We ran a similar column to this on Friday last week, and the premise is simple: forget everything you think think you know about the Premier League, and instead use the only metric that has any relevance – the form table – to make betting decisions.
We placed £5 on each of our ten selections….and when the dust had settled we’d returned a profit of just under £70. Not bad for a weekend’s work.
So it made sense to run the experiment again to see if we can turn a profit for two weeks in a row, and so that is what we shall do here.
The Form Table
It’s quite simple really: this is what the Premier League table looks like for the last eight rounds of matches. This should be your only guide when constructing your betslip this weekend:
West Ham vs Arsenal – The Draw
Just two places and one point separate these two sides in our league table, and so instantly we’re starting to sniff out a draw.
Both have a positive goal difference, and while both are scoring reasonably freely neither defence is proving particularly generous. You’d imagine both sides would be happy with a point here, and in these kinds of scenario that is what usually plays out.
£5 returns £18.75
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth – Bournemouth to Win
Having lost seven of their eight matches during our sample, it is hard to give Aston Villa a chance against anyone, let alone a Bournemouth side that have lost just 50% of their matches according to our statistics.
Most eye-catching is Villa’s defensive record: they are conceding at a shade under three goals per game. The Cherries may have a -6 goal difference but they are capable of scoring goals….and Villa simply aren’t. Away win.
£5 returns £11
Crystal Palace vs Norwich – Both Teams to Score
There isn’t much to choose between these two sides as our league table attests, but one thing that is obvious is that there is a potential for goals here.
Norwich’s goals scored-per-game ratio is set at 0.87, but Crystal Palace are conceding at a rate of 1.87. The Canaries concede at the 1.25 per game mark, with those Eagles netting in the exact same quantity. So we expect both teams to trouble the scorer here.
£5 returns £9.75
Southampton vs Newcastle – Southampton to Win
Unfortunately, little of any betting value jumps out from this game. We expect Southampton to win given their more lofty league position and the fact that they are playing at home.
But otherwise, it’s a bit of a statistical hornet’s nest this one. The Magpies are conceding at a rate of two goals per game, but the Saints have only bagged nine in eight. Similarly Newcastle have only netted six in eight, with Southampton conceding nine in the same number. It’s hard to pick out anything else of relevance in this encounter.
£5 returns £8
Swansea vs Chelsea – Swansea Double Chance
The table never lies – that is commandment number one (of one) for this experiment. So pop your preconceptions down on the side, pop the kettle on and believe this: Swansea will avoid defeat here.
Why? Because Chelsea only boast a win ratio of 50% in their last eight (meaning they don’t win in 50% of their outings), while Swansea have avoided defeat in 5/8 (62%). Put these two numbers together and you have a statistical inference of 56% that Swansea will either win or draw this match….however unlikely it may seem.
£5 returns £8.75
Watford vs Everton – Everton to Win
The Toffees have taken four more points than the Hornets in our data range, so we have to favour them straight off the bat. But it is Watford’s inability to score – that’s just three in their last eight, or 0.37 per game – that tips us over the edge.
Roberto Martinez’s men have no problem finding the net – they’re knocking them in at a rate of 1.50 per 90 minutes – so we have to naturally favour them here.
£5 returns £11.50
Man City vs West Brom – West Brom Double Chance
It’s moments like these that will bring this experiment crashing to its knees. But we must persist: the league table tells us that the Baggies have taken two more points than Man City in their last eight matches; conceding less than a goal per game into the bargain.
Look, we know what you’re thinking: this is a ludicrous selection. It is, but we have to go with the stats and hope for the best.
£5 returns £16
Sunderland vs Leicester – Under 2.5 Goals
The tight play of the visitors should mesh nicely with the gritty, avoid-defeat-at-all-costs set-up that Big Sam has employed at Sunderland in this clash.
Leicester’s goal ratios (1.37 per game for, 0.62 conceded) when aligned with Sunderland’s (1.00 for, 1.12 against), add further fuel to the fire that this should be a low-scoring contest.
£5 returns £8.50
Liverpool vs Stoke – Over 2.5 Goals
All of the evidence points towards a net-buster here. Liverpool are notching at a rate of 2.62 goals for and 1.62 against at the moment, so how do Stoke stack up against that?
Very nicely indeed, as it happens. They are netting, on average, 1.50 goals per game but leaking at 1.37. With Jack Butland out injured, expect them to be breached at will here too.
£5 returns £9.75
Tottenham vs Man Utd – The Draw
By the powers of deduction, we have surmised that the ‘avoid defeat’ statistics of these two sides (Spurs don’t lose in 88% of matches, United in 75%) mean that a stalemate is likely.
£5 returns £18