This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
This isn't your typical Monday night match, but that's what happens during UEFA competition. This match could go a number of ways because Crystal Palace are always one of the harder teams to read. They've at least been somewhat reliable under Patrick Vieira, having taken points against worse teams and losing 3-0 to both Liverpool and Chelsea.
I'm more focused on how they haven't allowed a goal at home yet. They held Brentford scoreless a month ago and then outplayed a beat-up Tottenham side that didn't have Son Heung-Min and eventually lost defenders to injury and an eventual red card. Is Palace's defense better at home or has it been the matchups?
As for Brighton, things are finally going in their favor after numerous losses last season despite them controlling matches. They fell down early to Burnley in the opener and then clawed their way back to a win. They only totaled four shots against Brentford and somehow found a winner in the final minutes.
The stats are pretty lopsided from last season's games because Palace scored early in each, forcing Brighton to push the majority of the way. That being the case, I think this match could go a similar way, though I think this Palace team will battle more than last season's version, and playing with fans under the lights is an advantage.
The main worry for any 'both teams to score' bet is that this is the type of match that could finish scoreless or go 1-1. That takes away those bets and the under 2.5 goals at -155 isn't enticing. Instead, I'm looking at Crystal Palace as the first team to score at +115. They scored within the first 30 minutes in each meeting last season and I think they'll do something similar in this one, as they push for that opener on a big stage.
I'd also look at the total goal band for 2-3 at +120. This takes away a 0-0 and 1-0 match, but I think there will be goals for these teams. Technically, there hasn't been a goal scored in a Palace home match when both teams are full strength, but that has to change.
If you want something a little safer than taking either side to win, Crystal Palace pk is +105, meaning you get your money back if it's a draw. A lot of things point to Brighton in this match, and getting them at -125 in the same bet makes more sense, but this Monday night crowd is swaying me.
Looking at prior standalone matches on Fridays and Mondays, the home teams had a definite advantage: Brentford beat Arsenal 2-0; West Ham took down Leicester 4-1 after a red card made things worse for the away team; Everton rode the fans in the second half and beat Burnley 3-1; Newcastle drew Leeds 1-1, but it was a game that could've had two or three more goals.
I think Palace has the edge at home and the extra adrenaline will hopefully lead to a couple goals, at a minimum.