The Editors' Premier League Betting Battle 2013/14: Week Eight

Paul Lambert's Aston Villa face Spurs on Sunday
Paul Lambert's Aston Villa face Spurs on Sunday

Mike Norman and Joe Dyer have had almost two weeks to get over the late goals that denied them a good winner last time, Dan Thomas has had a fortnight to ponder whether or not his crown is slipping, and Luke Moore has enjoyed 14 days of bragging rights after being the only one to pick a winner in Week Seven. What are the guys going for this week?

"Paul Lambert is putting together an exciting young side and they will always 'give it a go' on home soil, just like they did when beating Manchester City 3-2 a few weeks back, while Spurs will be desperate to bounce back from their 3-0 thrashing at the hands of West Ham last time."


Dan Thomas
Back Sunderland to beat Swansea at 7.06/1
Saturday, 15:00

My success so far in this competition has been based largely on backing sensible even money shots and this weekend's rational bet looks like Under 2.5 Goals as Stoke host West Brom (11 goals scored between them all season).

But what's the fun in being sensible every weekend?

The price that has caught my eye is the chunky 7.06/1 on Sunderland to win at Swansea. Stay with me here. Part of the rationale is the scientifically rigorous 'new manager bounce' with Gus Poyet in the dugout for the first time, but Sunderland did show plenty against Manchester United to suggest they will be able to climb out of trouble. 

As for Swansea, they have gone eight successive home games without a win in the Premier League. Sure there was the post Capital One Cup comedown last season and some tough fixtures along the way, but that is a poor run whichever way you look at it and there is no way they should be trading as short as 1.618/13.

A draw appeals at 4.1 but with a cushion over the other lads in the Betting Battle, I'm going punchy this weekend and backing the away win.

Dan Thomas 2013-14 P/L: + £54.79


Joe Dyer
Back Arsenal/Arsenal in Half Time/Full Time @ 1.910/11
Saturday, 3pm
 

With more than an hour gone and Spurs and West Ham locked at 0-0, I was pretty confident that I'd found a winning bet last time out. So it's fair to say a 13-minute, three-goal salvo from the Hammers was not what I expected.

That was one of several near misses on these pages in recent weeks (Aaron Ramsey's 88th minute equaliser on Tuesday night being the most recent example). Undaunted, however, I'm going in again... 

Arsenal
are one of the shortest prices this weekend and it'd be easy to assume that I'm playing it safe with a back of Arsenal/Arsenal in the Halftime/Fulltime market but there is sound reasoning behind the selection.

The Gunners have amassed the most points of any Premier League team in 2013 and are fast out of the blocks, scoring four goals in the opening 15 minutes this season. I think 1.910/11 that the league leaders hold the lead after 45 and then 90 minutes is pretty fair. 

Joe Dyer 2013-14 P/L: - £17.40


Luke Moore
Back Under 2.5 Goals in Manchester United v Southampton at 2.226/5
Saturday, 3pm

Last time out I picked a solid winner in the Sunderland v Man United game, and it's the champions I'm sticking with this week also. 

This bet stuck out to me at a pretty big price, chiefly because Southampton's defence is so well-organised and miserly. They've got the best back line in Europe other than Roma and have conceded just two goals in total in their seven Premier League games this season. As a Pompey fan it pains me to say it, but I've been so impressed with Dejan Lovren and Jose Fonte at the back. Morgan Schneiderlin (who I was surprised wasn't linked with bigger clubs in the summer) and new signing Victor Wanyama also offer great protection in front of them and I think that between them they can keep the goal count down at Old Trafford.

Robin van Persie
isn't in the best goalscoring form for United; Opta tells us that, excluding penalties, the Dutchman has failed to score in his last five games and in 14 of his last 18 so they'll be heavily reliant on Rooney to do the business for them on Saturday. And let's face it, they're in inconsistent form anyway and a tough, difficult to break down team like Southampton is the last type of opponent they'll want to face.

There's a potential fly in the ointment here though, I'll concede. Artur Boruc may well be missing with a hamstring problem and that means Kelvin Davis will have to deputise in the Southampton goal. He's not in the same class as the Pole and a howler or two could smash my bet to smithereens. Here's hoping either Boruc is fit or Davis can step up. My £10 depends on it. 

Luke Moore 2013-14 P/L: - £30.40


Mike Norman

Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.01/1 in Aston Villa v Tottenham
Sunday, 16:00

Nine of the last 14 meetings between Aston Villa and Spurs have paid out on Over 2.5 Goals, and all of the last nine meetings between the two at Villa Park have either seen both teams getting on the scoresheet and/or had at least three goals scored. So that makes the 2.01/1 about seeing at least three goals in this fixture seem like very good value to me.

All of Villa's last four league and cup games have gone over the 2.5 goals mark, and while games involving Tottenham this season have been relatively low-scoring, I envisage this encounter to be different, just as it was when Andre Villas-Boas' men triumphed 0-4 here just a few weeks ago in the Capital One Cup.

Paul Lambert is putting together an exciting young side and they will always 'give it a go' on home soil, just like they did when beating Manchester City 3-2 a few weeks back, while Spurs will be desperate to bounce back from their 3-0 thrashing at the hands of West Ham last time. I can't wait for this one, it should be a great game with plenty of goals.

Mike Norman 2013-14 P/L: - £54.50


A £10 bet is placed on each selection on Betfair's Exchange. Profits are calculated before commission

Editors' Battle P/L

1. Dan Thomas: + £54.79
2. Joe Dyer: - £17.40
3. Luke Moore: - £30.40
4. Mike Norman: - £54.50

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