It is officially football season baby! We have bets. We have DFS. We have Podcasts. Yes, I’m a bit of a one man band but I feel like we are all in this together! Can anyone play the cowbell? Need more cowbell…
Last week, of course, we went 5-2 for EPL bets. Bournemouth blew it late, allowing Sheffield to push one over the line to grab a point. We pressed Sunday evening trying to grab a late unit with the LA Galaxy, who failed us. But still another week in the green.
DFS smashed. Our core 4 produced 74 points by themselves. Let’s look to keep it rolling this week. We are back to more of a normal schedule where games only take place on the weekend. I kinda miss the Friday afternoon game to be honest! Instead, we get a Monday game between United and Wolves.
This weekend we have a six-game slate featuring the two main title contenders in City and Liverpool. City is the afternoon hammer, and with their starting 11 flexibility, we have some decisions to make.
Let’s head to the desert…
Arsenal -335 3 (+105o/-125u)
Aston Villa +130 2.5 (-120o/EVENu)
Bright Hove Albion +145 2.5 (+105o/-125u)
West Ham +185
Everton -150 2.5 (-140o/+115u)
Norwich City +115 2.5 (-105o/-115u)
Newcastle Utd +235
Southampton +575 3 (+110o/-130u)
Man City -275 3 (-130o/+110u)
Aston Villa could be a problem for the bottom half of the division this year. For me, this was a bit more about how poor Tottenham were through the first 45 minutes than how great AVL looked, but let’s not forget, Villa were winning this match for 72 minutes!!!
Once the goal came from Ndombele the flood gates opened and the Spurs blew it open 3-1. Villa did look dangerous on the counter and surely that will be their main style of play throughout the year. They were outshot 31-7 in that game and had only 30% possession, for reference.
Bournemouth looked like dog shit. What else is new though, right? Bournemouth is the biggest conundrum every single freaking year and it has to fall at the feet of Eddie Howe. I asked last year for someone, anyone, to step up and be the Bournemouth whisperer and no one has taken the job!! LOL
Bournemouth will look to grab a point on the road. Sure, they’d love the win, but this game will be much more even than both of their first games. Villa have the blueprint from Sheffield and Bournemouth and simply don’t have the firepower of Tottenham. Villa are slight favorites, and that’s all you need to know about Bournemouth at the moment.
Where did this Brighton team come from?? Maybe Chris Hughton was the problem all along! The absolute shock result of the weekend was Brightons’ 3-0 win AWAY to Watford. I was not able to watch the game live but had to go back and see for myself what all the fuss was about.
Let’s just say we might be expecting some negative regression from this side. They took five shots, with three on target and scored three goals. They actually had a slight edge in the possession advantage, which surprised me as well.
They play a bit more of an attacking style with a 3-4-3 formation that morphs into basically a back 5 when they don’t have the ball. Graham Potter’s team is going to be one I keep a close eye on the first two months of the season. I had them firmly in the relegation race. A win to kick off the year was a pleasant surprise.
West Ham. Ohhhhhhh, West Ham. It’s never fun to play City and first game of the year is a tough draw. Boy oh boy did they make WH pay. A 5-0 drubbing was nothing short of discouraging, but the piece I really didn’t like to see was their propensity for quitting already reared its ugly head. Too many times last year the result was out of sight and the team folded like a cheap tent.
If I’m going to put my hard earned money behind a team, they need to show me they can fight till the end. If nothing else, this is good information for later in the season when they face tough away tests against quality opponents. Remind me to hammer those second half lines.
As for this game, there are many factors at play. Brighton will be buzzing coming off a win and making their home debut. Surely they have less individual talent than West Ham. WH will be desperate for a point on the road. This will be a cagey tie that I would expect to be low scoring. One thing is for sure: Jack Wilshere is still ass. Pablo Fornals is the man Pelligrini needs to put in the middle to create.
Everton drew 0-0 in perhaps the most frustrating result of the weekend. What is up with Crystal Palace at home? It’s like they are afraid to play.
35% possession ain’t great but all credit to Everton for having a go. Unfortunately, they were reduced to 10 men when Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off for his second yellow card in the 76’. He’s not a huge miss as Tom Davies can slot right into the midfield and add a bit more going forward. Moise Kean was also brought off the bench to make his EPL debut.
What troubled me was how little Everton created. Yes, they had the ball most of the game and created a few chances but nothing was clear cut. Calvert-Lewin was largely invisible. Gylfi was floating. Bernard still lacks the end product. What was supposed to be a brand new Everton looked kind of….the same.
Watford sucked. They were split wide open for third goal conceded. The first was off a mistake in the midfield. I don’t love drawing any sweeping conclusions about any team after week one and I certainly won’t do that to Watford but they need a performance in matchday two.
Norwich impressed me. I have to admit that. I thought coming into the season that they were going to compete for a spot in the league next year, and while the scoreline didn’t show that against Liverpool, they created chances!
They were only outshot 15 to 12. Norwich put five shots on target. They were in on goal multiple times. They scored against a team that only conceded 22 goals in 38 games last year.
Do I think they are going to finish top half? No. Do I think they are automatically relegated like Vegas does? Hell no. This is actually a great opportunity for points against a Newcastle team that experienced quite a bit of turnover on the attacking front.
Newcastle gets an INCOMPLETE grade for me after one week. In many ways, I was impressed with their organization and ability to make it tough for Arsenal to break them down, but you have to ask questions about the goal they conceded.
Here is the tough part about sitting defensively and being organized: 89 minutes of hard work and focus can be ruined by one miscommunication, one lapse in judgement, one foul conceded in the wrong spot. I completely understand why teams do it, but I would have liked to see a bit more ambition at home in the first game of the season.
Granted, is that Steve Bruce’s philosophy? NOPE! Now, when Saint-Maxim and Jetro Williams came on, Newcastle were creating more, so they do have that ability in their locker. This will hopefully be a bit of a different game plan, even on the road. On the plus side, they did hold the edge in shots over Arsenal with nine to their eight. Weird game.
As for this matchup, Norwich will attack, no doubt about that. I expect Newcastle to come out of their shell a bit as well. This could be a sneaky low owned opportunity in DFS.
What can you say about Southampton away to Burnley? Literally nothing. There is no team in the Prem that plays like Burnley, especially on a very windy day at home. Trying to press a hoof ball team is a recipe for disaster so it left Southampton with a bit of test. Do they play their style or try to match up?
It didn’t work obviously as they lost 3-0 on a brace from Ashley Barnes and a beauty of a goal by JBG. Now, if we are going glass half full here, you have to say Southampton were a bit unlucky. Ashley Barnes took his first goal SO well off the bounce. JBG scored a worldy bender when the game was already over.
SOU created 11 shots and put three on goal so it wasn’t all bad. You might be saying, “But, Duke, you killed Watford for a similar game!!!” Uhh, no man, I didn’t. Watford were at home and big favorites against a Brighton team playing their first match with a new coach. I’m not killing Southampton yet. Butttt they are definitely losing to Liverpool.
Speaking of liverpool, they are buzzing already. However, they do have a game on Wednesday for the UEFA Super Cup or something. Mid-Week games aren’t fun this early in the season and that could put a slight damper on their legs come Saturday.
That isn’t enough to change the end result but could shade my ownership elsewhere in DFS. With a title race as close as we’ll see all year, no game can be taken for granted. Expect a full strength squad from Klopp and his boys. Expect a Liverpool win.
I think Vegas is way off here. City should be favorites. Should they be nearly two goal favorites?
Get the hell out of here.
We jumped on this line on Monday and have already picked up some CLV. CLV is Closing Line Value and it’s really the holy grail in sports betting. Gaining an edge on the market is the best and, some would say, only way to be profitable in sports betting. As of this writing, we’ve picked up over 20 points!!
City looked spectacular against West Ham in the second half. Early on, it wasn’t as smooth. Especially early in the season the big boys just have too much quality around the field and tend to eat early. Having a matchup against a top 3 side from 2018/19 this early is a bit unlucky but great for us fans.
What if I told you that City won both games against Tottenham in league play last year? Would you be surprised? Probably not. Now what if I told you that both games were 1-0 losses? Bit surprising, that. These teams are just tough matchups for each other.
The one worry I have is the backline for Tottenham and how poor they looked in gameweek one. Trippier is gone. Vertonghen was relegated to not the bench, but out of the squad entirely. Why? I haven’t seen a great reason yet.
Sanchez and Alderweireld are good individually but lack cohesiveness. Vert is the key to that back line. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pochettino move to a 3-5-2 with wing backs as he did so many times last season. If so, they will have a much better chance in this game.
- Sterling – MCI – $9.3k M/F
I was thinking something around $10k was reasonable for Sterling so this feels light. His three goals last week certainly boost the pt/$ ratio but City are at home and massive favorites. It’s hard to deny his form.
- Pukki – NOR – $6.2k
What a steal this is if he even remotely matches his form from week one!
- Salah – LIV – $10.8k
Mane bagged the goals midweek against Chelsea but I’ll take Salah in his matchup with Jamal Lewis with penalties and a share of set pieces over the completely goal dependent player in Mane. Liverpool are more than a goal favorites and this is my favorite piece.
- Aguero – MCI – $9.8k
Aguero in big games. Gimme gimme. We discussed in detail the issues with Tottenham’s back line. Aguero has and will exploit their deficiencies, but here is the issue. Is he going to start? Jesus didn’t exactly stink in his start last weekend and City are the afternoon hammer, but you don’t want to be leaving nearly $1k on the table to pivot down to Jesus if he does start.
- Sigurdsson – EVE – $9.6k
WOAH buddy is this expensive. There will still be plenty of people who go here in cash. Not me. You can get similar production while saving $3k.
- Iwobi – EVE – $6.7k
Everyone will be on Keane or Gylfi or even Richarlison…I think Holebas is a terrible defender. Assuming Iwobi comes off the right side (Watford’s left) I like his pace and agility to give their backline issues. He can beat a player off the dribble and serve a cross. An assist wouldn’t shock me in this spot. GPP ONLY!! This is not a floor play.
- King – BOU – $6.1k
Horrendous 90 minutes for Bournemouth but that can be said for the majority of the team. The price drop is warranted but he’s still a $7k player. This is price value. Prefer Pukki to him but King is on penalty kicks and we’ve seen quite a few given out already this year.
- Yarmalenko – WH – $6k
This is absolutely a flier but hear me out. Haller picked up a knock last weekend, as did Felipe Anderson. Yarm hasn’t played since tearing his achilles so this is absolutely a risk, but if he starts, this is incredible value for a player who approached $10k last year. West Ham will squeak out at least a draw here and could bag the win.
- DeBruyne – MCI – $8.6k
This seems like a great place to start a cash build.
- Buendia – NOR – $6.5k
Anyone for a little Pukki/Buendia stack?! Certainly an option in GPPs but not for cash. Buendia is one of the biggest benefactors of the new scoring system. Constantly on and around the ball. He not only picked up an assist, he had three Shots Assisted as well. You have to figure heading home against Newcastle that we can project similar numbers for him.
- Henderson – LIV – $4.3k
I almost never look to Jordan Henderson, and I’m not going all in Liverpool or anything, but against Southampton there is certainly a path to 2x. Fabinho has been sitting deeper and allowing Henderson to push forward into a role he used to play before joining Pool. This is creating more opportunities for DK pts, which makes us happy. The salary savings are very nice considering the spend up options on the slate as well.
- Ndombele – TOT – $4.8k
I don’t want much if any Tottenham to be honest, but if looking for someone in this range, he’s the best of the lot. He showed an ability to get forward, though when Eriksen came on, he tended to stay back a bit. Not great from a DFS perspective.
- Ritchie – NEW – $7.4k
He put in six crosses and had three shots assisted but Shelvey is eating into his set piece equity. Shelvey did pick up a knock so maybe he’s back to a monopoly this week. OK for cash games. Not in love with the upside for GPP.
- McGinn – AVL – $6.8k
He has to be in our player pool. Obviously showed the ability to score a goal as he took his chance well against Tottenham last weekend but I like the areas he found himself in against a tough opponent. Bournemouth away is always a decent place to attack.
- Trezeguet – AVL – $5.5k
This boy looked lively considering he was making his debut for Villa in a brand new league! Four crosses with two shots, one on goal in 59 minutes isn’t terrible production. He’s a bit cheaper than McGinn and perhaps more of a floor.
- Fraser – BOU – $9.2k
Do not be worried by the outcome of Ryan Fraser’s game last week. He really did what we needed him to but he didn’t pick up an assist and was given a yellow card. That is the reason for his meek score. Eight crosses and four fouls drawn are why you roster him. Between he and Sigurdsson, I’d lean Fraser. KDB over both.
- Wilson – BOU – $4.8k
He hasn’t even played a minute for Bournemouth but there are rumblings he’ll get the start opposite of Ryan Fraser. Eddie Howe needs something to spark this lethargic team. Wilson’s left foot is the missing piece.
- Moura – TOT – $6.5k M/F
This comes down to price and lack of attacking options. Who else is going to play? They could/will be behind and will need to attack. Even if it’s late, he’ll get to value. It’s super risky and I likely won’t, but he might sneak his way onto my cash build….GPP for sure.
- Eriksen – TOT – $7.5k
What is going on with this guy? Is he staying or going? It’s the afternoon game so there is almost 0% chance I have him in cash but that would be my preferred game for his ability. He completely changed the game when he came on and Tottenham were crying out for a player of his abilities. Great option for GPPs because if he does start, the price isn’t horrible and his ownership will be very low.
- Digne – EVE – $6.3k
It’s kind of funny when a player hits double digits and you are unhappy with their performance. There is plenty more in the bag for Lucas Digne, and as one of the bigger favorites on the board, at home, coming off a pathetic result, they’ll be looking to bomb forward and bag goals.
- Alexander-Arnold – LIV – $6.1k
Unbelievably gorgeous pass to Divok Origi for a goal to give TAA the assist. I prefer Digne but both are acceptable in cash. I’m paying down in at least one slot in GPPs.
- Montoya – BHA – $4.1k
Picked up 10 pts last weekend in their big win. At just over $4k, we can take chances on the wing back. No set piece equity but the ability to get forward and cross in this new system is useful.
- Van Dijk – LIV – $4.6k
He isn’t going to score every week but he is on quite the run in front of goal on set pieces. With the clean sheet in question, we need to play him for upside at the moment. I’m not sold on Adrian in goal.
- Stones – MCI – $3.6k
They will have a ton of the ball. Stones picked up nearly a point from accurate passes alone last weekend. He didn’t get on the end of any set pieces so he was nowhere near the upper end of his floor even. The CS certainly helped and can’t be banked on here. He’s in the player pool but unlikely to make my first team.
- Max Aarons – NOR – $3.7k
Need a cheap FB who will get you 1x. Here’s your boy! He looked worse than I thought going forward but I’m chalking it up to the opponent and nerves. He’s still very young and inexperienced at this level. He should get a slight boost and production off week one.
- Williams – NEW – $3.8k
Didn’t start last week and I understand why. He doesn’t really have a place with Ritchie slotted in at LWB. However, when he did come on he was actually playing very advanced centrally in the midfield. If he gets the nod, I’m all in.
- Ryan – BHA – $4.9k
OK so are Brighton good this year? TBD at the moment! However, we know he’ll pick up some saves and we can do much worse than a home favorite under $5k.
- Heaton – AVL – $5k
At home. Slight favorite. Save upside. Quality keeper. He didn’t immediately jump out at me but digging into the numbers more he became my #2 GK on the slate.
- Ederson – MCI – $5.8k
I roster him maybe three times a year and I doubt this is one of those times due to his price but this GK slate STINKS.
- Pickford – EVE – $5.5k
Watford aren’t as bad as they looked against Brighton but you have to love this spot at home for Pickford.
- Got Tottenham +1.5 (EVEN) on Monday 1 to win 1
- WH Draw/No Bet (+110) – .91 to win 1
- Arsenal -1.5 (-105) – 1.05 to win 1
- Liverpool -1 (-130) – 1.3 to win 1