The FA Cup Third Round may have proven an unwanted distraction for punters, but for the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea a week away from league action is probably just what the doctor ordered.
The Blues’ 13-game winning streak was brought to an abrupt end by fierce rivals Tottenham last time out, while the Reds missed their chance to close the gap on the leaders having been held to a draw by Sunderland, so a week’s grace has been most welcome.
But we’re back in amongst the action this weekend, and while Sunday’s set of fixtures look eminently more mouth-watering that Saturday’s, there is still plenty of value to be enjoyed here.
So here’s the pick of the Premier League betting tips for Saturday:
Tottenham vs West Brom (12:30pm)
The lunchtime kick off sees in-form Tottenham welcome West Brom to White Hart Lane, and the hosts will be looking to extent their excellent recent run.
They have won each of their last five outings with a goal difference of +13, and it is their improved goal threat – 15 in five – plus their excellence in defence at home (five conceded in ten starts) that makes the handicap wager so appealing.
The Baggies have improved exponentially in 2016/17, and their league position of eighth speaks volumes. They’ve carved a niche for themselves as flat track bullies: winning eight games against the ‘lesser sides’ but tasting defeat to Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
By grouping Spurs with those five outfits, we can suggest they are a rightful favourite for this encounter.
Tottenham -1 Handicap (10/11 with Coral)
Burnley vs Southampton (3:00pm)
Burnley continue to be undervalued by the bookmakers on home soil, and that’s good news for smart punters like ourselves. Yes, all of the data suggests that the Clarets are overperforming at present, but who cares: they are W7 D1 L3 at Turf Moor this term, and that will keep them up.
Southampton have gone quite prominently off the boil with three straight defeats in the league and a draw with Championship side Norwich in the FA Cup, and the problems continue to mount up: Charlie Austin is out injured until April, club captain Jose Fonte has handed in a transfer request and they have just 72 hours to recover from Wednesday’s EFL Cup clash with Liverpool.
There’s no reason to shy away from Burnley here.
Burnley Draw No Bet (11/8 with Betfair)
Hull City vs Bournemouth (3:00pm)
Combined, 10 of these two sides’ 12 most recent Premier League matches have witnessed three goals or more, and we expect that record to be extended here given the defensive ailments besieging both sides.
Hull may have to make do without injured first choice central defensive partnership Michael Dawson and Curtis Davies, with right back Ahmed Elmohamady on African Cup of Nations duty with Egypt. It’s not as if the Tigers are blessed with a deep squad either.
Bournemouth will have to make do without Nathan Ake though, who has been recalled by Chelsea from his loan jaunt. Captain Simon Francis is suspended, while Marc Wilson is suffering with injury, so we must surely expect goals here.
Over 2.5 Goals (Evens with William Hill)
Watford vs Middlesbrough (3:00pm)
Eleven, yes eleven, Watford players will miss this game through injury/illness, with Adlene Guedioura away on African Nations Cup duty. The Hornets have lost their buzz recently (W0 D1 L4) and these woes could not have come at a worse time.
Middlesbrough aren’t pulling up any trees either but they have been fairly unlucky lately; they deserved something from their game with Manchester United after taking the lead, while in the 0-0 draw with Leicester they were the better side.
Aitor Karanka’s men will surely pick up a positive result here.
Middlesbrough +0.25 Asian Handicap (4/6 with Paddy Power)
Leicester City vs Chelsea (3:00pm)
Premier League champions Leicester have only scored in one of their last five league outings, and with Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani both on international duty with Algeria for the coming weeks, that rut doesn’t appear as though it will improve any time soon.
Chelsea have had a fortnight or so to get over their miserable 0-2 defeat at despised rivals Spurs, and they will be ready to get back to winning ways here. With a full compliment to choose from, and knowing they have kept ten clean sheets in their last fourteen starts, they start as heavy favourites here.
The Foxes are in desperate need of the points, but they look short of the quality required in the attacking third to trouble Antonio Conte’s men on Saturday.
Chelsea to Win to Nil (9/5 with BetVictor)