We are approaching that part of the season where titles are won, relegation avoided or submitted to and European places clinched. In much the same way as with the great cup cliché, it is also a time when form goes out the window. Clubs who seemingly appeared invincible before Christmas suddenly drop more points than an inebriated juggler. Teams who could not buy a point embark on back to back victories. It is a time when punters need to be aware, as current form often pays a lot bigger role than position in the table, or form over the whole season. As a result though, if you do your homework, and look below the surface, there is definitely value to be found.
Where to find the value
First of all, you have come to the right place. We have daily tips, as well as a plethora of other betting knowledge and strategies. But you can never have too much information. One often neglected place to get betting tips is straight from the horse’s mouth – many bookmakers offer accumulator tips every week. It is also important to get a rounded knowledge of the sport you are going to invest your money in. Not just the injury situation or the last six games, scratch beneath the surface, see what is really going on with these clubs, managers and players. A couple of good examples of that will be featured later on in this article.
Draws and Both Teams to Score
Picking a draw can be the hardest outcome to predict, but you will be suitably rewarded and sometimes a draw just seems nailed on. You can water the bet down slightly and hedge your bets by going down the both teams to score route. It gives you a little leeway, and the odds are still enticing.
Looking at the fixtures there are several games that jump out that fit into one if not both categories.
Huddersfield v Bournemouth
Huddersfield are all but down but are at long last showing some fight under new boss Jan Siewert. Bournemouth appear to have done enough to secure their EPL status for another season, but have not been great of late. Huddersfield need to win, and will more than likely sacrifice their defensive mindset in the search of all 3 points. Bournemouth have the players to exploit that.
Cardiff v West Ham
Almost a carbon copy of the game above. Cardiff have shown they can finally find the opposition’s net, but they will find it incredibly hard to keep West Ham out for the full 90 minutes.
Arsenal v Manchester United
The Gunners look a top two team at home, it is their away form that has let them down. What Solskjaer has achieved at Old Trafford is nothing short of remarkable. Both sides are looking for that 4th place, and know that out scoring the opposition is their easiest way of achieving that.
Other games that stand out are Newcastle v Everton, Derby v Sheff Wed, Bristol City v Leeds, and as an outsider – Leicester v Fulham. The Friday night Championship game between Norwich and Swansea is likely to see goals from both teams but a home win is the likely result.
Two Stories Behind the Games
The weekend throws up two intriguing stories that you may not be aware of if you aren’t fully immersed in English football. The recent history of Blackpool has been one of high drama and high courts. Their fans have boycotted their games for several years, refusing to put another penny into the pockets of controversial owner Owen Oyston. Last week he was finally forced out, replaced with a board that included supporter representation. It is the day that every Blackpool fan – a team who graced the EPL not that long ago don’t forget – has been dreaming of for years. Their home game against Southend is the first game at Bloomfield Road since the boycott will have been lifted. Expect a party atmosphere, a near full house, and a resulting three points that should be easier than the odds suggest.
Finally there is the derby with perhaps the worst name, but nevertheless a ferocious rivalry. The so-called M23 derby between Crystal Palace and Brighton has been incident packed in recent years, on and off the pitch. With both teams still very much fighting for their EPL lives, at least 1 red card is probably the most prudent bet.