This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
A week away from the Premier League felt good. It gave us a chance to assess the teams after seven matches and enter Gameweek 8 with a hopefully fresh perspective. I probably needed the break more than others. I felt good going into the last gameweek, but nothing seemed to go my way.
Whether it was Southampton stealing a penalty against Chelsea or Tottenham looking like a real team again, it led to my first negative week of the season. But as I said, I'm refreshed and ready to roll again.
Record: 32-18-2. Up $1,733 on $100 bets.
If you're betting the Liverpool game ahead of time (and others involving South American players), you need to know that Alisson Becker and Fabinho could both miss out because of international duties across the sea. I'd figure out their fate before betting this match and even then, Watford have a new manager (Claudio Ranieri) and that usually results in good things, at least in a new manager's first match. I'd rather look elsewhere.
That starts with two of the more disappointing teams in recent weeks. I'm still kind of worried about Manchester United's lack of scoring, but maybe the international break will help, or maybe Leicester's inconsistent back line. Everything points to over 2.5 goals (-125) in this match outside of Man United's lack of form. Leicester have allowed two goals to Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace in each of their last three league matches, while Man United have allowed at least one in each of their last seven in all competitions. Even better, these teams combined for seven goals in their two matchups last season. Early in the week, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire were considered doubts to play.
There have been three goals scored in three Southampton home matches this season and I'll bank on that to continue even though Leeds are involved. There are some questions for both sides with James Ward-Prowse suspended, Kalvin Phillips dealing with a calf issue and Raphinha likely out because of international duty, so I'm slightly worried. Instead of under 2.5 goals at +115, I'll take the 'No' on both teams to score at +145. These are great odds considering the absence of Ward-Prowse and that Southampton haven't scored in their last two at home. I know Leeds have back line injuries, but I'll bank on Phillips playing and hope that'll be enough to keep them composed.
The days of taking value from Man City against Burnley appear to be over. Last season, you could get almost even odds for them to win in a shutout and for this one, they're -155 to do so. Man City won these games 2-0 and 5-0 last season and while the odds are terrible, I'll try my luck on -2.5 at +110. This is a terrible matchup for Burnley, who prefer to sit back and accept the blows, something that usually doesn't work against a team loaded with clinical quality like Man City.
Norwich City have one goal from seven matches and you can still get 'No' on both teams to score at -110 against Brighton. It's unclear why the odds aren't worse unless it's a trap and in that case, this will probably be 2-2. Still, Norwich have tried to play more defensive with five defenders and it's not working even if they stole a point at Burnley last match. Brighton should control possession and limit the opportunities for Norwich again. You could take Brighton ML at +100 or even to win in a shutout, but I think there's at least a chance this finishes scoreless or that Norwich steal a late winner. I'll swallow the extra few bucks and take the -110 odds, especially with under 2.5 goals at -125.
I vowed in last week's podcast to stop betting on Aston Villa, but they keep pulling me back. That being the case, I'd probably avoid this bet. However, I have to mention it because you can get -120 odds for the 'No' on both teams to score. Villa and Wolves totaled one goal in two matches last season and while the latter has a new manager, that hasn't changed the lack of goals in their matches. There has been four goals in three away Wolves matches, while one team hasn't scored in two of three at home for Villa. I have no idea how this match will play out, but I believe if one team gets a goal, I think the other will struggle to put the ball in the net.
I assume you're sick of taking both teams not to score, so I'll mix it up. I was on Brentford +1 when they drew Liverpool a couple weeks ago and I'll take that same route against Chelsea. I think the international break helps Brentford in this spot and you can get them at +1 for -115 odds (+100 last week), meaning if they lose by one, you get your money back. I'll continue to back Brentford at home where they've only disappointed once when Brighton scored late in stoppage time. Otherwise, I've won money from them in league play as well as Cup matches they've dominated.
The Everton-West Ham match screams over, which means it'll probably finish scoreless with 20 shots on target. Again, Everton are on my do-not-bet list, but I'm ignoring that rule again (shame on me). I think they've been fortunate with recent results, whether that's been an out-of-form Man United or just a bad team in Norwich. Both teams love to play on the counter, something that usually produces a ton of chances. On the other end, there have been three goals in each of West Ham's last two matches because they rarely win and secure a clean sheet in the same match. You can get over 2.5 goals at -120. Throw in a possible return for Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and this bet looks even better.