HomeSoccerEPLEPL Best Bets for the February 24th-26th matches

    EPL Best Bets for the February 24th-26th matches

    Nigel Seeley offers his EPL best bets for this weekend's matches.


    EPL Best Bets

    Let’s take a look at the EPL Best bets for this week’s action.

    Manchester United vs. Fulham

    Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ET


    Manchester United are the current form team in the English Premier League. Unbeaten in 2024, five wins on the spin in all competitions, and I think they will get the job done here, too, as part of my first EPL best bet.

    Opponents Fulham are one of those sides in the middle of the table that don’t have anything to play for. No chance of bridging the gap to the European qualification places and no real danger of getting sucked into a relegation battle.

    The Red Devils still have it all to play for now. They are firmly back in the race for the top four but still think they have a lot to prove. Erik ten Hag seems to always be under pressure and a couple of bad results away from being the favorite to be the next manager sacked.

    One thing he certainly has done, though, is to get his team to play with a consistent style. Recently, we have seen a carefree attitude taken into the games. Watching them play is akin to taking in a basketball match—all-out attack and vulnerable at the back.

    All of which means there should be goals a plenty in this fixture. If there are goals, you have got to fancy the hottest striker in the Premier League right now to get at least one.

    Rasmus Højlund took his time to get going in the English topflight, not scoring until his 15th appearance. But now, the confidence is flowing. He has been on the scoresheet in each of his last six league games. The youngest-ever player to do so in the competition’s history.

    I like what I am seeing from him. As is the case with all good strikers, when they are in good form, the ball is attracted to them, and they get a slice of luck now and again. As was the case when he scored his second goal last weekend via a deflection off his chest.

    United have scored 19 goals across the seven games played in 2024, which shows how many chances they have been creating. This run also reminds me of last season when they put together a long string of wins that coincided with Marcus Rashford scoring in almost every game he played. It’s happening again, but this time it is Højlund.

    Fulham are there for the taking with just one win in their last eight and only rock-bottom Sheffield United have a worse road record than the Cottagers. All reflected by the home side being priced at -205 to get the win, and with a goal line of 3.0, the odds compilers are expecting United to score at least twice.

    That’s why I see the value in backing Højlund to score here at +105. That’s a little disrespectful compared to the prices of strikers with a similar profile this weekend.

    Ollie Watkins is -105 against Nottingham Forest. An out-of-sorts Erling Haaland is -225 to score at home to Bournemouth, something he has only done once in three attempts despite his team scoring 14 goals in those games. Finally, Bukayo Saka is +100 in a tough fixture against Newcastle.

    I expect Manchester United to score two or three goals here, and I think Højlund will be the main man. The Old Trafford faithful, who have taken to him very well, will be roaring him on, willing him to score, and so will I.

    EPL Best Bet: Rasmus Højlund to score at +105.

    Bournemouth vs. Manchester City

    Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET

    The games are coming thick and fast at this time of the year—League games, domestic cup games and Europe—clubs are playing two or three times a week. That’s when the big teams, with the biggest, deepest squads come to the fore. They don’t come much deeper, stronger or better than Manchester City, a strong candidate for an EPL best bet.

    The last two games have seen Pep Guardiola’s men draw 1-1 with Chelsea and beat Brentford 1-0. On the face of it, two very close encounters.

    I have said in the past I am not a massive lover of xG (expected goals), but it does show you chances created, and in those games, City racked up 2.46 and 2.81. They don’t usually waste those sorts of opportunities. If they keep playing as they are, when it clicks, there is a big win coming.

    Erling Haaland had nine shots against Chelsea and missed some massive chances. You could see he was fuming, and the Blues were lucky. It is certain he will take that out on one of his upcoming opponents.

    Bournemouth could be lambs to the slaughter this weekend with City turning on a show. Also, with the top of the table looking tighter than ever, we must consider the title could go right down to the wire, in which case goal difference could be crucial.

    Man City need to get their swagger back and start scoring goals. No better opportunity than against a side that are yet to beat them in 20 attempts, with City winning 18 of those meetings.

    This fixture has a recent history of goals galore, with the reverse ending 6-1 to the home side at the Etihad. Last season saw the Champions win 4-0 at home and then 4-1 here, so an aggregate score of 14-2 over those three games.

    The timing seems right for Pep’s men, who are unbeaten in their last 14 games across all competitions, winning 12 of them. They have covered a -1.5 handicap in seven of their last 10 wins, and that is the best I am taking here.

    That means we need City to beat a Bournemouth side with no win in four by two or more goals. The Cherries have points on the board and will pick up the wins over the rest of the campaign to be safe. They also may pay more attention to the upcoming FA Cup tie against lower league Leicester City three days after this clash. 

    Andoni Iraola’s side only know one way to play—a front-foot attacking style that gets found out by elite opponents. As was the case when the other two title contenders, Arsenal and Liverpool, visited, with both running out 4-0 winners.

    EPL Best Bet: Manchester City -1.5 Asian Handicap +102

    West Ham vs Brentford

    Monday, 3:00 p.m. ET

    Two clubs with a fair amount of uncertainty around them meet on Monday, and I want to take on the hosts. West Ham are in the small collection of sides I am keen to fade for the remainder of the season as an EPL best bet.

    There is just no spark at all from the Hammers. Nothing for their fans to get excited about and now the results have deteriorated as well, the London Stadium is not a happy place to be.

    Brentford seem to have West Ham’s number, too. Since gaining promotion to the Premier League, the Bees have won all five meetings between the two sides. Part of a very impressive record in London derbies as a whole.

    Thomas Frank’s side have drawn a fair few of those clashes so I want to get that outcome onside and, therefore, will be playing Brentford tie-no-bet here at -102. You may question that when you look at the stats and see they have only won two of 13 matches, but look under the surface and there are mitigating circumstances.

    Ivan Toney is a huge player for Brentford and was handed an eight-month ban last summer. He has only returned for the last six of those fixtures. Of those six games, the Bees have won two and lost four, with the defeats coming against fifth-place Tottenham, league leaders Liverpool and second-place Manchester City twice.

    A run of fixtures that doesn’t come much tougher. Wins at Wolves and at home to Nottingham Forest are more comparable to this West Ham side in terrible form.

    The Hammers are winless in their last eight games across all competitions, losing their last three without scoring and conceding 11. Their last outing at home was another London derby and saw most of their fans leave at the halftime of a 6-0 hammering by Arsenal.

    Brentford won the reverse fixture 3-2 in November without their talisman. They can be the next team to justify my auto-fade on David Moyes’ side.

    It’s getting to the stage of the season where teams also prioritize. For Brentford, that means staying in the league, while I feel the hosts will have their focus on another successful European campaign above anything else.

    EPL Best Bet: Brentford tie-no-bet at -102.

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