EPL Best Bets for the October 7th-8th matches

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It was good to get back into the winner’s circle last week, and that’s where I want to stay. Here are the best bets for Matchday 8 in the EPL, and although Over bettors have been cashing for the first two months of the season, I am sticking with the same approach that has served me well for 30 years.

 

Burnley vs. Chelsea

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ET

Once Mauricio Pochettino was named as Chelsea’s new manager most people expected the team to immediately put their troubles from last season behind them and challenge towards the top of the table as normal. However, I’m not sure this side that has been built is currently good enough to do that.

The Blues struggled for goals last season, managing 38 in the Premier League with only four sides scoring fewer. From 30 league games in 2023, they have only scored 26 goals. Those struggles continue this season as they’ve hit the back of the net seven times in their opening seven games.

In fairness, Poch has had to deal with a catalogue of injuries with both scorers in the 2-0 win against Fulham on Monday going off with knocks. Nicolas Jackson will return from suspension here but has been more miss than hit since joining the club in the summer. 

The win at Craven Cottage made it successive victories and the manager will be determined to build on that with any kind of victory. He has the platform as despite all their problems Chelsea have been defensively sound with only leaders Manchester City conceding fewer than their six goals. 

That’s highlighted by each of their last five fixtures across all competitions seeing under 2.5 goals. I don’t expect this Burnley side to cause them too many problems offensively, so the +112 on offer for under 2.5 goals holds plenty of value.

Burnley got their first Premier League win of the season against Luton on Tuesday night but were a little fortunate to do so. Their low expected goals number against one of the poorest sides in the division backed that up.

The Clarets have had a really tough run of home games on their return to the top flight, losing all four fixtures against Manchester City, Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester United. 

There is no need to read too much into the fact there were plenty of goals in the first three of those fixtures given the form and firepower of the opponent. The 1-0 defeat to United was the most like this clash. 

The same applies to Chelsea who faced teams on par with Burnley in their last two road trips. Keeping clean sheets against Bournemouth and Fulham in a pair of fixtures that produced a total of two goals.

Pick: Under 2.5 goals at +112

Crystal Palace vs. Nottingham Forest

Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET

Crystal Palace rocked Manchester United last weekend as Joachim Andersen’s rocket was the only goal of the game in a surprise 1-0 win at Old Trafford. I’m taking them here to go back-to-back and bag another three points, this time at home to Nottingham Forest.

Knee-jerk reaction on my part? Not at all. 

Palace are a side I have traditionally liked to get with when they are playing at home. Last season they struggled under Patrick Vieira and so that wasn’t so much the case until the Frenchman was sacked and Roy Hodgson returned to the club.

In the veteran manager’s second spell at Selhurst Park, he has only seen his side beaten once in eight home league games. That defeat came earlier this season to Arsenal who were runners-up last term and are unbeaten so far this campaign.

There is no shame in that; it is what we have come to expect when the elite take on the lesser lights. What I like about the Eagles is that although they lose those types of games, they can be relied on to beat the teams in and around them in the table.

What really got my attention about this bet is how it compares to when the two sides last met here. I didn’t have to look too far back in history as it was the final game of last season.

Palace were as skinny as -162 to win that day, and although it was officially last season, it was only eight matches ago and four home fixtures. The odds here of +129 are simply wrong.

Hodgson is still in charge, and his side haven’t regressed to that extent. While it’s hard to say Forest have improved much either.

Nottingham Forest are a side I am happy to back when they’re playing at home, although they’ve only won one of their three City Ground fixtures this term, and we only got a push/refund from the draw no bet selection we had on them last weekend.

Their away form is terrible. In fact, it was the worst in the Premier League last season when they recorded one win and five draws from 19 attempts. They’ve also conceded a league-high 44 goals in road games while only scoring a league-low 11 times, a combination which is a recipe for disaster.

Steve Cooper has seen his side lose three of their four away games this term and are three spots below a ninth-placed Crystal Palace. The difference in price from last season to this is too big for me not to take what represents a big value play.  

Pick: Crystal Palace to win at +129

Brighton vs. Liverpool

Sunday, 9:00 a.m. ET

I am always happy to swim against the tide. But this one feels like I’m swimming against a tidal wave.

If you took 10 minutes out of your day to trawl through social media, you will likely see countless betting channels rolling out the stats while picking Over 3.5 goals in this game. Not for me. 

The line has gone crazy and is up to 3.5 goals. The usual line of Over 2.5 goals is -300! If you like that kind of bet, I guarantee in the long term you will lose money.

But this isn’t just a fade on a line that is high. There are good reasons why I am taking Under 3.5 goals here at -108. Four or more goals in a game is a big number.

Six of Liverpool’s seven Premier League games have seen Over 2.5 goals cash. But only three of those seven saw four or more goals, meaning you would have lost in the majority.

Admittedly, Brighton have incredibly seen all seven league games cash for Over 3.5 goals backers. But remember the previews from last week when I talked about the game after a heavy defeat? 

Of the 20 heaviest defeats in the Premier League, 17 cashed under 2.5 goals in the very next game. In last week’s case, it was after Sheffield United had been beaten 8-0 by Newcastle, and we cashed Under 2.5 goals after they lost 2-0 at West Ham.

The Seagulls were embarrassed 6-1 by Aston Villa last weekend and would have worked all week on ensuring something similar doesn’t happen again. If they go toe-to-toe with Liverpool in the same way, they will get torn to shreds. 

Also, Roberto De Zerbi takes his side to France to play Marseille in the Europa League on Thursday, a huge match for the club in their first European campaign. At the time of writing, that game hasn’t kicked off, but it is a common theme to see something of a hangover after a return to domestic action following a Thursday night game away in Europe.

These two sides met three times last season. Over 2.5 goals cashed in all three but only one saw the 3.5 line go over, which was in De Zerbi’s first game in charge. Describing the 3-3 draw at Anfield as crazy. 

You would have to be crazy to take an Over goals bet here. I am not, so that is why it is Under 3.5 goals at -108 for my final pick before the international break. 

Pick: Under 3.5 goals at -108