The Premier League is off and running with excitement and goals in equal measure. This weekend sees another exciting round of matches and I will preview some of the best games and give what I believe are the best opportunities to profit.
All matches at 10 a.m. ET Saturday.
Brentford vs. Leeds United
Leeds played out a home draw with Everton midweek in what was a really poor match, but I expect better from them on their visit to Brentford. Brentford were my preseason tip for relegation, and I have not changed my view after watching their recent efforts. They been lucky, scoring late equalizers against Leicester, Everton and Crystal Palace, but the Houdini act may end this weekend. Leeds were last here on the final day of the season in May and won to retain their Premier League status. They will draw on those memories and will be coming back looking for three points again.
Leeds have tempered their all-action style somewhat under American head coach Jesse Marsch and have suffered from the injury absence of star striker Patrick Bamford. He came on as a sub against Everton, though, and may start on Saturday, which could be bad news for Brentford.
Brentford do create chances but don’t convert and I can see Leeds causing them plenty of problems. I still expect Brentford to have a long difficult season, and things could get even more difficult after Saturday.
Play: Leeds + 0.5 vs. Brentford at -133 with BetRivers, which will see us cash if the match ends in a draw or a Leeds win.
Chelsea vs. West Ham
Chelsea arrive at West Ham on Saturday as a team with big, big problems. They have lost two of their last three, and this is their poorest start to a Premier League season since 2015, when their manager was sacked in the new year.
Their situation is not helped by the fact they have a huge Champions League game away in Zagreb just three days after this London derby, so this is a good time for West Ham to face them, and the pick for me is West Ham + 1 on the Asian handicap at + 100.
I really like this play because it is a push if Chelsea win by one goal. It’s highly unlikely that they will go all out to win by a big margin with the Champions League starting on Tuesday, plus Chelsea are struggling for goals. West Ham are not exactly goal machines as there have been less than 2.5 goals scored in their last five Premier League games.
West Ham head coach David Moyes will aim to keep things tight early and frustrate the Blues. It could well be low scoring, but with Chelsea under pressure and with one eye on Tuesday, it could be West Ham’s day.
Play: West Ham + 1 on Asian handicap at evens + 100
Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace
Newcastle are a team on the up despite only one point to show from their last two matches. That does not tell us the full story, though, and I expect them to get the win over Crystal Palace on Saturday at St. James’ Park.
The Magpies were in the game of the season so far, an incredible 3 -3 draw with Champions Man City, a match in which they led 3-1. They then produced a superb performance at Liverpool before heartbreakingly losing 2-1 in the 98th minute. It was a game they led in and had a goal disallowed that would’ve put them up 2-0.
These two performances have shown Eddie Howe’s Newcastle team are frightened of nobody and can be competitive against any team in the league.
Newcastle’s striker Alexander Isak scored on full debut against Liverpool and looks like the star striker the club has been searching for and one their fans will adore. Newcastle look a club going places and they will find Crystal Palace a much easier opponent than Man City or Liverpool. Newcastle have scored at least two goals in their last three home games in the Premier League and with Isak now added to the team, Crystal Palace’s defense could be in for a very busy afternoon.
Palace have their own star man in Wilfried Zaha, who scored a stunning goal in his last match and has scored four goals in four appearances this year. Away from home, though, he can be an isolated figure who can struggle, and if Newcastle have the majority of possession, he might be a lonely figure.
Newcastle look like a team to keep onside who may well go on a winning run now, and I think the even money is well worth taking.
Play: Newcastle to beat Crystal Palace Evens + 100
Nottingham Forest vs. Bournemouth
We just entered September, but let’s be very clear this is already a relegation six-pointer, and both teams are in wretched form and would happily take a draw and drive home quickly!
Nottingham Forest were beaten easily 6-0 by Manchester City last time out, and Bournemouth players will still be having nightmares over their 9-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool. That defeat led to coach Scott Parker being fired and Gary O’Neil being placed in temporary charge of the Cherries. To be fair to O’Neil, his first game brought about a 0-0 draw against Wolves and he will be looking for a similarly tight defensive performance against Forest. Bournemouth have failed to score in their last four Premier League matches and haven’t scored on the road. With Forest boasting only one goal at home this campaign, this is going to be tight.
When teams have suffered heavy and embarrassing defeats as these two have, the instinct of coaches and players is to be cagey and pack the defense. I don’t see this Forest team committing many attacking players forward even at home and this could be a game to watch for anyone who has been having trouble sleeping.
These two are the bookies' favorites for relegation, and they tend to hate losing to other relegation contenders. I see this being a low-scoring affair.
Play: Under 2.5 goals at -133
Wolves vs. Southampton
Wolves are the halftime draw specialists of the Premier League as I regularly mention when appearing on VISN. They have been drawing at halftime in four of five games this season, and in three of them they have been goalless at halftime, and this looks like an excellent opportunity of being a draw again at halftime in a match between two very equally matches teams.
I make the halftime draw here -130, yet you can grab + 112 with BetRivers, and that looks too good to miss. Wolves are still chasing their first win of the season and have drawn three of their games. They are a team set up not to lose as opposed to trying to win. They are painfully aware of the lack of goals and chances created and have signed Sasa Kalajdzic to fix this issue, but he may need time and has to prove himself. I don’t see Wolves changing their style of play any time soon despite his arrival.
Southampton do arrive here in good form having won two of their last three games, including a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Chelsea. Away from home, though, they can struggle, and I see Wolves having lots of possession without forcing clear-cut chances to score.
The draw at halftime is an excellent bet to land yet again and I can’t resist a second play in this game, which is the 0-0 at 11-1, which is generally available.
Plays: Draw at halftime + 112 Bet Rivers; 1-0 at 11-1 odds
Although I have no bet for it, I must mention the big match of the weekend on Sunday, which is Manchester United welcoming unbeaten Arsenal to Old Trafford. Arsenal have surprised many and, though it won’t be easy against a resurgent Man U, they will be looking to make it six out of six wins. That seemed unlikely at the start of the season and at the time of writing they are + 163 for the win on Sunday. It is a huge game for both teams and is the standout fixture on another exciting weekend of Premier League action but not a match I can find a betting angle on.