English Premier League – West Ham vs Crystal Palace – Asian Handicap West Ham -1 @ 1.95
The Hammers are up and about, and well, Crystal Palace are not. Life at the helm isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Patrick Vieira, with a start to the season that leaves them with a measly point against Brentford, a big loss to Chelsea and an early cup exit against Watford.
As for West Ham, it’s been a start to remember! They’ve scored eight goals in two games, beating Newcastle away and Leicester at home, continuing their stellar form from last season, and giving Hammers fans a glimpse into the potential that lives within a squad that boasts a fit Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma, and a staying Declan Rice!
Finishing in the European places means West Ham did not have to play in the cup midweek, while Palace’s loss not only saw a poor performance, but saw more early season minutes for some key players.
The Hammers are fresh and firing in the front third, and we can expect a comfortable win here, with some insurance at 1.95 if they do indeed only win by a goal. 1 unit.
English Premier League –Manchester City vs. Arsenal – Asian Handicap – Manchester City -1.5 (1.74)
At the beginning of this Premier League season, all of us in the sports team at Stake mocked up a predicted league table for the end of the season. Manchester City, despite all of the strong teams in the Premier League, were almost unanimously tipped to win the league.
This got off to a shaky start in GW1 with City losing to Spurs away, but we were quickly reminded of just how strong they are last week – battering Norwich 5-0 in a complete demolition at the Etihad.
Arsenal are a better team than Norwich – it’s doubtful anyone could argue that – but they’re a young, rebuilding side who are missing numerous expensive signings from past seasons. They’re yet to score in the Premier League this season, going down 2-0 to both Brentford and Chelsea in the opening two weeks.
City have long been a formidable defensive team at home and have a huge amount of talent going forward. Unfortunately for Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal side, we just can’t see them getting too close to the Sky Blues here. City to cover the handicap. 1 unit
La Liga – FC Barcelona vs Getafe CF – 1×2 & Total – Barcelona & Over 2.5 @ 1.99
The Blaugrana have started their first La Liga season without Lionel Messi since 2004/05 with a stutter. A hard fought 4-2 win over Real Sociedad was soon followed by a disappointing 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao in which young centre-back Eric Garcia was sent off in second half injury time. Although they still sit fourth, things will need to start clicking into gear quickly if a league title charge is still on the cards, minus the magical Argentinian.
A home fixture against struggling Getafe is a great place to start. Goals haven’t been hard to come by for Barcelona, especially at home. With new acquisition Memphis Depay bagging his first goal for the club against Bilbao, the already potent strike force is now primed to go to town on a Getafe side who sit 18th in the league with to losses to begin the campaign.
Back to back 1-0 losses to Valencia and Sevilla have given them the worst possible start and their run only gets worse with this game. Although we fully expect a Barca win here, without Garcia, their defence looks slightly weaker and a goal for the Madrid-based visitors isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Either way, we should see a few goals here. 1 unit.
Scottish Premiership – Rangers vs Celtic – 1×2 Celtic @ $2.70
What a week for Ange Postecoglou. Europe football is finally secured, and he now gets his first taste of one of the fiercest derbies in world football. Both teams are coming off gruelling Europa League qualifying away matches overnight, although Rangers have had to travel the longest of the two, and are missing players with a covid outbreak.‘Angeball’ has captivated Celtic fans, and two consecutive 6-0 league wins has them heading into the tie with so much enthusiasm.
These derbies can be tight affairs, but it just wouldn’t be Ange if he suddenly abandoned his attacking philosophy, even for such a big occasion. Look for Furuhashi to continue his rich goal scoring form. 1 unit.
English Premier League – Norwich Vs Leicester 1×2 & Total – Leicester & O1.5 @ 2.11
Norwich have had a tough start in their return to the EPL, with a 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool on the opening day followed up with a 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City. Two games in against two of the best sides in the division is probably too early to judge, but it does seem as though Daniel Farke’s side may not have learned the lessons of two years ago, where they finished bottom of the EPL having played an attractive, open brand of football that season that sadly left them too exposed far too often, with them not prolific enough at the other end of the pitch to make up for it.
They’ll be looking to Teemu Pukki to change their fortunes in that respect, but it’s difficult to see where the improvements are in the Canaries squad compared to the last time they were in the EPL and ended up being relegated.
They will be buoyed by their midweek Carabao Cup win however, thumping Bournemouth for six albeit with a much changed line-up from what will be expected to play this weekend. Leicester will be looking to bounce back after a 4-1 thumping at West Ham the last time out on what was a difficult night for Brendan Rogers men. A 40th minute sending off for Ayoze Perez left them facing an already uphill battle at 1-0 down and from that point on it was one way traffic.
That game may not be the one to judge the Foxes against however, with West Ham demonstrating already this season that their strong showing last season was no fluke, having also beaten Newcastle 4-2 in their opening game. Kelechi Iheanacho may be in line for a recall with Perez now out through suspension, with his partnership alongside Jamie Vardy proving so fruitful in the second half of last season. They are struggling at the back however, with new signing Jannik Vestergard joining Wesley Fofana, James Justin, and Jonny Evans on the treatment table.
Leicester on paper simply look too strong for Norwich, especially when factoring in the kind of football Daniel Farke insists on sticking to. The likes of Vardy, Barnes, Maddison and Iheanacho could have a field day if Norwich don’t tighten up. That coupled with the defensive injuries Leicester currently have suggest there could be several goals in this. Leicester to win & O1.5 goals looks a decent bet at odds against. 1 unit.
Formula 1 – Belgian Grand Prix Race – Top 3 – Lando Norris at 3.70
After a four-week absence the F1 season returns this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The forecast has us set for a wet race on Sunday at the iconic venue, which is good news for punters looking for a bit of value.
While there is no denying that Red Bull and Mercedes are the two fastest cars on the grid, it’s the battle of the best of the rest that looks most intriguing. If the aforementioned manufacturers don’t take up all four spots at the pointy end of the finish, then expect the McLaren of Lando Norris to be the disruptor.
McLaren has shown to be the third best car on the grid this season and Norris heads into this weekend in form, currently in third position on the drivers standings. If anything was to happen with the leaders in this race, something highly possible with the predicted inclement conditions, we’re backing the Brit to take full advantage of this and claim a spot on the podium. If you’re feeling extra adventurous this Sunday then Lance Stroll to claim a top-6 finish at healthy odds of 16.90 looks a worthy proposition. 1 unit.
English Championship – QPR vs Coventry City – Asian Handicap Coventry City +0.5 @ 1.65
QPR are unbeaten in their first four league matches, and it is that which has tipped the scales in the betting. However looking at it closely, as The Championship goes, they’ve had an easy run and only managing two wins in them four.
Last time out they clambered to a 2-2 draw against Barnsley after being 0-2 down at HT. Previous to that they were fortunate to come away with a 2-3 win at Middlesbrough; they could easily be sat in the bottom half.
Coventry are a good-side on paper with the addition of Martyn Waghorn, who fits the cliche ‘proven at this level’. They’ve also added a couple of Chelsea loanees (Maatsen and Clarke-Salter) and loaning from that stellar youth system worked out well for Frank Lampard’s Derby County in 2018-19.
They looked fortunate scoring in the 97th minute Vs Reading at weekend, but this was well deserved victory after conceding a 1st half penalty. Using the xG philosophy they’ve won all four of their games this season.
With QPR’s unbeaten start and probably in the play-off picture, it feels Coventry at 3.2 is a bit big all things considered. However, as a cover, away from the Ricoh, we’ll go for the Sky Blues to get a draw or better with the +0.5 handicap. 1.5 units.
Currently ranked #1 in the world, Navi have been an impressive side to watch these past few months. Currently on a seven-match winning streak, this team has won 15/20 matches in the past three months, only losing to Gambit on four occasions and Spirit.
Fnatic on the other hand have been really disappointing having only played seven matches since the start of May, of which they lost six. Now ranked #65 in the world and out of form, it will take quite some effort to win a map against the world #1. 1 unit.
This week’s Community Tip comes from chaindeepwood who has chosen the following.
NCAA Football – UCLA v Hawaii – Hawaii +17 @ 1.96
The Rainbow Warriors bring back every single defensive starter from last year. The team was 5-4 last year and won a bowl game. UCLA covered only 3 of 10 of the past 10 Rose Bowls.
Take Hawaii above +17 points. Good value at 1.96.