Arsenal won 3-1 (lame, but at least Joel was right). Spurs won (awesome, and Joel was right). Zaha scored for Palace (who cares, but spite is healthy, and Joel was right).
Jack Wilshire failed to do anything of interest. No goals, no cards, and not really much else either. This is what you get for trusting former Arsenal players to do good things. Elsewhere, Leicester needed a late Harry Maguire winner, but they pulled out a win, netting Bryan $330 including stake. We’ll update totals next week. Remember, this is all fake money — nobody’s putting any real skin into the game.
Moving onto this week’s preview:
Joel: Spurs have been very good so far this season. 9 points from 9 is great. Our expected points of 6 according to Understat’s simulation are also pretty good given we’ve been on the road for two matches, played United, and Fulham and Newcastle are solidly midtable (right?). On the other hand, Spurs have allowed nearly four expected goals this season through three matches. That is not what we’ve come to expect from a Mauricio Pochettino squad. Why has that been happening? Is Dier knackered? Has it just been boneheaded plays in the back (Hi Danny and Davi)? The attack has also been quite good, so maybe Spurs are trading offense for defense.
My pet theory is that Spurs are actually struggling defensively because they’re struggling to maintain the ball in midfield, and the give aways have led to opposition chances. Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli have been part of a three in midfield for two of the matches, and were in a diamond against United. They’re wonderful players (duh), and near the box their passing and creativity is sublime. But have we gotten a bit ahead of ourselves in thinking they can do enough ball retention and moving in midfield? Maybe they’re just not used to the cost-benefit analysis yet. This is all to say, I think both teams score. That bet is going off at 8/11, so I’ll bet $110 to win 80.
Bryan: I said on Wheeler Dealer Radio earlier this week that I expect Spurs to smash Watford because both Harry Kane and Kieran Tripper always play well against the Hornet-Moose. So, I’m thinking there is going to be a ton of goals in this match. In fact, I’m so confident that I will put 200 of our fake dollars on there being over 3.5 goals at 7/4.
Bouncing Around the League
Joel: City host Newcastle this week. Did you watch Newcastle host Chelsea last week? Without their best defender and their best midfielder, they bunkered 9 behind the ball and held off Chelsea’s attack for near 80 minutes. It was UGLY. Presumably Rafa is going to try to do the same thing at City. City’s attack is better than Chelsea’s and all, but they are missing Kevin De Bruyne. I think City win, but I’m gonna take under 3.5 at 5/6 for $120 to win $100. Toon seem more than capable of gunking this one up.
Bryan: Oh, look at Joel being the first coward to bet on Manchester City to score goals. I’m disappointed in you Joel. I really that you had more insight than that. Like the insight I am about to offer on Cardiff hosting Arsenal. You see, the thing is, Cardiff are bad and Arsenal, while not “good,” are definitely not bad. Cardiff have yet to score a goal and, while I can’t be certain, I don’t think they’ve even come close. The thing is though, Arsenal’s defending is bad. So, I’m going with both teams to score and Arsenal to win. The odds on that are 47/20, so I’ll put down $100 to win $235 not including my stake.
Joel: Let’s stick with goal scoring because it’s fun and there’s a fun match between good transfer window teams Brighton and Fulham. This one seems like a high scoring affair waiting to happen. I’m going to give myself an excuse to root for shoulda been a Spurs player Ryan Sessegnon and go with $100 on him to score anytime at 11/4.
Bryan: You know who’s looked good this season? Theo Walcott. Trust me, it hurts me more to type it than it did for you to read it. With Richarlison still out due to suspension, Everton are going to continue to rely on Walcott to score goals and against Huddersfield, he can definitely do that. So, I’ll back Walcott as an anytime goalscorer at 9/4. I know that this goes against the whole not trusting former Arsenal players to do good things rule, but I can’t help it. These prop bets always seem like such a waste of money, so I’ll only put up $50 here with the hopes of bring back $112.50 not including stake.
Cartilage Free Captain does not endorse or promote gambling to any of our readers. We recognize that many people suffer from gambling problems that harm themselves and their families. This series is not intended to encourage people to gamble based on the information we provide. However, oddsmakers provide a valuable framework for thinking about football analysis and the likelihood of outcomes in football matches. Our intention is merely to use this framework to launch a discussion on the upcoming football matches of the weekend.