We had another disappointing weekend last week, going 1-2, but how and why we didn’t cash on the over 5.5 cards in the Liverpool vs. Everton match is still something that baffles me!!! This week it looks like a good favorite card in the Premier League, but instead of taking the fancied teams on the moneylines, I believe they will win and win well. So, I am concentrating on the Asian Handicaps this weekend. Starting at an earlier-than-usual Friday evening with my first wager in the London derby between Crystal Palace and Tottenham.
Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham
Friday 3:00 p.m. ET
We have a rare Friday kickoff in the English Premier League, and despite the unusual day to start Matchday 10, I’m taking it to be business as usual for the league leaders. But instead of taking Tottenham to win at heavy minus money, I am getting them onside at a nice price on the -0.75 Asian Handicap.
If you’re unfamiliar with Asian Handicaps, half your stake will be on Spurs -0.5, and half will be on -1.0. We need the away team to win by two or more goals for a full payout. If they win by exactly one goal, half the stake wins, and half is refunded.
Ange Postecoglou has the North Londoners playing fantastic front-foot aggressive football, and as a result, they have been scoring goals for fun. The big Aussie has seen his side score 20 goals in their opening nine EPL fixtures, only once failing to hit the back of the net at least twice.
That came in a 1-0 win at Luton, where they should have been 4-0 up at halftime after absolutely dominating the game. A red card for Yves Bissouma just before the interval didn’t stop his side from winning, but meant they had to alter their style to secure the three points.
Although never paying too much attention to historical stats, Spurs have an incredible record against Crystal Palace, having won 13 of the last 16 league meetings between the two sides. They completed the double last season, including a 4-0 victory in this fixture at Selhurst Park.
It would also be fair to say that the Eagles were slightly better last term than they are now. They have certainly regressed in my ratings.
Being the closest Premier League team to where I live in the UK, I regularly speak to Palace supporters who are fed up with their team playing terribly. The 4-0 defeat at Newcastle even led to Roy Hodgson fuming that the performance was “woefully short,” with nothing positive to take from the game.
After an uncharacteristic free-flowing end to last season, the veteran manager has reverted to type, and his side has only scored one goal from their last five outings. Although he has been deprived of the services of the departed Wilfried Zaha and injured playmakers Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, his tactics look archaic.
The hosts are no match for a vibrant Tottenham side full of fresh ideas and impetuous. Flying high with Son Heung-min and signing of the season James Maddison striking up a lethal partnership.
Take the visitors to prove once again the gap between the top and bottom of the English Premier League is ever-widening. Tottenham to win with room to spare to get the weekend off to a flying start.
Pick: Tottenham -0.75 at -101
Aston Villa vs. Luton
Sunday, 10:00 a.m. ET
Since Unai Emery became Aston Villa’s manager, they have been sensational. In 34 league games under the Spaniard, Villa have won 21, amassing 68 points along the way, suffering just eight defeats.
To put that into context, over a period just four games short of a full English Premier League season, only Manchester City and Arsenal have collected more points. Seventeen of those fixtures were at home, with the Villains winning an incredible 13, including each of the last 11.
I bet them last season to finish in the top half, and with Steven Gerrard in charge, it looked like I had done my money. As soon as Emery took over, it cashed comfortably as he guided them to a seventh-place finish.
What I like about Villa is they aren’t just winning their home games but winning them in some style. Villa Park has become a complete fortress, with the four wins from four league games coming by an aggregate score of 17-3, including a 6-1 hammering of Brighton.
Despite main goal threat Ollie Watkins being on fire, having bagged two hat tricks already this season, they can score goals from all over the pitch. This makes them such a great team to back on the Asian Handicap as I am doing here against lowly Luton.
The Hatters have arguably not been as bad as many feared. But they tend to concede plenty when they come up against the better sides, especially away from home.
Rob Edwards has seen Brighton put four past his defense, a Chelsea side low on confidence hit three, and even Nottingham Forest scored twice. With a noisy home crowd behind their team at a packed-out Villa Park, I am taking Aston Villa to win on the -1.75 Asian Handicap.
Half our stake is on -1.5, with the other half on -2, meaning Villa need to win by three or more goals, but if they only beat Luton by two goals, we get a half stake win. With the home side averaging 4.25 goals per game and with an average winning margin of 3.5, they can make short work of this handicap line. I’m expecting them to have a field day against one of this season’s relegation favorites, who will look to sit deep and contain their prolific hosts.
Pick: Aston Villa -1.75 at -101
Liverpool vs. Nottingham Forest
Sunday, 10:00 a.m. ET
Another heavy favorite and another side I can’t overlook. Such is the gulf between the top and the bottom. I have to back Liverpool to cover the -1.75 Asian Handicap here.
Every time I see Jürgen Klopp’s side, they haven’t played that well. Yet, after beating Everton last weekend, they briefly topped the table.
Despite not being at their best, the Reds are still winning games and have only lost once all season. That coming after having a goal incorrectly ruled out, being reduced to nine players and seeing Joel Matip concede a 96th-minute own goal at Tottenham.
After a summer overhaul of their midfield, it still feels like a period of transition, with Klopp not yet quite sure his best starting eleven or how to get the best out of Darwin Nunez. But when you have Mo Salah scoring and assisting goals week in and week out, you always have a chance.
Last week against Everton, they weren’t great and needed two late goals from the Egyptian to cover the -1.5 handicap. As a backer of Liverpool pre-season, I am delighted they are still in touching distance of the top of the table, playing at about 80% of their potential.
The Reds have at least two more gears to slip into and will do that down the stretch at the business end of the campaign. But all that said, they win here and win well.
Nottingham Forest had the worst road record in the Premier League last season, and it was only their excellent home form that kept them up. I thought they may have sorted that issue after beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge recently, but since then, they have gone backward.
Steve Cooper’s side comfortably lost at Manchester City last month and threw away a two-goal lead at home to Luton last weekend. They may be on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at Anfield. Sooner or later, the home side are going to click and smash someone.
This is the same handicap as mentioned in the Aston Villa selection above, and Liverpool have won by at least two goals in each of their six home games in all competitions this term. For a side so good at home and so prolific in front of goal, this looks like a great matchup and the reason why I am so happy to take them on this high handicap line.
Pick: Liverpool -1.75 Asian Handicap at -105