Soccer bettors rejoice! The Premier League is back in all its glory with a full slate of games this weekend, beginning with Arsenal and Leicester squaring off at the Emirates on Friday.
Andrew Avery and Rob Trites have combed the board at online shop Sportsbook to find their favorite plays for the Sportsbook weekend.
Andrew: Tottenham Hotspur (-150)
A bit chalky to begin the season here but I’m looking to get off on the right foot and Spurs on the road at this price is very enticing. ESPECIALLY at Newcastle.
The biggest factor here is revenge. Spurs were poised to finish ahead of hated rivals Arsenal back on the final day of the 2015-16 season, thus avoiding St. Totteringham’s Day. All that was left was a win over the already-relegated Magpies on the final matchday of the season.
What happened after the sides got the ball rolling was a 5-1 Newcastle win in an embarrassing display by Tottenham. Arsenal finished one point above Spurs to have the last laugh.
This is a contest the Spurs players should be more than game for so I fully expect a dominant display on Sunday at St. James’ Park.
Rob: Liverpool -1 (-105)
How about a little early morning action to get the season started in the right direction?
You’d be hard pressed to find a club in top-flight professional football that finished its last campaign as poorly as Watford did and I don’t expect that trend to change.
The cloud of relegation could hang over Vicarage Road all season after their disappointing end to 2016-17 and I’m anticipating that Liverpool will dust the Hornets handily in Gameweek No. 1.
Jurgen Klopp’s attack, led by the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, has far too much firepower for an aging Watford backline that picked 68 league goals out of its own net last campaign.
Andrew: Chelsea vs Burnley OVER 3 (+105)
Three is a lot of goals but with Chelsea’s opener coming at home against a terrible away side, I like this one to cash.
Burnley was a strong defensive unit at home one year ago, but was a disaster on the road. The Clarets allowed a stingy 20 goals at Turf Moor in the 2016-17 season while they conceded almost double that (35) on their travels.
The Blues, last season’s champs and second-highest scoring team (85), have a shiny new striker to show off in Alvaro Morata. And Chelsea will need his goal-scoring touch considering all-world winger Eden Hazard is more than likely shelved for the opener.
Still, Chelsea has goal-scoring options all over the place and against a team that struggles away from home, finding the back of the net shouldn’t be an issue. Chelsea won 3-0 in this fixture last year, so even if we hit that, we get our money back.
Rob: Watford vs Liverpool OVER 2.5
Riding the coattails of my first pick, I’m taking the OVER in the Watford-Liverpool match as I expect the Reds to score at least two or three goals.
If the Hornets play to prevent and counter, however, we could be in for some tough sledding. Prepare for this reality but keep it in the front of your mind that once Watford concedes once, the floodgates are liable to open.
Andrew: Manolo Gabbiadini Anytime Goal Scorer (+150)
The Italian, who came over from Napoli at the end of the January transfer window, instantly became a Saints hero after scoring in his debut and netting a brace in his second game. He finished with four goals in 11 appearances for Southampton and I love him to get off to a flying start in the new season.
This home match versus Swansea will also mark the debut of new manager Mauricio Pellegrino. The Argentine is coming off a very strong season with Alaves in La Liga and will also be eager to impress, so I like the Saints to come out strong and I like Gabbiadini to come out firing and bag a goal to open his account on matchday 1.
Rob: Manchester United to Win to Nil (-105)
With the second-best defensive side in the Prem a year ago, Jose Mourinho will want to set the tone for the new campaign by making sure West Ham stays off the scoresheet at Old Trafford on Sunday.
While it may have come at the cost of your corneas, betting United to keep a clean sheet payed off eight times in 19 home matches one season ago and that number should only grow with Nemanja Matic thrown into the holding role.
West Ham made large changes to its starting 11 in the transfer window with the purchases of Chicharito and Marko Arnautovic and it could take a few fixtures to get the chemistry right. -105 is great value for this wager.