EPL Matchweek 9 best bets: North London Derby to end in stalemate
The EPL returns in full swing this weekend with all 20 teams set to take the pitch. Let's dive into three games that stand out with our best bets for the ninth (already!) matchweek of the campaign.
In a weekend full of enticing fixtures, Saturday morning's early riser figures to be the best.
Almost nothing separates the two sides on the surface. Tottenham has scored one more goal while conceding the same amount, and their underlying process is very similar.
Both teams have game-breaking offensive talent and the ability to dominate the ball; there is a reason only Manchester City has netted more goals thus far. Arsenal and Tottenham have also shown the ability to defend at a high level. They are both top-five sides in terms of limiting chances and suppressing expected goals.
These clubs are extremely closely matched, and there's plenty of value in backing the scoreline to reflect that. Expect a tight, back-and-forth affair.
Bet: Draw (+270)
While Fulham actually sits sixth in the table - three points clear of the Magpies - they haven't played nearly as well, especially defensively. They're bleeding chances each and every time out; only Nottingham Forest has allowed more expected goals.
That spells trouble against a Newcastle side that has created chances in bulk all season long. They have generated 11.29 expected goals, slotting them behind only City, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Liverpool.
Although the Magpies have found the back of the net just eight times, regression should turn in their favor sooner than later. Having Alexander Isak in the mix should help significantly, as should this date with a team that's struggling defensively.
This is a nice spot to buy low on Newcastle and sell high on a Fulham team that - even at its best - has no business sitting this high in the table.
Bet: Newcastle (+135)
I love this Everton team. I don't think they're very good and they play a style that reflects that. They don't try to open things up and trade chances with teams that have much more talent.
Instead, they attempt to play a low-event brand of soccer where chances - for either team - are few and far between. That's why Everton have drawn four times through seven games, and that's why all seven games have been decided by no more than a single goal.
A game against Southampton seems custom designed to produce that outcome. Outside of their season opener against the Spurs, all of their games have finished within a goal.
The Saints' underlying profile is very similar to Everton's as well. Southampton has accumulated 7.97 expected points through seven games while Everton comes in at 7.39.
Considering neither team generates many chances or possesses clinical finishers to capitalize on the few opportunities that come their way, backing a draw at +230 is very appealing.
Bet: Draw (+230)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.