Betting Week in Review: Champion’s Draw Delights Operators
Liverpool’s failure to kill off the game against Brighton and a Bore Draw in the game against Chelsea and Tottenham all feature in our betting week in review.
Champion’s Failure to See Off Brighton Proves Profitable
Once again the unpredictability of the Premier League was good news for operators. Liverpool needed a point to go top of the Premier League and was heavily backed in the to-win market, as well as being a banker of many accumulator bets.
For good reasons, Brighton started the day in 16th place, had just one win in their last five games and their top scorer, Naul Maupay on four goals had scored almost 50% of his team’s total goal tally.
They faced Liverpool who had three players, Mohamed Salah (seven), Sadio Mane (four) and Diogo Jota (four) who all matched or exceeded Maupay’s total.
Pre-game the game was priced @4/1 for Brighton, 16/5 for the draw and 61/100 for a Liverpool win, leaving no doubt to who was the bookies favourite. These bets returned an average profit margin to the operators of 3.5%.
In the Saturday morning game, it was the home side that nearly took a surprise lead when they were awarded a first-half penalty. The usually dependant Maupay hit the spot-kick wide, a mistake that was punished when Diogo Jota scored in the 60th minute. Jota has been in sensational form since joining the Reds; this goal was his ninth in all competitions.
Liverpool had chances to put the game beyond doubt, having two goals ruled out by Var. Salah took control of a Roberto Firmino ball before converting well, only for the goal to be ruled out in a very tight offside call. Sane Mane thought he had won the game late on, his header finding the net was also ruled out for offside.
Brighton were awarded a second penalty deep in stoppage time. Andy Robertson kicked Danny Welbeck’s boot in a follow-through when attempting a clearance. Despite being few protests about the challenge, the referee reviewed the footage and awarded the penalty. As Maupay had been substituted in the first-half, German midfielder Pascal Groß took the kick, scoring to earn his side a 1-1 draw.
The 1-1 scoreline was also good news for the bookmakers in the over/under market. The under 2.5 market was priced at 36/25 and the losing over bet at 14/25, showing an average profit line of 4.9%.
Everton & Leeds Fail to Produce Goal Fest
Anyone watching Manchester City destroying Burnley 5-0 in the 3 pm kick-off, thanks largely to a Riyad Mahrez hat-trick, was probably expecting more of the same in the highly anticipated tea-time clash between Everton & Leeds.
Everton had previously sat on top of the Premier League, have scored nineteen goals in nine games and include the incredible talents of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (nine goals), James Rodríguez (three goals, three assists) and Brazilian Richarlison (one goal, two assists).
Leeds United’s goal threat came from Patrick Bamford, who had seven goals in nine starts. Quickly becoming one of the neutral’s favourite team with their often gung-ho approach to the game, Leeds always seem capable of scoring, but just as likely to concede at least as many.
With so much hype built up about the attacking talents on display, with hindsight, it was almost inevitable that the game would end up in a low scoring affair. However, it wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of the teams, with 38 shots on goal registered throughout the match.
Leeds were the busier of the two sides in the 1-0 win over Everton, but with the match hanging in the balance for long periods of the game, it did appear they may rue early chances. In the first half, they had 13 shots alone, a record for the Premier League, but could not break the deadlock.
Leeds finally found a way past Jordan Pickford, Brazilian Raphinha scoring his first goal of the season to give the Yorkshire club a 79th-minute lead. Leed’s Ezjgan Alioski should have made the game safe for the club late on, but they hung on to claim the win and move up to 11th in the table.
The result was a great one for the bookies. In 1X2 betting, Everton was firm favourites at 129/100; the draw was 267/100 and the Leeds win was priced at 41/20, the average return for operators was 3.5%.
The over/under market is likely to have seen the best returns, pre-match odds of 49/50 of over three goals showed traders expected a high scoring game.
United Fight Back & London Bore-Draw
In Sunday’s first game of a Premier League triple header, Manchester United faced a tricky trip to Southampton. United had the chance to set a club record for away wins with a win, whereas Southampton could continue their fine form and climb into the top three.
Any hope of a United win looked all over in the first half. James Ward-Prowse was instrumental in giving Southampton a 2-0 lead at the break. Ward-Prowse provided the cross for Jan Bednarek’s 23rd-minute header and then getting on the scoresheet himself 10 minutes later with a fine free-kick.
A different United competed in the second half, the introduction of Edinson Cavani rejuvenated his side. The 33-year-old provided the ball for Bruno Fernandes to score on the hour mark. Then two headed goals, one in the 74th minute and one in stoppage time gave United an unlikely 2-3 win.
No doubt the bookmakers would have preferred he hadn’t, pre-game Southampton was priced at 29/10, United win at 19/20 with the draw priced at 11/4.
The 16:30 game between Chelsea & Tottenham was another game that promised so much but delivered so little, in terms of goals. Chelsea had already 22 goals in nine games and averaged 13.2 shots per game. Tottenham had an almost identical record, 21 goals in nine games with 12 shots per game. These stats made the both teams to score markets and the over 2.5+ goals and above bets very popular.
Therefore, the first goalless draw in the Premier League between the pair since November 2015 was good news for operators. Both teams cancelling out each other in a game of few clear-cut chances and the defences coming out top.
Although some operators would have refunded Correct Score, Half Time/Full Time or Scorecast bets due to the Bore Draw promotion. This promotion does not cover the lucrative over/under bets or multi-goalscorer markets, very popular with punters when high-scoring teams face each other.
In Sunday’s late game a surprise 2-1 win for Wolves against Arsenal was an unexpected boost for bookmakers. Arsenal were heavily backed at 1/1, 23/10 for the draw and 3/1 for Wolves. At the selected bookmakers that offer a straight home/away bet, these were priced at 53/100 for Arsenal and 27/20 for Wolves, a profit line of 7.3%.
Wolves won the game courtesy of goals scored by Pedro Neto and Castelo Podence in the 27th minute and 42nd minute; Arsenal did briefly pull level in the 30th minute thanks to a goal by dos Santos Magalhães. The game, however, is likely to be remembered for a nasty clash of heads between David Luiz and Raul Jimenez. The coming together resulted in the Wolves player being taken to hospital and the game being delayed for 10 minutes. Post-game, many ex-professionals slammed the decision to allow Luiz to continue in the game. The Arsenal man was bandaged, but blood could clearly be seen running down his face before he was substituted at half-time.