NFL football isn’t the only type of football back this week – yes folks, English Premier League football returns this weekend as well! Of course, we in North America typically refer to it as soccer – but nonetheless it is just great to have more betting action available to us for the weekend.
As many of you know, the EPL is hugely popular in North America – and truly, there is no better way to start your Saturday morning with some breakfast, coffee, and bets on some high quality and always thrilling EPL fixtures. We began the experiment of covering soccer matches late during the EPL season and drew some solid reviews. The picks were a big success, and we went undefeated with our featured selections! This year we will have even more coverage – as well as bonus picks in most articles, so read on below for our featured clash for Gameweek 1 between Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town.
Crystal Palace vs. Huddersfield Town Betting Odds:
Crystal Palace (-125)
Huddersfield Town (+390)
Over 2.5 (+110)
Under 2.5 (-130)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Crystal Palace vs. Huddersfield Town Pick:
Even though these are two of the lesser known sides from the field of 20 Premier League teams, it doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be had. Especially because in a few weeks time, the flair and excitement with which Crystal Palace will play will surely grab the attention of even the most casual of soccer fans.
Expectations are sky high for Palace this year in South London. They did some shrewd business in the off-season transfer window, and brought in talented Dutch head coach Frank de Boer. With that, they’ve opened their wallets and brought in a slew of talented youngsters to spearhead their attack and solidify the backline. Selhurst Park is where the squad is fortunate enough to play their home games and you can bet it’ll just be a raucous atmosphere on Saturday afternoon to welcome all of the new boys to the squad.
They’ll welcome a promoted Huddersfield side that qualified for this year’s Premier League by winning a playoff in the lower league. Huddersfield was definitely a beneficiary of getting the right bounces at the right time, and here they are. Very little is expected from them, and you will find out early on in the season why they had a negative goal differential last year – in a lower league! This is a team devoid of talent and one that didn’t sign many good players to prepare for a full year in one of the world’s best soccer leagues.
Expect to see direct evidence of this on Saturday as they travel south to take on a Crystal Palace team primed to contend for the top half of the table. They finished last season on a real tear, and with some talented youth injected into the side – Palace really possesses a lot of skill and attacking flair going forward. This should give Huddersfield fits, as they’re not the best defenders as was shown by their outings last year in the Championship tier. Skilled wingers Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend should be able to run rampant against Huddersfield – all while providing excellent link play to the beast in the middle, striker Christian Benteke. Huddersfield will have no answer in the air for Benteke.
Surely Huddersfield Town will be fired up for their first-ever Premier League match, but emotions and adrenaline alone won’t be enough to have them hang with the skill and talent of Palace. Frank de Boer has implemented a 3-4-3 formation, one which should focus on attacking and pushing forward quite a bit. Expect Crystal Palace to use their solid wing-play out wide on the flanks to move the ball into danger areas. This should keep Huddersfield on their heels for much of the match, and force them into defending for the bulk of the game. With Palace possessing the ball for the majority of the match, I can’t see how Huddersfield keeps this one close. A comfortable opening week win for a talented and upstart Crystal Palace side on Saturday will be our first featured pick of the 2017/2018 season!
PICK = Crystal Palace (-125)
*Just a reminder that all results from EPL matches are final after 90 minutes
Bonus Pick – Everton (-145) vs. Stoke City
Everton FC of Liverpool had quite the off-season with many high profile signings. Perhaps none bigger than former Man U striker Wayne Rooney. Rooney comes home to his boyhood team and is eager to prove he’s still got some game in him. You can bet it will be just rocking at the always rowdy Goodison Park to welcome in the new signings. It’s the dawn of a new era at Everton, and many of their supporters are eager for the season and what awaits. While a 7th place finish is expected, many pundits are considering Everton to be a dark horse for a top-4 finish and Champions League qualifying. They’re likely the only EPL side that improved at every position, and even though they did have to sell star striker Romelu Lukaku – they remain a dangerous attacking group. Stoke on the other hand remain boring and with talent sold in the off-season, some could see relegation in their future. Mark Hughes will have his hands full to keep Stoke City relevant in 2017. Expect Everton to be too much to handle on day one, as they roll to a comfortable victory in front of their home fans.