured No. 1 goalkeeper, Karl Darlow, between the posts and it’s been a night-and-day difference.
(graphic per fbref.com)
Offensively, Newcastle has been above average to start, creating 8.8 non-penalty expected goals. Having a healthy Allan Saint-Maximin has made a world of a difference for the Magpies, as he’s top 10 in the league in shot-creating actions, passes leading to a shot and non-penalty expected goals + expected assists.
Saint-Maximin will be a big problem for a Spurs defense that to this point has allowed 10.6 xG and the third most shot-creating actions in the league.
Tottenham’s offensive numbers through their first seven matches are quite concerning, considering they have one of the league’s best strikers in Harry Kane. The club has only created 6.5 non-penalty expected goals, which is the fourth-lowest mark in the Premier League.
Spurs also rank in the bottom half of just about every offensive metric like progressive passes; touches in the opponents’ penalty area; crosses completed into the 18-yard box; and, shot-creating actions.
I have this match projected much closer to Pick’em rather than Tottenham being favored, so I think there’s some value on Newcastle’s spread of +0.5 at -125 odds or better.
Pick: Newcastle +0.5 (-125)