Hammering away at the value

With major site updates now complete I’m starting to focus my attentions on finding value in the Premier League once again. I’ve had a lot of success pricing up matches using the value finder spreadsheet to input my percentage estimates for each match outcome and letting the sheet compare them with the odds available to highlight value.

This time my approach will include this but I’ll also be looking to include other analysis like shots form and how much the bookies might be underestimating certain teams. This should help me to be more selective, reduce losing streaks and hopefully have a larger ROI over fewer bets.

My 2 midweek picks from the Prem fared pretty well with Palace winning at 3/1 but Chelsea scuppered my second bet drawing 1-1 with Diego Costa missing a late penalty. Considering this and that the odds were 2/1, it was still a good value bet in hindsight.

Chelsea kick off the weekend action at 12:45 from Stamford Bridge and at even money to beat Arsenal, I’d say they are priced about right. Given their home form and the way Arsenal have been defending, you may fancy a nibble on them but Arsenal have the quality to beat anyone on their day and Chelsea are making mistakes at the back too. My bets will generally be focussing on bigger prices where there’s more value but I fully expect Chelsea to record a narrow win over the Gunners on Saturday lunchtime.

Crystal Palace winning for the first time away from home for only the second time in 11 matches was no surprise to me. Results have continued to be poor under Allardyce but performances much improved and they’d had some bad luck with refereeing decisions too. I was hoping to back them again this weekend but was stunned to find them available only at odds of 1.67 which quite frankly is ridiculous. Despite Palace being much improved, particularly defensively, they are still not finding scoring goals and creating chances so easy.

Wilfred Zaha looked bright in their 2-0 win at Bournemouth, as did Andros Townsend when he came on despite the fact that he seem to have been labelled surplus to requirements but Benteke is still way off his best and I think they are still lacking a decent striker. They are still bottom of the shots table at home and are averaging less than 8 shots per game.

Betting on Palace at 1.67 would be silly as much as I was hoping to back them and I can in fact liken it to the Celine Dion tickets I’ve just purchased. I want to go especially because again I’d planned to and I knew it’d make my wife very happy, but at the checkout I knew I was over paying for them. That said, I can probably ‘trade out’ for a profit by selling them if I wish so it’s perhaps not an accurate comparison.

The bookies clearly got the 3/1 on Palace wrong in midweek and it appears to be a common tactic of their’s to over-compensate for this with the teams next match. Perhaps it’s to recoup some of the money or just the fact that they know Palace will be much more popular in the betting. I for one am happy to go the other way based on the current prices. Allardyce has tightened up the Eagle’s defence so  I’m not super confident in Sunderland scoring but they do have Jermaine Defoe who is always dangerous.

The value bet in this one has to be Sunderland on the asian handicap of +0.25 at odds of 2.9 with 888Sport.

The other standout bet for me this weekend are West Ham against Southampton. These two teams are neck and neck in the table with just 1 point separating them with the Hammers a place above in 11th. West Ham are also 8th best in terms of average shots away from home and there’s plenty of goals in their team. The Saints are playing very open football as are the Hammers and it’s a game that looks certain to have goals. I wasn’t too impressed with Southampton’s defending in their 2-1 defeat to Swansea in midweek and they’ve now lost 5 of their last 6 Premier League games. I think West Ham have enough quality to exploit them.

In a match that could go either way I’m very happy to back West Ham to beat Southampton at a best price of 5.25 with bet365


You can follow all Brian’s  premier league picks and results in his Football Betting Tipster Profile

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