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Jimmy Butler’s Sixers WFC Debut Delivered the Goods

Philip Keidel - November 16, 2018

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher, USA TODAY

It was another Brett Brown “blow another ridiculously large lead” masterclass for Jimmy Butler’s Sixers debut on Wednesday. Somehow, Brown continues to ride the “Popovich coaching tree” pedigree into infinite employment as the Sixers’ head coach, no matter how often he turns comfortable wins into losses.

Tonight, anyway, the Sixers’ trade for Butler inoculated Brown from his own disastrous inability to hold a double-digit lead. Butler’s line tonight was 12 shots made from 15 taken with seven assists and a +12 for the minutes he was on the floor for the 38 minutes he played. He finished with 28 points.

Brown was appropriately complimentary of his new All-Star: “(H)e was incredibly efficient, physical, made some tough shots…that’s a fantastic debut, he was our bell ringer tonight.”

The Twitter accolades of Butler’s home debut as a 76er were appropriate and contained multitudes:

I think I speak for every Sixers fan when I fantasize about Jimmy Butler’s time on this team with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and think, you know what:

That’s how it feels, anyway.

Premier League Picks Week 12

Philip Keidel - November 9, 2018

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY

After a terrible, no-good, embarrassing start to this weekly column, I am NOT about to apologize for this:

My first winning week was perfect, 3-0, cash-cash-cash, and we are here to build on the good feelings, so here are your Week 12 WINNERS.

LEICESTER CITY v. BURNLEY

Last week I took Leicester away against Cardiff City for two reasons: 1. The Foxes had just lost their beloved owner in a tragic helicopter crash, and figured to be plenty motivated to win a match, and 2. Cardiff City is terrible.

That was a winning formula last week, and there is no reason to change course now. Leicester will be playing for the first time in front of their passionate supporters at the King Power, and though the feelings from the passing of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha are not as fresh as they were, it still promises to be an emotional moment in Leicester. Moment of silence, players pointing to the sky, etc.

Burnley is a disgrace in its own right, with its -13 goal difference and only 12 goals scored in 11 matches. Burnley took no points from October and are on a four-match winless streak in the league, coming off vicious beatings by West Ham, Chelsea and Manchester City. There is no good reason to think Leicester will not jump Burnley early and put this beyond reach quickly. But safety first and all that. Rather than getting cute with some long odds bet involving Leicester hanging a number on Burnley, just take Leicester to win at 1/2.

CHELSEA v. EVERTON

A recurring theme in this space is that the sides that treat me right get picked again. Well, dear reader, welcome to your predictable wager on Chelsea, a club that is kicking ass and taking names this season. Chelsea is unbeaten this season in all competitions. Truthfully, I did not expect Chelsea to be this good with a new manager and largely the same underachieving players as last season, but here we are.

Everton has been sneaky good so far this season. The Toffees are slotted quite comfortably in ninth place in the league table, where they have seemingly resided for at least a decade. Per its wont, Everton has been feasting on the weakest members of the league during its recent run of good form. Everton hung losses on Fulham, Leicester, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion in the last six weeks. All four of those clubs are below Everton in the current table. When Everton faced real competition in that period, it fell to Manchester United.

Chelsea has more than sufficient quality to dispose of Everton. The Blues will win either 3-0 or 2-1 or 3-1…however it falls, take Chelsea to win AND over 2.5 goals at 19/20.

Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

MANCHESTER CITY v. MANCHESTER UNITED

Come on, you didn’t really think I was going to not pick this match, right? The Manchester Derby is always must-see TV, never more so than right now as City is steam-pressing the league while Jose Mourinho continues to extend his tenure at United one match at a time.

You can hear my thoughts about City at some length here, but suffice it to say that there is no side in the league that should trouble City, particularly at the Etihad. Such is City’s dominance of the league and of basically every opponent it faces these days that City is 4/11 to win this match. That value is terrible…but the book is dangling a carrot based on both sides’ inability to keep clean sheets against solid competition. So take City AND both teams to score at 17/10.

Good luck this weekend.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Leicester City over Cardiff City at 23/20: WIN

Manchester City to lead at the half AND at full-time over Southampton at 4/9: WIN

Chelsea over Crystal Palace AND over 2.5 goals at 3/4: WIN

LAST WEEK: +$234

TOTAL TO DATE: -$662

Sports Betting Updates

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DraftKings Sportsbook Review

DraftKings Sportsbook has been live in New Jersey for over two full months now and a lot has changed since launch. While they were the first out of the gate for legal US sports betting, they now face competition from many sites, including FanDuel Sportsbook, SugarHouse Sportsbook, BetStars and others. How do they stack up and what promos does DraftKings Sportsbook offer? Let’s take a closer look. Bonus: First bet matched up to $200 Minimum

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Your Complete Eagles and Saints Betting Guide

In many ways, the Philadelphia Eagles enter their matchup with the New Orleans Saints this weekend in a similar spot to what their previous opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, found themselves in a week ago. More than a touchdown underdog on the road against what’s believed to be a far superior team, the Eagles appear outclassed and overmatched. Most people figured they were tuning into the Cowboys’ funeral a week ago, and just as many, if

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Every New Jersey Sportsbook Promo You Need To Know This Weekend

Black Friday is just about a week away, and if you’re like me, you could probably use some extra spending money to take advantage of all the hot deals that will soon be out there. Good news. There will be plenty of betting opportunities to find some winners this weekend. It’s Week 11 in the NFL and the race for the playoffs is revving up. Every Top 25 college football team is in action. There’s

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Premier League Picks Week 11

Philip Keidel - November 2, 2018

Pep Guardiola may show up this week in a t-shirt and sneakers, too. Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY.

Another heartbreaker of a week for your friendly prognosticator. Last week my hopes for a winning week came down to Manchester City beating Tottenham Hotspur (with both teams scoring) at Wembley Stadium a little more than 24 hours after the Eagles had beaten the Jaguars on the same field. I knew the turf would take a beating, but it turns out I didn’t really understand even a little bit just how bad it was going to be:

It is pretty hard to believe that Manchester City consented to send its highly-paid, often injury-prone mercenaries out onto that mess. But they did, and the 1-0 City win doomed me to another losing week.

As the search for that first winning week here slogs on, it dawns on me that you need to crawl before you walk, walk before you run, etc. So these picks are not going to be especially thrilling. But they are very likely winners, and the journey of a thousand miles…never mind.

MANCHESTER CITY v. SOUTHAMPTON

It is really very tempting to reach out for an exotic wager here. City are at the top of the table with Liverpool, leading the Reds on goal difference, while Southampton are suspended precariously above the drop zone in 16th place. The Saints haven’t scored in their last five — FIVE — Premier League matches, and are riding a two-match goalless draw streak that would put anyone to sleep. They still haven’t won in the league since September 1. Conversely, City haven’t lost in the league yet, and have conceded three goals in 10 league matches while scoring 27. So it’s going to be a bloodletting, right?

Well, it probably will be. But here’s the thing: Lately, City manager Pep Guardiola is doing that annoying “score just enough to win” thing that screws up every cute “City to win and over 3.5 goals” wager that offers decent odds. As poor as these picks have been, the time has come to take short odds, cash them and move on. I am very tempted to take (you guessed it) City to win and over 3.5 goals at 20/23. Unfortunately, they’ve let me down too many times before. Take City to lead at the half AND at full-time at 4/9.

CHELSEA v. CRYSTAL PALACE

It’s that time again — time to look up after another sorry, disappointing Chelsea season and see that they have once again figured everything out and back among England’s best. Chelsea finished fifth last season, earning them a tour through the Europa League and the easier matches that competition brings. Not surprisingly, then, they are sitting third in the current league table, joining Liverpool and City as the last potential invincibles this season. Chelsea hasn’t lost in any competition this season, and they annihilated Burnley 4-0 last week in a match that I somehow failed to pick.

I won’t make that mistake twice. Crystal Palace continue to live in that footballing purgatory where drawing Arsenal thanks to being awarded two penalties at home somehow constitutes progress. The Palace is terrible, Chelsea are excellent, and buying Chelsea these days is a wise investment. Take Chelsea to win AND over 2.5 goals at 3/4.

CARDIFF CITY v. LEICESTER CITY

Premier League fans will never forget the 2015-2016 Leicester City side that overcame ridiculous preseason odds to win the league at a canter. It’s hard to imagine, but the Foxes won the league by 10 points. Smash-cut to two-plus years later, and it is no surprise that the richest clubs in the league have restored order by outspending the likes of Leicester (and everyone else). In a way, that Leicester title is to blame for the way the Prem now looks like La Liga did for the past ten seasons, you know, before Messi and Ronaldo got old.

Leicester supporters suffered a cruel blow last weekend when the club’s owner’s helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium, killing him and four others:

Leicester understandably postponed its midweek League Cup fixture with Southampton which was set to be played at the King Power this past Tuesday. No one was ready for that. So their first match after their owner’s tragic passing comes against a very poor Cardiff City side coming off a 4-1 drubbing by Liverpool. It’s true that Cardiff got their first win of the campaign two weeks ago. It’s also true that that win came over Fulham, who is exactly as dreadful as Cardiff is.

Watch sports long enough, and the narratives tend to write themselves. If Leicester was set to play Arsenal this weekend, or Chelsea, or even Manchester United, you might not pick them. But the forces have aligned to put Leicester in with a terrible opponent the week after their beloved owner passed unexpectedly. Hearts will be healed, even if only for a moment. Take Leicester to win at 23/20, and if you can get odds on Jamie Vardy scoring and saying he did it for Vichai in the post-match presser, take them too.

Best of luck this weekend.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

City to win and both teams to score at 21/10: LOSS

Arsenal to beat Crystal Palace at 8/11: LOSS

United to beat Everton at 7/10: WIN

LAST WEEK: -$130

TOTAL TO DATE: -$896

Premier League Picks Week 10

Philip Keidel - October 26, 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Brad Penner, USA TODAY

I don’t need you to tell me these picks have been, as the kids say, cheeks. Last week was a new low. Three picks, three losses. I was going to feel bad about my awful record in these picks until I heard a pundit on the Worldwide Leader this week say (and I’m paraphrasing): “Look, I’ve told you I’m awful at this, last week I was 0-5. But if you did what you were supposed to do and just went against my picks, you would have gone 5-0!” Preach on brother.

Nowhere to go but up this week — here are your Week 10 winners.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v. MANCHESTER CITY

You will have to wait until Monday evening to collect your winnings on this one, but this is the one to go heavy on. Manchester City are atop the table; tied with Liverpool on points, the Citizens have a 10-goal advantage in goal difference. City are in fact that much better than Liverpool and everyone else in the league.

Pep Guardiola’s men are unbeaten since the ugly Champions League hiccup against Lyon on September 19. Since that loss, City are unblemished in six matches in all competitions. Specifically, they have five wins and a draw — and the draw was at Anfield against Liverpool. Four of the five wins in that stretch have been shutouts. It’s going well there in the blue half of Manchester.

Spurs, meanwhile, are as usual focused on the wrong things and reeling from another late collapse in Champions League play midweek. Tottenham’s continued use of Wembley Stadium as a home ground while the construction of their multi-billion pound new home continues to be an embarrassment to a club that does just fine tripping on its own cock, thank you very much.

Any day now. PHOTO CREDIT: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY

There’s just too much going on at and around Spurs to see anything but a City win at Wembley on Monday, no matter what damage the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars do there on Sunday. Take City to win and both teams to score at 21/10.

CRYSTAL PALACE v. ARSENAL

Too often, the analysis of a derby is “well, these teams know each other, their proximity makes this a rivalry, so this match should be closer than the relative quality of the sides would suggest.” Nonsense.

Arsenal are quietly having a very nice start to this Premier League campaign under new manager Unai Emery. The Gunners are currently back in the Champions League places (albeit by goal difference) and, unlike in past seasons, it’s not because every team around them is floundering. Arsenal have won seven straight league matches after dropping early tilts to Chelsea and Manchester City, i.e., two of the league’s top three. This isn’t Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal any more — it’s a lot better.

Elsewhere in London…ugh, what can you say about Crystal Palace. Two wins from nine league matches, a goal difference of -6, and they have dropped three on the spin in the league. Because the bottom half of the table is clogged with so much dross, it seems more likely than not that Palace will survive relegation this season. All the more reason to figure that they will get rinsed here in a match they don’t have much hope in. Take Arsenal to win at 8/11.

MANCHESTER UNITED v. EVERTON

Wayne Rooney isn’t walking through the door for either of these sides at the Theatre of Dreams, which is probably for the best. United manager Jose Mourinho has presumably sorted out his conflicted emotions after last weekend’s dust-up at Stamford Bridge:

The last thing the Special One needs is any drama this weekend against Everton. Good thing for him the Toffees are pretty average. Everton beat Crystal Palace 2-0 last weekend, and while that score might suggest that Everton had comfortable control throughout, that is simply not the case. Everton needed goals in the 87th and 89th minutes to secure that result. United are a lot better than Palace. This is going to be a stroll for Mou and the crew. Take United to win at 7/10.

Good luck this weekend.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Chelsea to beat Manchester United at 8/13: LOSS

Wolverhampton to beat Watford at 8/11: LOSS

Bournemouth to beat Southampton at 21/20: LOSS

TOTAL LAST WEEK: -$300

TOTAL TO DATE: -$766

Premier League Picks Week 9

Philip Keidel - October 19, 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

There’s just nothing worse than an international break, especially in this country where the men’s national team is an absolute disgrace. Thankfully, all of the internationals have returned to their professional clubs and the biggest leagues in the world will be open for business again this weekend.

So am I. Here come your Week 9 winners.

CHELSEA v. MANCHESTER UNITED

On a slate full of fairly terrible matches (I’m looking at you, Cardiff City v. Fulham), the first match of the weekend is by far the most likely to produce the highest quality of play the league has to offer in Matchweek 9. Chelsea is in a three-way cluster with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table, while United are languishing adrift outside the European places in a tie with Watford for eighth place. Anyone who knows anything knows that if you want to keep your spot in a three-way, you need to put in the work.

The Jose Mourinho sack watch looked to be all but over two weeks ago when United went down 2-0 at home to lowly Newcastle United. Then a funny thing happened: Mourinho, completely out of character, took the reins off his expensive and talented players and basically told them to score as many goals as they could in the time they had left. His players responded with three second-half goals. The ninetieth-minute winner from Alexis Sanchez gave United a rousing 3-2 win that saved The Special One’s job for at least two more weeks and counting as of this writing.

This being London, the press has shifted their focus to whether Mourinho might be fired if his side loses at Stamford Bridge this weekend. Whether Mourinho is managing for his job week to week or not, it is apparent that until United go on a long winning streak, the British press is going to continue to report the story that way.

If he is managing for his job this week, Mourinho is in a lot of trouble. United haven’t won a match at Stamford Bridge since October 2012 — and it took Chelsea ending the match with nine men for United to claim all three points. Coming back from two down against Newcastle at home is all well and good, but if United get behind by more than one goal at the Bridge, they might end up losing by a hatful. Take Chelsea to win at 8/13.

PHOTO CREDIT: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY

WOLVERHAMPTON v. WATFORD

Wolves have begun this season in devastatingly pragmatic (and yes, occasionally really boring) form. They have taken points from seven of their eight league matches despite having scored only nine total goals in those matches — the lowest goal total of any club in the top half of the table — because their defense has been extremely stingy. Wolves have conceded only six goals in eight matches, which is the lowest goals against total outside of the aforementioned top three.

In Watford, Wolves will face a sterner test than they have in recent days. The victories Wolves posted over Southampton and Crystal Palace were professional, but those clubs are already very concerned about the possibility of relegation and rightly should be. But that’s about the best you can say for Watford right now, i.e., that they are clearly better than Southampton and Palace. Watford’s incendiary start (four wins in four) has been followed by an equally impressively awful stretch of play which saw them eliminated from the League Cup and which was punctuated by an ugly 4-0 hammering by Bournemouth at home two weeks ago.

A wise man once said that things in motion tend to stay in motion and things at rest tend to stay at rest. That’s an apt statement for this match: Take Wolves to win at 8/11.

BOURNEMOUTH v. SOUTHAMPTON

Betting lines always tell you something, and seeing fifth-place Bournemouth favored only at 21/20 over a truly sorry 16th-place Southampton side raises a cherry red flag. Then you look at the injury list and you see that two of Bournemouth’s leading scorers, Ryan Fraser and Josh King, are doubtful for this match.

Here’s the thing, though: The fact that Bournemouth is missing a couple of front-line players doesn’t make Southampton any better. The Saints are buried in the table on merit, with a goal difference of -8 in eight matches played, i.e., they have been on average a full goal worse than any side they have faced so far this season. Their last win in league play came on September 1, and that was at Crystal Palace — as mentioned before, everyone seems to be picking on the Palace these days. Southampton have been outscored 8-0 in their last three league matches, all losses. That trend continues here. Take Bournemouth to win at 21/20.

Good luck this week.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Wolverhampton to win at Crystal Palace at 8/5: WIN

Tottenham to win AND over 2.5 goals at 8/11: LOSS

Liverpool to win AND over 2.5 goals at 12/5: LOSS

TOTAL LAST WEEK: -$40

TOTAL TO DATE: -$466

 

 

Premier League Picks Week 8

Philip Keidel - October 5, 2018

The quest for a winning week continues. We were there, right there, with a handful of minutes to go in last week’s Chelsea/Liverpool match at Stamford Bridge. We had Chelsea to win and we had good odds (13/8). Then this happened in the 89th minute:

Certainly we can’t suffer that kind of heinous luck again this week, can we? Man…let’s hope not.

CRYSTAL PALACE v. WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

Wolverhampton has been good to me this season, and they’ve been good, period, throughout the early stages of this season. Wolves have gone unbeaten in five in a row in the league, including a comfortable 2-0 dispatching of Southampton this week.

In contrast, Crystal Palace have been mediocre-to-bad so far, with a negative goal difference and just two wins in seven tries in league play. The most damning indictment of the Palace is this: They haven’t scored at home this season in three tries. Getting shut out by Liverpool is no disgrace, but losing at home to Southampton and drawing with Newcastle (both of whom are serious contenders to be relegated), well, that is pretty disgraceful. Keep it simple. Take Wolverhampton to win at 8/5.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v. CARDIFF CITY

Things continue to be really dicey for Spurs at Wembley, their home until further notice. Tottenham’s record there isn’t especially good this season, although it’s hard to blame them for losing to Barcelona in Champions League play — everybody seems to do that. And now reports are (ahem) surfacing that the playing surface is in serious jeopardy because the National Football League is coming to town.

Spurs could really use a slump buster, and the scheduling gods have delivered. Cardiff City is a terrible team. They have no wins and two draws in seven league matches. Their goal difference is -12. Against teams currently residing in the top 5 of the league table, Cardiff City have lost three times with an aggregate score of 12-3. Tottenham currently reside at fourth in the table. The projection here is that Cardiff City a. will not win, and b. will concede goals. Take Tottenham to win AND over 2.5 goals at 8/11.

PHOTO CREDIT: Brad Penner, USA TODAY

LIVERPOOL v. MANCHESTER CITY

This is quite clearly the match of the season thus far in the Premier League. City is atop the table, but only by virtue of having a better goal difference than Liverpool. Both clubs have won six of seven league matches thus far and remain unbeaten, a draw apiece the only stains on their records. So this match should be pretty even, right?

Don’t you believe it. City has lost three matches against Liverpool in 2018, once in the Premier League in January and twice in Champions League matches in April. The Premier League match between these sides in January was a fairly convincing beating; Liverpool was ahead 4-1 into the 84th minute, only to see City score twice late to make the final score of 4-3 look much more competitive than it really was. City’s other visit to Anfield last season was a 3-0 blitzing in the Champions League quarterfinal, with City conceding three times in a little more than half an hour.

At some point, City will progress past this “house of horrors” thing they have at Anfield. Not this week, though. City will score and lose, so take Liverpool to win AND over 2.5 goals at 12/5.

Best of luck to us all this week.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Chelsea to win against Liverpool at 13/8: LOSS

Arsenal to win against Watford AND over 2.5 goals at evens: LOSS

West Ham United +1 against Manchester United at 21/20: WIN

TOTAL LAST WEEK: -$95

TOTAL TO DATE: -$426

Premier League Picks Week 7

Philip Keidel - September 28, 2018

The first time something bad happens to you, it’s a fluke. The second time, it’s a shame. The third time…it’s a message.

Your humble and slowly-going-broke pal Paddy O’Dollars has come limping out of the blocks with three losing weeks in a row. This column may well hinge on the success of this week’s picks, so it’s time to post some wins and turn this streak around.

CHELSEA v. LIVERPOOL

Liverpool are on top of the table, the only club to win its first six Premier League matches this season. Chelsea are third, having dropped two points in a scoreless draw at West Ham last weekend. This is undoubtedly the marquee matchup of the weekend, made even more enticing by Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat of Liverpool at Anfield in League Cup play midweek.

The Reds will be motivated to exact revenge on Chelsea’s home ground, and they have had an awful lot of success at Stamford Bridge over the recent seasons. Chelsea has won just two league matches at home against Liverpool since the 2010/11 season. But one of those wins over Liverpool at the Bridge came last season.

Liverpool are in very select company with this perfect start through six league matches. It’s only been done four times in Premier League history — Newcastle (1994/1995), Manchester City (2016/2017) and Chelsea (2009/2010, 2005/2006). City rode that start to the league title last season, and Chelsea also won the league after their two 6-0-0 starts. It’s also notable that the only side to win its first seven Premier League matches was Chelsea in 2005/2006.

In the present day, Chelsea’s players probably don’t much care about things like keeping Liverpool from matching the Blues’ best-ever start to a league campaign. But they care plenty about not letting Liverpool get too far out ahead of them in the table. The key question to my mind is the health of Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk, who as of this writing is questionable to play. And even if he plays, it’s fair to wonder how effective he will be. Liverpool only became a reasonably competent defensive side after acquiring van Dijk. If he is not 100%, it is hard to imagine Liverpool winning this match. So the pick is Chelsea to win at 13/8.

ARSENAL v. WATFORD

The Gunners have been pretty good to me in the early going, if not overachieving than at least not underperforming as they sit sixth in the league table. The real overachievers here are Watford, who are fourth in the table off the back of a very hot start.

Here’s the thing, though: Watford’s only win of any distinction came at home over what has proven this season to be a typically uneven Tottenham Hotspur. Watford’s other victories came over sides in the bottom half of the table (Brighton and Hove Albion, Watford and Crystal Palace.) Watford also drew with recently promoted Fulham last week.

Neither of these teams does a very good job keeping a clean sheet. Both teams are scoring well over a goal per game, and eight of the 12 Premier League games involving either side this season featured at least three goals. So it looks like this will be an entertaining match, and Arsenal’s quality and the fact that they are home make them too tempting to pass up. Therefore, take Arsenal to win AND over 2.5 goals at evens.

WEST HAM UNITED v. MANCHESTER UNITED

All is not well at Manchester United, who crashed out of the League Cup this week to a Championship side on penalties to Derby County. Manager Jose Mourinho is once again at odds with midfielder Paul Pogba — the two had a tense exchange at training this week — and with United sitting outside the European places in seventh in the league table, the vultures are again circling over The Special One.

Meanwhile, after a disastrous start (four losses in four matches), Manuel Pellegrini has West Ham playing more coherent and competitive football. The Hammers are unbeaten in three straight in all competitions, including a fairly gratuitous rout of Macclesfield Town in the League Cup. West Ham will take far more confidence from their previous result, that aforementioned draw with Chelsea.

Four of the last five meetings between these two in London has ended up under 2.5 goals total. Mourinho’s name was made on his defensive tactics, and there is no reason to think he will risk very much away from home after the midweek loss to a lower-level side and the fairly turgid draw with Wolverhampton last week. This match feels like a draw, but there is no reason to get greedy and count on that outcome (which is listed at 13/5 if you like it.) The pick here is West Ham +1 at 21/20.

Best of luck to all of us this weekend.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Manchester City to win against Cardiff City AND both teams to score at 2/1 — LOSS

Liverpool to win over Southampton AND over 2.5 goals at 4/6 — WIN

Manchester United to win against Wolverhampton at 3/5 — LOSS

TOTAL LAST WEEK: -$134

TOTAL TO DATE: -$331

 

Premier League Picks Week 6

Philip Keidel - September 21, 2018

Your pal Paddy is off to a rough start here. Two losing weeks in a row has shaken the confidence, but there isn’t any use in dwelling over the bad breaks of the past. This weekend’s Premier League slate contains endless opportunities for profit. We just need to look in the right places. Here are Paddy’s Picks for Week 6.

CARDIFF CITY v. MANCHESTER CITY

“I wish I knew how to quit you,” I heard someone say somewhere. Manchester City has lightened my wallet twice so far and yet their match with lowly Cardiff in Wales this weekend is too attractive to stay away from. Man City are almost certainly going to win this match — Cardiff was just promoted in August, and City have won 16 of their last 21 matches against newly-promoted sides. So we have to find value here somewhere. The handicap market is not much use to us because Cardiff has conceded 10 goals in their last three matches in all competitions. They are probably going to cough up a few to Man City, too.

Ultimately, then, the question is really this: Can Cardiff score even once at home? Even in the past three matches where they have had their heads handed to them, Cardiff scored in each of them. Additionally, Man City has conceded at least one goal in three of their last four league matches. With Man City reeling and exhausted from a mid-week loss in Champions League play, Cardiff has better than half a chance to at least score. So the pick here is Manchester City to win AND both teams to score at 2/1.

LIVERPOOL v. SOUTHAMPTON

Liverpool is unbeaten in their last 23 Premier League matches at Anfield, their happy home hunting ground. Southampton’s last Premier League effort saw the Saints blow a two-goal lead at home to a Brighton and Hove Albion side that is as nondescript and devoid of threat as Southampton is. The temptation is great here to see this as an easy 3-0 or 4-0 win for Liverpool, whose five wins in five league matches have them sharing the league lead with Chelsea (though the Blues lead on goal difference.)

Ah, but there’s that pesky Champions League again, getting in the way of what should be an easy day for Liverpool. The Reds expended a ton of energy at Anfield mid-week, beating Paris Saint-Germain in a thriller. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is almost certainly going to have to rotate his squad and sit some of his best players, at least at the outset of this match. There is no reason to pick Southampton to win or even draw this match, but there is definitely cause to temper expectations for how dominant Liverpool can be in this match. The pick: Liverpool to win AND over 2.5 goals at 4/6.

MANCHESTER UNITED v. WOLVERHAMPTON

Wolverhampton has been a nice story at the outset of this Premier League campaign. Wolves lead the newly-promoted sides comfortably in the table, having won twice already in five tries in league play (more wins than Cardiff City and Fulham combined thus far.) Wolves have also been great value, and helped your humble tout with a timely win at West Ham in Week 4. Wolverhampton is riding a three-match winning streak in all competitions and is unbeaten in four. So you should take Wolves, yes?

No. United have won the last six matches against Wolves at Old Trafford. Wolves have only managed to score twice in their last seven visits to the Theatre of Dreams. Perhaps most crucially, United manager Jose Mourinho has never suffered back-to-back home league defeats in his managerial career. He won’t lose this one either. Take Manchester United to win at 3/5.

Good luck this week.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS:

$100 to win $240 on Watford/Manchester United draw: LOSS

$100 to win $83 on Arsenal over Newcastle: WIN

$100 to win $75 on Manchester City win over Fulham AND over 3.5 goals: LOSS

TOTAL LAST WEEK: -$117

TOTAL TO DATE: $-197