This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
On the back of a quote from Brentford manager Thomas Frank, I bet on a lot of home teams last weekend. Somehow, it worked, with my only losing bet being Newcastle after they gave up two leads in a 4-2 loss to West Ham.
Otherwise, everything kind of played out as expected and, for me, the Tottenham win wasn't that surprising given the situation. Either way, I took under 2.5 goals in that match, one of three unders that hit from 10 matches; that's precision.
Home teams were dominant, but it's important not to put too much into those results. Those teams were riding a ton of emotion from the fans and things will slowly come back to Earth in the coming weeks. Still, that's not to say promoted sides like Brentford and Watford won't have an advantage with home fans compared to what Fulham and West Brom had last season. One of the worst stats in the league last season was Fulham's nine goals in 19 home matches, something that hopefully won't happen again with fans.
I think leaning on the over is the play these first few gameweeks. Certain back lines struggled in preseason, maybe because of summer tournaments, and that carried over to the regular season. It was a different situation last season, but there were still tons of goals the first four gameweeks, possibly because of that lack of cohesion.
There's not a ton of value on Liverpool and Manchester City by themselves because they're such big favorites, but you can start your day with a parlay on both to win in shutouts. Liverpool are -150 to beat Burnley to nil and Man City are -155 to beat Norwich to nil, totaling +174 when you put them together.
Unfortunately, there aren't many other things that stand out. Even then, a parlay on teams to win in shutouts is definitely a mistake. There are a lot of teams I don't want to bet on at home (obviously, that won't stop me) and a good portion of the over/unders have poor odds, something I try to avoid. You're not getting anything if you take under 2.5 goals at -160.
I originally wanted to bet Newcastle, but they were torched on the counter against West Ham and that was at home. While I'm only taking Aston Villa because they're at home, that still means something. They were poor in the opener, and the loss of Jack Grealish has something to do with it, though the absence of Douglas Luiz, who returned to training this week following the Olympics, certainly played a role.
Otherwise, this is the same Villa core that outplayed Newcastle in two matches last season, totaling 11 shots on goal compared to four. I also think that having a third-string goalkeeper in Freddie Woodman hurt the Magpies in their opener. The odds aren't great on a Villa win, but at -125, I think it's worth consideration.
Also in that early Saturday slot, Crystal Palace host Brentford in a match most will forget. Palace are home, but does that mean anything? On the other side, I'm not sure Brentford can keep the same momentum away from home. They capitalized on counter attacks against Arsenal, something that won't be the case in this match. Instead of taking a side or under 2.5 goals at -160, betting that both teams won't score at -130 seems like the best play.
That means either side could win 1-0 or 2-0, or it could finish a scoreless draw, all of which are in play. I think Palace are going to play things more defensively against Brentford with the goal of getting at least a point. If that's the case, they'll likely start Joachim Andersen at center-back and then push Cheikhou Kouyate to the midfield. If that happens, I'd like this bet even more.
This next play sounds crazy, but I found a way for it to make sense. Everyone is hating on Arsenal after losing their opener, which usually leads to inflated odds. They opened at +370 to beat Chelsea and that number is now +360, while win or draw is +105. Chelsea are seemingly a team on a mission and will have Romelu Lukaku available, and Arsenal looked like a wreck at times against Brentford.
However, you could have said the same thing last season except Arsenal won at home in December as a +360 underdog. Later in the season in May when Chelsea were at their peak with Thomas Tuchel in charge, Arsenal won again, 1-0 as a +340 underdog. Chelsea won 2-1 a few weeks ago in a friendly, but they weren't dominant, as both teams managed five shots on target and six corners. In fact, with Arsenal at home behind their fans, I think the odds should be closer to even, so you're getting great value on a +360 home underdog. Even better, recent history has our back.