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Weekend Preview - The 40/1 Trapdoor...

Friday 5th March 2021

In Across the Leagues today:

  • Low goals in the top-flight…
  • Premier League Stats Picks…
  • Blades v Saints is a big one…

Weekend Preview – The 40/1 Trapdoor…

I’m all about the Premier League this weekend. Today’s preview touches on the match stats markets, as well the 2020/21 Outrights…

A 3/1 pointer from Paul…

Across the Leagues member Paul writes in with details of a 3/1 bet that he’s just placed. Reacting to Chelsea’s win at Liverpool last night:

“This seems astonishing!! Paddy Power and Sky are offering Chelsea to win the League, Without Man City, at 3/1. Since Thomas Tuchel took over they’ve gone from 9th to 4th … I’m covering my bet with 4/9 for a Top 4 Finish”

Good work, Paul. Man Utd are the favourites in that Premier League ‘Without Man City’ market. Chelsea certainly look in good shape since Tuchel arrived – unbeaten in 10 games, winning seven.

Low goals in the top-flight…

I wrote a piece today about the recent low-scoring games in the Premier League

In the past week, 13 of the 17 top-flight matches have gone Under 2.5 Goals. Including six out of six across Wednesday & Thursday.

And we’ve seen some pretty dreadful stuff. No fans + coronavirus + endless VAR delays = some hard to watch football. Mercifully, the crowds should be returning this summer.

I don’t know if he noticed, but in his latest predictions for the BBC, Mark Lawrenson has named Under 2.5 Goals score-lines for all 10 Premier League games this weekend. The dull full house pays a far-from-boring 672/1.

Liverpool v Fulham is one game where I reckon the Under 2.5 Goals trend could continue…

Anyone who’s watched any Liverpool or Fulham matches recently is likely to be surprised that this one is priced up as an Over 2.5 Goals favourite. Liverpool are the champions but have dropped off alarmingly. They’ve lost five in a row in the league at Anfield, and failed to score in five of their last six at home.

Fulham are in the relegation zone, where they’ve been pretty much all season, but are by no means the whipping boys. In their last nine defeats, only Man City (2-0) and Aston Villa (0-2) have managed to put the daylight of a two-goal margin of victory over plucky Scott Parker’s men.

Under 2.5 Goals is the underdog in the betting here. But the Head-2-Head home v away Last 5 form on our website backs up my low-goals opinion:

Head-2-Head - Liverpool v Fulham

Big rivalries in Europe…

Do the top European leagues coordinate their fixture computers? Because there’s a stack of big matches and derbies taking place this weekend…

  • Man City v Man Utd and Aston Villa v Wolves have local bragging rights up for grabs
  • In Italy, Juventus v Lazio is a battle of the big guns – and it’s Ronaldo v Immobile in the Scorer stakes. Ciro Immobile was Top Goalscorer in Serie A last season. Cristiano sits top of the pile this time
  • In Spain, they don’t come much bigger than Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid. The bookies can’t split them in the Match Result betting – 7 of the last 9 meetings have gone Under 2.5 Goals
  • Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund is a heavyweight bout in Germany. Bayern have won the last two, both by a 3-2 score-line

Premier League Stats Picks…

Back to the Premier League now, and Brighton v Leicester looks a noteworthy match in two of the stats categories on our website:

  • Brighton have the best home record in the division for Most Corners, landing that bet in a superlative 12 out of 13 league outings at the Amex (92%). Leicester’s away stat is 43%
  • Brighton have been well-behaved on the road, receiving the Most Cards in just 3 of 13 trips (23%). But it’s a different story at home, with Graham Potter’s side landing Most Cards or Most Booking Points bets 10 times out of 13 on their own patch (77%). Leicester’s away strike-rate is 57%

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bookie that will accept a double on Brighton getting the Most Corners and the Most Cards in this game. ‘Related contingency’ means two Singles are the options.

Both look good to me. The Seagulls have landed these two bets in the same game in nine of their 13 Premier League home matches this season. And at least one – Most Corners, or Most Cards – every time.

The 40/1 Trapdoor…

And as outlined in yesterday’s email, I also like to play the big prices…

If Southampton’s slump continues, then something big could happen in the Relegation market…

It’s not inconceivable that Fulham could get a result at woefully out-of-form Liverpool. And I like Sheffield United’s chances – and 11/4 price – to win at home v the Saints this weekend.

If that happens, then Ralf Hasenhuttl's struggling side are not going to stay 40/1 and 33/1 for the drop…

I read the formbook for Sheff Utd v Southampton as giving a tangible edge to the Blades here:

  • Sheff Utd have won 3 of their last 6 at home. Losing the ones that they were supposed to lose (Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool). But winning the important ones – beating Newcastle 1-0, West Brom 2-1, and Villa 1-0
  • Southampton are without a win in 9 league games, losing 8. That includes 5 away defeats on the trot: 1-0, 3-0, 3-2, 9-0, 2-0

After this weekend’s trip to Bramall Lane, Southampton go to the hardest place possible on Wednesday, with a trip to the all-conquering Man City. That’s followed by a classic six-pointer, at home v Brighton.

There are 12 games to go for the south-coast club. And to be honest, they all look very tricky fixtures for Southampton right now – home v Leicester, away to Liverpool. A couple of potentially huge relegation clashes, at West Brom, and at home v Fulham. Plus, the dangerous Leeds and West Ham to come, too.

We’re on Southampton as a 28/1 outsider for the FA Cup. Sheff Utd are also in the book at 66/1, with the thinking there being that a Wembley run can provide redemption for a team seemingly doomed to relegation. We could soon be talking about the Saints in the same way…

The way I’m looking at this, a Sheff Utd win this weekend could cover the stakes on a speculative 40/1 wager on Southampton to go down. Essentially creating a bet-to-nothing on this big-price ‘trapdoor’ bet. That’s the plan, anyway…

Here’s how the bottom half of the Premier League table looks, going into this weekend:

Bottom of Premier League Table

TODAY’S PICKS:

From the analysis above, these are my picks for the weekend…

  • Liverpool v Fulham – UNDER 2.5 GOALS @ 6/5 (2.2) with BetVictor, Betfred, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook
  • Brighton v Leicester – MOST CORNERS: BRIGHTON @ 8/11 (1.73) with Skybet, 4/6 (1.67) Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, BetVictor
  • Brighton v Leicester – MOST BOOKING POINTS: BRIGHTON @ 8/5 (2.6) with William Hill, 6/4 (2.5) Skybet, 13/10 (2.3) Boylesports. MOST CARDS @ 11/8 (2.38) Bet365 (0 Card Handicap), Betway, 27/20 (2.35) Unibet, 888 Sport
  • Sheffield Utd v Southampton – SHEFF UTD TO WIN @ 11/4 (3.75) with Skybet, BetVictor, 27/10 (3.7) and 13/5 (3.6) in general

And for something big…

  • Premier League 2020/21 – RELEGATION: SOUTHAMPTON @ 40/1 with William Hill, Sporting Index Fixed Odds, 33/1 Bet365, Skybet, BetVictor, Betfred

Notes: some bookies, such as Bet365, call Most Corners the ‘Corners Match Bet.’ Cards & Booking Points betting explained here.

Have a good weekend. I’ll be back next week, included dedicated match-day coverage of the Champions League.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues