Cardiff host West Ham on Saturday, desperate to arrest their latest slide, but our man fancies the away side to inflict another defeat...
“Cardiff look in big trouble with only Southampton keeping them out of the relegation places whereas West Ham, who started slowly under Manuel Pellegrini, are up to ninth. The two sides are on opposing trajectories and West Ham look a good bet at odds-against.”
Cardiff v West Ham
Saturday March 9, 15:00
Sorry Cardiff on the slide
Cardiff's back-to-back Premier League victories at the start of February - 2-0 at home against Bournemouth and 2-1 away at Southampton - are starting to look like something of a dead cat bounce.
The Bluebirds were in poor form before those victories and they've been dire since, losing their next three Premier League games by an aggregate score of 10-1! The two victories were preceded by a respectable 2-1 defeat at Arsenal and that followed the tragic death of new signing, Emiliano Sala.
It appears that heart-breaking event may have inspired the Cardiff team to a huge upturn in form. In their three games prior to the tragedy they'd lost 1-0 to Gillingham in the F.A Cup, drew 0-0 at home to a terrible Huddersfield side and lost 3-0 at Newcastle.
Cardiff drifted to odds-against to be relegated after the Saints win but they're now back in to around [1.27] to accompany the seemingly already doomed Fulham and Huddersfield back to the Championship and that doesn't look too short.
Hot Hammers look hard to beat
In contrast to the hosts, West Ham are enjoying a decent little run of form. Since losing to Wolves at the end of January, the Hammers have played five times in the Premier League and the only team to beat them are the defending champions, Manchester City. And that was only 1-0 thanks to a disputed second half penalty.
A draw at home to Liverpool was followed by another 1-1, away to Crystal Palace, and either side of their defeat at the Etihad, they've beaten both Fulham and Newcastle at home.
West Ham have lost half their games away from home this season and they've lost four of their last five on the road but this looks like a great chance to halt that run and register away win number five for the season.
Keep it simple and side with West Ham
Cardiff won both Division Two fixtures when the two sides met in the 1949/50 season but ever since then West Ham have had something of a hoodoo over the Bluebirds and they've lost just three of 34 encounters.
The Hammers have won their last seven meetings with Cardiff and they've won all three previous meetings in the Premier League by a two-goal margin. West Ham won both encounters 2-0 in the 2013/14 season and they beat them easily in December 3-1.
Cardiff look in big trouble with only Southampton keeping them out of the relegation places whereas West Ham, who started slowly under Manuel Pellegrini, losing their first four games in-a-row, are up to ninth. The two sides are on opposing trajectories and West Ham look a good bet at odds-against.
Looking at the side markets, Yes in the Both Teams to Score market is trading at odds-on but I'm not convinced it should be. Both teams have scored in only 47% of Cardiff's home matches and in only 48% of West Ham's away games. The Bluebirds have scored just once in their last three and their own goal against the Hammers in their three previous Premier League encounters came in the 90th minute at the London Stadium in January.
Under 2 ½ Goals is odds-on in the Over/Under 2 ½ Goals market and that makes sense given I can see Cardiff failing to score but stats-wise, 67% of Cardiff's home games this season have seen three or more scored (48% of West Ham's away) so a case could certainly be made for Over.
I'm quite tempted by West Ham to win to nil at around the 3/1 mark but I'm going to keep things extremely simple and just back them in the win market where they're a perfectly fair price at around [2.3].
Same Game Multi
If you fancy combining two or more scenarios to build a bet that pays handsomely, click on the Same Game Multi tab at the top of the Sportsbook market and pick two or more selections to build a wager. For example, West Ham to win and Marko Arnautovic to score to score pays £3.55 for £1 stake. The Austrian hasn't scored since he bagged a brace against Brighton at the beginning of the year but so he could be due. He's scored five in his last ten against promoted opposition. Add in No for Both Teams to Score and it pays £7.60 for £1 stake.
Staked: 79.5 pts
Returned: 52.09 pts
P/L: -27.41 pts
3 pts West Ham to win @ [2.3]