This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
A lot of people have cashed on overs in recent gameweeks. There has been an average of at least three goals per match in four of the last five gameweeks. Prior to that in the first seven gameweeks, only one gameweek averaged more than 2.6 goals per match. Maybe this doesn't mean anything, but maybe it means teams are gelling or that legs are getting tired.
As with any season, there are highs and lows. At one point in the second half of last season, 21 of 27 matches hit under 2.5 goals. There will be a streak of low-scoring matches this season, but for now, it looks like the influx of new managers combined with top teams rounding into form is leading to more goals. That could change this week or in a month. So while eight of 10 matches went over 2.5 goals last gameweek, I wouldn't automatically take that route again because it could easily be the opposite this weekend.
Record: 43-30-4. Up $1,586 on $100 bets.
I was ready to take the Arsenal over because of Newcastle's attack-first approach, but the odds aren't great on over 2.5 goals (-165) and there's always the chance they win 2-0. I'd rather focus on one of the more predictable teams in the league in Liverpool, who are home to Southampton.
You can get 'No' on both teams to score at +100, while Liverpool to win in a shutout is +125. Since I don't think Liverpool are going to lose at home, I'd rather go with the Reds and take them to shut out a team they've held scoreless in their last five meetings in Anfield. That includes back in May when Liverpool had Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips at center-back. More interesting is that the numbers point heavily to the over with under 2.5 goals at +190 and under 3.5 goals at -125. I assume a lot of that is due to Liverpool's attack, but Southampton have played solid defensively this season when at full strength and I'm not sure this is a spot Liverpool will go off in. I think under 2.5 is in play, but with decent -125 odds, I think under 3.5 goals is a solid bet, as well.
It's crazy how much a manager can change things in a week. Aston Villa went from five-straight losses to beating Brighton in Steven Gerrard's first match. Dean Smith went from Villa to Norwich where he beat Southampton 2-1, a team he lost to with Villa the prior gameweek.
However, I'm going against the trend and the public in this bet. Everyone saw Villa keep Brighton at bay last match, but it's not like Brighton have a top attack. There's a chance Smith's Villa would've also held Brighton scoreless. That being the case, I'll take advantage of the boosted odds, as over 2.5 goals between Villa and Crystal Palace is at +100. I think a lot of that is because of Gerrard's possibly defensive approach, as Palace have scored multiple goals in five of their last six and over 2.5 goals has hit in four of their last five away.
The Palace attack has been great in recent months under Patrick Vieira and it'll be a completely different test for Villa than last weekend. Throw in Palace's inconsistent back line and I also think both teams will score, which is why that bet is at -135.
I was burned by dumb odds last week and I'm going to take the bait again. It seemed almost too good for 'No' on both teams to score between Southampton and Norwich to be at +110 and then it was because both scored in the first 10 minutes. Given the matchup, that's a ridiculous way to lose a bet, especially since I labeled it my 'Best Bet' on Kits & Wagers.
But hey, I like losing, so I'll do the same thing between Brighton and Leeds with 'No' on both teams to score at +115. I don't think this matchup will go much different than last season when Brighton won both contests by a combined 3-0 scoreline. Patrick Bamford was in both of those matches for Leeds, something that won't be the case Saturday. No matter who wins, I think there's a chance either side wins this match in a shutout, if it doesn't finish scoreless. Leeds have been terrible defensively, but Brighton have been equally bad on the offensive side. On the other end, this is a good spot for Brighton to find their defensive form again, as Leeds have relied largely on Raphinha's heroics while Bamford has been out. That could happen again, but I think this is a good rebound matchup for Graham Potter's squad.
There is an unbelievable amount of disrespect on Watford and I'm not sure why. They have some bad losses, but they've been pretty competitive this season, especially under Claudio Ranieri. Since the Liverpool loss, they gave up two fairly unlucky goals to Arsenal and Southampton to lose those, but in their other two, they topped Everton and Man United, and looked like the better team for a good portion of those matches.
As I said last week, Leicester City are not the same team without Youri Tielemans and they looked incompetent at times against Chelsea. They could rebound, but I think Watford have enough to take a point as well as steal a win, even away from home. I called it a lame bet last week but it hit at plus odds and I'm again taking Watford +1 again, this time at -135.
West Ham played well in both matchups against Man City last season, but now they're dealing with Europa League. I think West Ham +1.5 at +100 is interesting, but I'd rather back Man City on precedent. My Liverpool and City parlay hit last week and I'll take a similar route with the Man City (-330) and Chelsea (-170) moneylines leading to +106 odds. You can get two of the best teams in the league at home with plus odds, so that seems like a good bet. Man United are coming off a win midweek, but they were far from dominant against Villarreal.