This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
I won't say anything about how all my bets hit last gameweek or about one of the best betting runs in my career. I won't say a thing about it. Instead, I'm going straight into Gameweek 4 after what was an international break filled with injuries and COVID-19 violations.
News will have to be monitored from national teams, especially for the players who traveled further and may have to quarantine. In that case, there could be some lineup changes, with the most relevant being the possible absences of Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia for Aston Villa. Otherwise, it's back to normal.
I was a bit surprised to see under 2.5 goals between Crystal Palace and Tottenham at -125. I expected something around -160 and there's a chance this is a trap I'm about to fall into. Tottenham have yet to allow a goal, and while Palace finally hit the back of the net before the break, I'm not ready to bet the over on them. As I said a couple weeks ago, Nuno Espirito Santo is fine with getting one goal and coasting, and when they get that goal, I'm not sure Palace have enough to change that unless Conor Gallagher has turned into a world-class striker following his brace last match. The possible absence of Son Heung-Min is also a boost for this bet.
If you're looking for goals, I'm going back to West Ham as they play at Southampton. Similar to Southampton's game against Newcastle, I don't think either of these back lines will hold a clean sheet in 90 minutes. There are a few ways to take this logic and, after some research, I found something I liked. If you really like goals, over 3.5 is at +170, much better than the -140 for over 2.5 goals.
Instead, I found something at DraftKings where you can take "goal bands." You can bet that there will be 2-3 goals (+120) or 3-4 goals (+160). Since I like the over 2.5, I'll go with +160 odds that there will be either three or four goals scored. That gives me a wide range for plus odds. It could finish 3-0, 2-1 or 2-2 and this is a winner. I also considered taking Southampton win or draw but the odds aren't worth it unless you take them draw no bet at +115, something I'm not sure is worth it. Southampton will fight in this spot at home, but I'm not ready to bet them to win.
I went back and forth on the Watford v. Wolverhampton match because this is only the second home game for Watford, who scored three goals in their opener. On one end, they haven't had an expected goal total above one in any match and on the other, they could be more efficient at home. It's not worth it to take under 2.5 goals at -150, so I'll take the simple NO on both teams to score at -125. I think Wolves to win in a shutout at +240 is in play, but Watford at home has me a little worried, as does the Wolves attack in general (zero goals).
I think Brentford are better than Watford, and that's why I think they can beat Brighton at home. Brentford looked like a top-10 team in their win against Arsenal and still managed a point in each of their away matches. This is a perfect spot for Brighton to have 60 percent possession and fail to turn it into anything. I think the attack for these teams is pretty even and Brentford should also have a fully fit Mathias Jensen for the first time this season. You could play it safe and go Brentford draw no bet at -110, but I think Brentford win this one, so I'm going with the +175.
I think a parlay is warranted if you're comfortable having a bet span 24 hours. Chelsea are -340 to beat Aston Villa, which is about right. Villa surprisingly won when these teams met in May, but it's a new season. Romelu Lukaku gives Chelsea a true striker, someone that has to be dealt with at all times on the pitch. Plus, I'm still not sold on Villa without Jack Grealish.
The other bet I like and would be comfortable betting by itself is Liverpool to win at Leeds -150. Similar to the above matchup, my reason for taking Liverpool is that these teams are not the same as last season. Leeds actually had 62 percent possession when they met in April in a 1-1 draw. Of course, Liverpool's back line consisted of Fabinho and Ozan Kabak. I think this season's Liverpool will be closer to the one seen two seasons ago when they won 32 of 38 matches. Sure, the league is probably better than that season, but I think their consistency will shine through against teams still figuring things out.
As for Leeds, they aren't close to hitting last season's form. Their back line has been a work in progress and they gave up five goals to Manchester United, a team on the same level as Liverpool. Leeds will battle at home, but even after managing 70 percent possession in their home opener, they gave up eight shots on target in a 2-2 draw against Everton.
Combine the -340 and -150 and you get +115; not bad at all.