Betting Week in Review: A Lookback at the Last Seven Days
New Premier League rules surrounding handball has led to several high-profile penalties this weekend. Leading to mixed fortunes for the bookmakers. New changes to the handball rule in the Premier League have proved controversial and have resulted in a flurry of goals, with varied results for bookmakers.
Saturday’s early game between Brighton and Manchester United set the tone for the weekend with plenty of action and talking points. Neal Maupay gave the home side a surprise lead in the 40th minute from the spot, a lead that only lasted 3 minutes due to a Lewis Dunk own goal. Marcus Rashford scored in the 55th minute against the run of play with a superb solo effort. The home side thought they had secured a much-needed and deserved point when Solly March headed in a cross from Alireza Jahanbakhsh.
Few games are likely to end in a more dramatic way than this one in the Premier League this season. Referee Chris Kavanagh had blown to signal the end of the match, causing Brighton players to celebrate, only for Kavanagh to indicate there was a VAR review taking place. VAR adjudged that Brighton’s opening scorer Maupay had handled and awarded the penalty. Which United’s penalty specialist, Bruno Fernandes cooly dispatched. Becoming the first goal, as far as we are aware, that has been scored after the full-time whistle has been blown.
The result was incredibly harsh on Brighton, they were far the better team and on another day they could, and should, have won this game by quite a far margin. The Seagulls hit the woodwork an incredible five times in the game, the highest number since Opta started recording this data in the 2003-04 season. It was also bad news for the bookmakers as Manchester United are always popular as a banker with punters.
For trivia buffs; Fernandes’s goal that was timed at 99:45. This time is the latest that a goal has been scored in the Premier League since 2011. On that occasion, Juan Mata scored for Chelsea against Norwich on just over 100 minutes (100:03).
Brighton felt they were hard done by in their game with Manchester United due to a handball given. Even though the offence was clearly unintentional, this pattern would continue in the next game.
Everton Go Top After More Handball Drama
Everton went top of the Premier League on Saturday with a 2-1 win against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace. Calvert-Lewin’s fifth league goal of the season gave Everton the lead before an unmarked Cheikhou Kouyate headed level for Palace.
The main talking point was a 40th-minute penalty awarded to Everton after Joel Ward was adjudged to have handled Lucas Digne’s knock-down. Richarlison, who scored a hattrick in the Toffee’s last game, dispatched the decisive spot-kick.
Referee Kevin Friend had checked the Ward incident on the pitch-side monitor and awarded the spot-kick, even though the Palace man had little time to react from the header from Digne.
However, despite Everton being backed for the win, the failure of strikers Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison to score more than one goal was great news for the bookmakers. Both players have become very popular in the multi-goalscorers market.
Chelsea Fight-Back Delights Bookmakers
If ever you needed an example of an accumulator killer, Chelsea’s thrilling game against West Bromwich Albion should sit in a museum. Pre-game, all the talk was about Chelsea’s new £200m superstars that include Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner, but it was the Baggies that stole the show with an incredible start that saw them 3-0 up within 30 minutes.
Callum Robinson scored the first on 4 minutes, and in the 25th minute, he scored his second, taking advantage of debutant Thiago Silva who was far too casual in possession. Things got even worse for Chelsea in the 27th minute when they failed to deal with a corner, and Kyle Bartley was left unmarked and was able to finish from close range.
Chelsea, almost inevitably with hindsight, fought back. Mason Mount from 20 yards on 55 minutes and substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi in the 70th minute set up a grandstand finish. The final say went to Tammy Abraham who scored a stoppage-time equaliser to break both West Brom’s hearts and plenty of accumulator bets in the country.
Super Sunday – More Smiles for Bookmakers
If anyone was feeling down that the Chelsea result had ruined their 6-fold, they probably felt better on Sunday with a series of shock results that few would have dreamt of, never mind backed.
The first game between Sheffield United and Leeds United ended in a 0-1 win for the visitors, the only surprise being the lack of goals as a solitary Patrick Bamford goal settled the Yorkshire derby on 88 minutes.
Another accumulator breaker was the game between Tottenham and Newcastle with another controversial handball decision that went against a dominant Tottenham. Leading 1-0 thanks to a Lucas Moura goal in the 25th minute, all the action was going the London club’s way. It is no exaggeration to say Spurs should have been 5-0 up when in the last seconds of added time, Andy Carroll headed against Eric Dyer’s arm who had his back to the action. The referee reviewed the footage and awarded the penalty, which Callum Wilson dispatched with almost the last kick.
The bookies’ had yet another windfall in the game between Manchester City and Leicester. Last year’s deposed champions started well with a goal by former Leicester player Riyad Mahrez in the 4th minute, but the Foxes hit back with the determination that saw them lift the title in 2016. A Jamie Vardy hattrick doing most of the damage in an incredible 5-2 win.