It was another winning weekend from me as we cashed on two of our three selections for the third successive weekend. Hopefully this week, we can go one better as I share my best three picks in the English Premier League.
Brighton vs. Wolves
Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
My first pick takes me to the south coast of England where Brighton hosts Wolves at the Amex. It’s been another excellent season for Brighton and their owner Tony Bloom. They look on course for their highest-ever finish in the EPL and have slim hopes of making European football. That said, this looks like a good time to fade them, and I think the value here is with the visitors.
Last weekend, I was at Wembley Stadium to watch Brighton lose in a penalty shootout with Manchester United. That match took it out of this young Brighton side who played 120 minutes, and after the defeat, you could see that the players were both physically and emotionally wrecked.
In midweek, they went to Nottingham Forest and put in a typical Brighton performance having 76 percent of possession and 17 shots but lost 3-1. We saw earlier in the season when Fulham lost in the FA Cup in dramatic circumstances their league form completely fell away, and the signs are that this could be the case for Brighton as well.
Wolves have had a great second half of the season since they appointed former Spanish international manager Julen Lopetegui as manager at Molineux. When the Spaniard took over his side, they were in the bottom three of the table, but they are in mid-table safety now and head into this match winning three of their last four. Wiry key players are returning from long injury absences, including playmaker Ruben Neves who returned in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Crystal Palace. With his side back to full strength, I can see them running Brighton close here.
The best bet for this one is Wolves +1 goal on the Asian handicap at +105 which will only be graded as a loser if Brighton wins by two or more goals, something that they have only managed to do once in their last seven home matches.
Pick: Wolves +1 on the Asian handicap +105
Brentford vs. Nottingham Forest
Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
The reason why we have been cashing tickets over the last few weeks in the EPL is my changing of strategy on the totals betting.
I am traditionally an unders bettor, but in the last few weeks of the season, you have to play the over 2.5 and BTTS “yes,” as goals are on the increase with teams having very little to play for. The match I like the over 2.5 goals this weekend takes place in west London where Brentford hosts relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest.
Brentford is amazingly the fifth-highest home scorer in the EPL, and visiting Nottingham Forest has conceded the second-highest amount of road goals in the top flight behind Bournemouth. With those statistics and at this stage of the season, over 2.5 is the pick here at -110.
Brentford is always good for a goal at home. With striker Ivan Toney, they have a real goal threat who has already scored 19 goals this term. Forest have only scored seven road goals this campaign, but they have gone all-out attack in recent weeks, scoring three in their midweek win over Brighton and two last weekend in a 3-2 defeat at Liverpool.
In Brentford’s last 10 home matches, over 2.5 goals has cashed on seven occasions, which is the same as Both Teams To Score “yes.” With over 2.5 available at -110 and BTTS “yes” -130, the better value is certainly on the over 2.5. These two teams played out a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and I can see a similar entertaining clash.
Pick: Over 2.5 goals at -110
Leicester City vs. Everton
Monday, 3:00 p.m. ET
My final pick on match day 34 in the EPL is on Monday Night Football in a huge match at the bottom of the table between two sides in the relegation zone—Leicester City and Everton. The bet I like here is Leicester at home +104.
Former Aston Villa and Norwich manager Dean Smith has taken charge at the King Power, and in his three matches in the dugout, the performances from his new team have been impressive. He opened up with a 3-1 defeat at Manchester City, but Leicester were much the better side in the last 20 minutes and really had the champions on the ropes. They beat a resurgent Wolves 2-1, and then in midweek, they drew 1-1 at Leeds in a match that they should’ve won.
Leicester has had all kinds of injury concerns, but their big three players James Maddison, Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes are back and playing well. Against an Everton side that is in turmoil on and off the pitch, I really like the Foxes on Monday night.
Everton were embarrassed 4-1 at home to Newcastle in midweek, and that followed a really bad performance, another home 3-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. To stay in the EPL, you need to score goals. With Vardy back, that extra goal threat is the difference between these two sides.
I fully expect the money to come for Leicester in the build-up to kickoff, and I am expecting them to start as (-) money favorites, so my advice is to take the +104 now as those odds will disappear. A defeat for Everton and their survival hopes are almost over, which would see the Toffees playing outside the top flight next season for only the fifth time since the club won as formed in 1888 and for the first time in 70 years.
Pick: Leicester to beat Everton at +104