Mike Norman returns with his regular look at Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League, recommending bets in the games featuring Tottenham, Man City, and Leicester...
"The Foxes score goals regularly at this level, have won three of their six Premier League games this term, and they've won the last two clashes at St James' Park, scoring three goals each time in 2-3 and 0-3 victories."
Hard-earned win on the cards for Spurs
Huddersfield 8.27/1 v Tottenham 1.51/2; The Draw 4.77/2
Surprisingly Tottenham have kept just one clean sheet this season from their eight games played, though that did come away from home against Manchester United in a 3-0 victory.
Mauricio Pochettino has regularly switched his defensive formations this term, has started with effectively all of his fit senior defenders at some point, and has used three different goalkeepers in just six Premier League games. The Spurs boss has had his hand forced at times, especially in goal, but you can understand why the Lilywhites are conceding goals more often than you'd expect.
It's likely that Tottenham will get back to their defensive best sooner rather than later, especially with the imminent return of Hugo Lloris, but I'm happy to wager that they'll concede again this weekend while claiming all three points, available to back at 11/5 on the Sportsbook.
Given Spurs are just 1.51/2 to win the game yet around 3.211/5 to win while conceding a goal, then that tells us that not many punters expect Huddersfield to get on the scoresheet, and that's easy to see why.
The Terriers have scored just three goals so far this season but perhaps that stat is a bit misleading. I remember watching their opening-day defeat to Huddersfield and thinking that they looked a dangerous side until the Blues scored the opening goal, and in their most recent home game they dominated possession and the shots count but somehow lost 0-1 to Crystal Palace.
David Wagner is convinced that his side will turn the corner and eventually score the goals that will see them move up the table, and it's worth remembering that his men have scored against Manchester City, Everton, and Leicester so far this campaign.
If Tottenham were defending like they were when at their best last season I'd be recommending a comfortable away win (they won 0-4 here last term), but given they've conceded in seven of their eight outings at the start of this season - including against the likes of Fulham, Brighton, Newcastle, and Watford (twice) - then I'm more than happy with the recommended bet.
Another stroll for the champions
Man City 1.111/9 v Brighton 38.037/1; The Draw 13.012/1
Six goals against Huddersfield, five at Cardiff last weekend, three in each of the games against Fulham and Oxford, I suppose the only surprise is Man City only managed two goals at home to Newcastle a few weeks ago.
What I've always liked about City under Pep Guardiola is that they rarely take their foot off the gas in games they are comfortable in, often going on to score three, four or even more when the points are safely in the bag.
Considering they trade at around the 2.89/5 mark on average (home), and 4.57/2 mark (away) to win games by scoring at least four goals, the fact that they've done it at least 17 times in the last 12 months tells us it's been a decent way to wager on City when the Match Odds offer no chance of a decent return.
The odds on offer for that outcome - Any Other Home Win in the Correct Score market - this time are just 2.285/4, but that's perfectly understandable given that Man City are trading at just 1.111/9 in the Match Odds market and the opposition is Brighton.
The Seagulls can be quite stubborn, as proved when losing just 1-0 at Liverpool earlier this season, but the fact that they've conceded twice at both Watford and Southampton in other league away games this term suggests that Man City should have few problems scoring two or three at least on Saturday afternoon.
We obviously need Guardiola's men to score at least four for the bet to land, but we can rest assured that they won't take their foot off the gas if they go a few goals up with plenty of time to spare.
Winless Magpies set for another defeat
Newcastle 2.6813/8 v Leicester 3.02/1; The Draw 3.412/5
Having opposed Newcastle last week it was slightly disappointing to see them hold on for a draw at Selhurst Park, though how Mamadou Sakho missed that header I'll never know. The Magpies rarely threatened against Palace and I don't quite understand why they are favourites to beat Leicester on Saturday afternoon.
Admittedly home advantage has a big influence on how a market shapes up, but when the home team in one that has played three lost three in front on their own fans then it's easy to make a case against them.
True, all three of Newcastle's defeats were against 'big six' clubs and they performed with credit each time, losing each of the games against Tottenham, Chelsea, and Arsenal by a scoreline of 1-2. But those decent performances might actually work against them. Newcastle fans will now expect their team to win. If Rafa Benitez's men fail to get their noses in front early then the pressure will just build and build.
In the three games this season when Newcastle weren't strongly fancied to lose they failed to score at both Cardiff and Crystal Palace and lost in the EFL Cup to Championship side Nottm Forest. They've actually scored more league goals this season (four) against 'big six' clubs than they have against teams they were expected to do well against (none).
And as I always say, breaking a winless run is extremely hard to do as confidence just decreases week after week, and against a decent Leicester side I would most definitely have the Magpies as outsiders in the Match Odds market.
The Foxes score goals regularly at this level, have won three of their six Premier League games this term, and they've won the last two clashes at St James' Park, scoring three goals each time in 2-3 and 0-3 victories. At 3.02/1 to back on Saturday they look well worth carrying the 'best bet of the day' tag.
You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73
Mike's 2018/19 Season P/L:
Staked: 24 pts
Returned: 26.74 pts
P/L: +2.74 pts
- 2017/18 P/L = +20.09 pts from 128 pts staked (15.69% ROI)
- 2016/17 P/L = +42.63 pts from 160 pts staked (26.64% ROI)
- 2015/16 P/L = +14.99 pts from 234 pts staked (6.4% ROI)
- 2014/15 P/L = +35.30 pts from 215 pts staked (16.42% ROI)
Back Tottenham Win/BTTS @ 11/5 v Huddersfield (Sportsbook)
Back Man City Any Other Home Win @ 2.285/4 v Brighton
Back Leicester @ 3.02/1 to beat Newcastle (best bet)