Premier League Betting Guide for Matchweek 1
After an offseason that didn't feel much like an offseason due to it being a World Cup year, the Premier League is back, with Leicester City and Manchester United getting the party started on Friday.
Using Top Bet as the source for lines, let's take a look at some bets you should zero in on this week.
Please note that lines are subject to change after this article is published, which impacts betting advice. All betting lines were taken from topbet and you can check here to see their most updated lines.
Liverpool vs. West Ham
Liverpool were the second-highest-scoring team in the EPL last season, netting 84 goals, while West Ham conceded a league-high 68 goals. Liverpoolâ€™s attacking strength matched up with West Hamâ€™s defensive weaknesses created a mismatch last season as Liverpool won both league matches by 4-1 scorelines.
Liverpool's home-field advantage in this game will also prove crucial. The Reds finished last season undefeated at home (12W-7D-0L) with a +35 goal difference, while West Ham finished the year with a 3W-6D-10L away record while carrying a -18 goal difference.
To make matters worse, West Ham are also dealing with several injuries to key players, including Manuel Lanzini (second in WhoScored.com rating on the team last season) and Michail Antonio (sixth-best WhoScored rating). This one has the potential to get ugly, and it wouldnâ€™t be surprising to see Liverpool win by at least two or three goals.
Southampton vs. Burnley
Southampton were dreadful at home last season, finishing with 4W-7D-8L record and a -6 goal differential. In contrast, Burnley checked in with a 7W-7D-5L and -2 goal difference away from home, so Burnleyâ€™s away form was actually better than Southamptonâ€™s home form last campaign.
The Saints do have the potential to get better given the additions of Stuart Armstrong, Angus Gunn, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Jannik Vestergaard, but it is unknown how many of these new faces will see the starting 11 against Burnley. Even if some of the new additions do play, it will be their first meaningful match as members of their new side, so it may take time for them to adjust to playing in a new squad.
Southamptonâ€™s home form may improve over what it was last season, but it would be asking a lot to expect them to turn around everything right off the bat. The fact that Burnley were a stronger side away from home than Southampton was on their home turf makes Burnley at +0.5 a good bet.
Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Manchester City are coming off a historic title-winning campaign in which they dominated their way to a record-breaking, 100-point season, but it would be nearly impossible for Pep Guardiolaâ€™s side to match last yearâ€™s results. It is worth noting that each of the last three EPL champions have failed to qualify for UEFA Champions League (finish top four) the following year, so staying power has been hard to come by in the recent history of this league.
On the other side, Arsenal finished last season with a 15W-2D-2L record and a +34 goal difference at the Emirates (second-best home record in the EPL). In fact, the Gunners have finished in the top three in the league for home points each of the past three seasons and have lost only 7 out of their last 57 home league matches during that span.
Given the Gunners' strong home performances, the odds appear to be in their favor to at least earn a draw on Sunday. Man City is certain to come back down to Earth on 2018-19, at least a little bit, and Arsenalâ€™s home form has been remarkably consistent for several years running.