This isn’t, perhaps, the most glamorous of Super Sunday line-ups, but regardless of the quality of the fixtures there is still plenty of money to be made through smart betting this weekend.
In the lunchtime kick-off, Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough welcome Watford to the North East, while at 4pm revitalised Southampton take on Burnley in a contest that has contrasting connotations for these two sides.
Here is the pick of Sunday’s Premier League betting tips:
Middlesbrough vs Watford (13:30)
After a bright and breezy start to life in the Premier League, Middlesbrough are just starting to perform as expected in the top flight with just two points taken from a possible twelve. The afterglow of promotion has dimmed somewhat, and a tricky trio of fixtures against Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Everton delivered as expected: nil points.
But a respectable draw with West Ham last time out has helped to steady the ship, and Karanka’s side will surely fancy their chances of nicking at least a point against a Watford side that have been a little all over the place so far this term.
Are you a glass half-full or half-empty merchant? This will determine how you view the Hornets’ start to the campaign. Pessimists will note that just two wins from seven starts is indicative of a side expected to be looking down rather than up this term, while the optimists will point out that their defeats have come against first-class opposition in Chelsea, Arsenal and a Burnley outfit that had already disposed of Liverpool at Turf Moor. The fixture list has not been kind to Walter Mazzarri’s men.
But a chance for redemption awaits here in a match that they would surely file under ‘eminently winnable.’
So what do we know about the two sides? We know that the Boro are yet to win at home this term, while Watford have been reliably unreliable on the road: W1 D1 L1. We’ll leave the win-draw-win market untouched, if you don’t mind.
Instead, we seek value in the goals markets: 10/12 combined matches between these two this term have yielded Both Teams to Score, so this is an obvious port of call at a shade of value at 19/20.
If both teams are to score then we have an angle in regarding the Correct Score market, and yet we have no real vibe about who might win the match. Consequently, backing the 1-1 scoreline at 6/1 is of interest.
Other than those two wagers, there really is little to enjoy for punters here; so just sit back and enjoy.
Southampton vs Burnley (16:00)
If you are ever at a loose end on a Saturday or Sunday, try and watch Southampton in action live: they really are a joy to behold. Claude Puel has carried on where Ronald Koeman left off, and gotten his Saints side playing some lovely football. In their last four games, it has really started to pay dividends.
An unfortunate 1-2 defeat at Arsenal (they really did deserve a point) has been followed by wins against West Ham and Swansea and a 0-0 stalemate with Leicester in which they were the far better side. Things really are looking up for Puel’s players.
There’s a bit of Jekyll & Hyde about Burnley. At Turf Moor they will be tough for any side to conquer, just in the way they play and the atmosphere created. But on the road….well, so far their two away days have yielded a pair of defeats, six goals conceded and none scored. Andre Gray will again be missing through suspension, and without him it could be a very lonely furrow that Sam Vokes ploughs.
The Clarets have suffered a pair of 0-3 losses to Chelsea and Leicester on the road so far, and don’t expect the Saints to be any more forgiving here. They average 5.57 shots on target per game (compared to Burnley’s 2.00, the lowest ratio in the league), and have netted in four of their last five starts. Charlie Austin, as natural a finisher as you will find, is in form too.
So, with the Southampton win wager off limits (2/5 is far too short), we’ll back them with a -1 handicap at 11/10.
If we’re suggesting that Southampton will score at least twice, then they will need somebody to put the ball in the net for them. How about Charlie Austin (21/20), with five goals in five games, and Dusan Tadic (2/1 – three in five) in the anytime goalscorer market?