Last week, the EPL Matchday Two column produced our only loss of the week (excluding our pizza flyers of course).
Playing out simultaneously on Sunday were our Southampton-United and Spurs-Wolves BTTS props, with the latter failing to come through.
Of the core prop bets we’re following, both teams to score has gotten off to a curiously slow start. Through 20 matches, the “no” has cashed in 12 matches, including seven times in Matchday Two.
With that said, what props should interest bettors across the Matchday Three slate? Here are the two plays I’m most intrigued by across the weekend. As always, odds come courtesy of PointsBet Sportsbook and are reflective at time of writing.
Best Bet #1 – Aston Villa to Score First vs. Brentford (-139)
There’s some definite risk associated with this play, because I believe of all the matchday three fixtures, this has the greatest 0-0 potential.
That said, there are positive data points that favor Villa getting on the scoreboard first at home.
First, home teams have continued to be outstanding when it comes to scoring first through the first two weekends. In the 19 matches that have featured at least one goal, the home team has scored first in 13.
Villa’s offense has been the far superior one against both Watford and Newcastle, generating the highest expected goal tally in both fixtures.
Brentford’s offense, on the other hand, didn’t look like it translated well away from the Brentford Community Stadium in their last match against Palace.
Plus, including last season’s final four home matches that saw at least one goal, Villa have now scored the first goal at home in five consecutive matches.
For as much as this is a play on Villa though, it’s also equally a fade of Brentford.
The Bees have yet to concede a goal in their debut Premier League season, something that is historically unprecedented.
Of all the teams to be promoted in the history of the Premier League, only two have kept clean sheets in all of their opening three fixtures – Charlton Athletic in 1998/99 and Huddersfield Town in 2017/18.
Given that a midweek EFL Cup fixture forced two of Brentford’s regular centre-halves into action, I trust the Villa attack enough to lay this price.
Best Bet #2 – Liverpool/Chelsea Both Teams to Score “Yes” (-135)
Last season, Liverpool failed to score in six home matches, a trend I can only attribute to the lack of fans at Anfield.
To put that stat into context, that matched the total number of times they failed to score at least one goal in the last four seasons COMBINED.
It feels odd to say, but I believe the onus is on Chelsea to cash this ticket.
Prior to their 1-0 victory at Anfield last March, Liverpool have been clinical in front of net, irrespective of venue.
The Reds had scored at least once in five straight matches and 12 of the last 13 against Chelsea. Prior to that same defeat, the last time Liverpool failed to score at home against Chelsea was April 2014.
Further, the BTTS prop has been very profitable in this matchup as well. The “yes” side has cashed in three of the last five and seven of the last ten meetings at Anfield.
At both Anfield and Stamford Bridge, the “yes” has won in nine of the last 13.
While it’s encouraging to see both powers are capable of holding lesser sides off the scoresheet, I believe that when greeted by functioning offenses, it’ll be a different narrative.
Add in the effectiveness of Reece James getting forward against Arsenal, and I think you’ll notice an emphasis on the right side for manager Thomas Tuchel.
Despite Romelu Lukaku’s dismal scoring record against Liverpool — five goals in 15 matches, none in the last seven — the creativity in Chelsea’s midfield should be capable of generating a goal.
Assuming Liverpool does their job, I’m comfortable laying this number.
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Source: Yahoo Sports