Welcome to the first instalment of weekend wagers where Nick Higgins will be sharing his bets and tips for the weekend’s football action throughout the season. Follow his progress in the coming weeks of the season and share your tips in the comments section.
West Brom entertain the champions Manchester United in a tough opening fixture. Of course United are the strong favourites but I’ve picked out a nice little angle from which I hope to profit. Last season the Baggies only failed to score at home on two occasions, scoring against United, Chelsea, Tottenham and finding the onion bag twice in matches against Arsenal and Liverpool. They have bought well and will be stronger this season so I expect them to score here before succumbing to the strength of United. Take both teams to score at a generous 10/11 with William Hill.
Next up I’m heading to St James Park where Arsenal are the visitors. Newcastle and Arsenal are probably the two most dysfunctional sides in the league at the moment and anything can happen here. This has led me to rethink my original fancy of an Arsenal win at evens. With the Gunners missing Wilshere and the ongoing debacle over Nasri and Fabregas I think that price is about right. The tip here is to back over 2.5 goals at a top price 10/11 with both Betfair and William Hill.
And here are the (rather convincing) statistics to back up this selection. Last season 68% of Newcastle’s home matches and 74% of Arsenal games went over 2.5 goals. Three of the last four matches between the sides at St James’ Park have featured at least four goals. Arsenal failed to score on the road in only two games last season, whilst the Toon netted in all but three of their home matches.
Onwards, to the man that so regularly returns the spoils. Last season Darren Bent scored nine in his 16 matches for Aston Villa. A proven goalscorer over a number of seasons and likely to be on penalty duty this year after the departure of Ashley Young, Bent is almost certain to be there or there abouts at the top of the goalscorer charts once again this season. I always make a point of checking the price on Bent in the anytime goalscorer and first goalscorer markets and always back it when I see value. Obviously it doesn’t win every week but over the course of a season you won’t be surprised to know it returns healthy profits. This weekend Villa go to Fulham and Bent anytime is top price 15/8 with Stan James and Boylesports. I am on it.
For the final tip of this weekend I’m backing new boys Norwich to get something from their trip to Wigan. 11/4 about the Norwich win with Paddy Power is tempting but I’m airing on the side of caution and backing them in the draw no bet market at 7/4 with Betfred. The Canaries will be well up for it and has anyone forgotten Wigan’s 4-0 drubbing at home to Blackpool on the opening day of last season?
Good luck folks and bet with caution.
West Brom v Man United – Both teams to score @ 10/11 (William Hill)
Newcastle v Arsenal – Over 2.5 goals @ 10/11 (William Hill & Betfair)
Fulham v Aston Villa – Darren Bent to score anytime @ 15/8 (Stan James & Boylesports)
Wigan v Norwich – Norwich DNB @ 7/4 (Betfred)