This weekend is the second half of the Premier League “winter break” so once again there are only five games to choose from. I landed one decent winner last week with Cole Plamer getting his shots on target at 9/5. However, my two other bets both failed miserably and left me down for the week.
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Sat 20 Jan 12:30
Talk of Arsenal’s demise is overblown, but anyone who buys it will surely lay the Gunners here as they are a miserly 3/10 to beat Palace in the early kick-off. As much as I fancy Arteta’s side to come through this one unscathed, I’m not interested at such low odds. Arsenal to win to nil (10/11) and Arsenal -1 (5/6) are both odds-on and offer little appeal.
Two players I fancy in the shots on target market are Kai Havertz and Gabriel Magalhães. Havertz hit a fine vein of form before his yellow-card suspension over Christmas and with Arsenal still struggling for an attacking focal point, the German looks a great price to pick up 2+ SOT at 11/4.
Gabriel is one of Arsenal’s primary corner targets and I can see him getting plenty of chances on Saturday. The Gunners win the most corners in the league, by far, and should dominate possession at home to Palace. The big Brazilian is 5/2 for a single SOT and that looks a great bet.
I would love to back both of these at a combined 12/1 but Arteta has a tendency to tinker and there is a small chance Havertz may not start.
Sheffield United v West Ham
Sun 21 Jan 14:00
West Ham make the trip north to struggling Sheffield United and the Hammers look mispriced. Most people, myself included, expected the East Londoners to have a tough season. How wrong we were. West Ham are sixth in the table, 3rd in the form table (the last eight games) and comfortably through to the Europa League Round of 16. In fact, only Bayer Leverkusen picked up more Group Stage points than Moyes’ side and they have lost only one league match since early November (W6 D2 L1).
Oddly enough, West Ham are odds-against here at 6/5 and that is a decent bet in its own right. However, I’m in a bit of a hole and need some extra juice, so I’m adding Over 1.5 to the bet as a kicker. Only two of West Ham’s 20 league games have failed to hit that mark and the odds boost to 7/4 is definitely worth the risk.
Premier League Smart Bets
Arsenal v Crystal Palace: Gabriel 1+ SOT @ 5/2
Sheffield United v West Ham: West Ham To Win & O1.5 Goals @ 7/4
The above in a double is a little under 9/1 with Bet365 (1U)