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Weekend Watch - 8/11
English Premier League

The 2017-18 campaign kicks off this weekend as 20 teams will look to capture title. Chelsea will be looking to win their second straight and third championship in the last four years as they begin play at home on Saturday versus Burnley.

The EPL hasn’t had a repeat winner since 2009 when Manchester United ripped off three consecutive titles. Since the league was formed in 1992, we’ve only seen six teams capture the championship and United (13) leads the way with Chelsea (5), Arsenal (3) and Manchester City (2) being the only other clubs to win multiple titles. Blackburn Rovers won in the 1994-95 season and Leicester City stunned the football world recently with their shocking title run in 2016.

BetOnline.ag isn’t expecting another shocker this season with six clubs listed at odds of 10/1 or lower. Man City is currently the short favorite (+165) but Chelsea (+300) and United (+330) are right behind them.

Week 1 Trends

Looking at the below table, you can check out stats for the last four opening weekends of the EPL.

EPL Week 1 Results (2013-2016)
Category 2016 2015 2014 2013
Home/ Away (W-L) 3-4 2-5 2-6 4-5
Draws 3 3 2 1
3-Plus Goals 5 6 3 4
Clean Sheets 2 4 4 7
Promoted Records (W-D-L) 1-1-1 0-1-2 0-1-2 0-0-3

Over the past four years, visitors have gone 20-11 and that includes a 4-3 mark last season. The scoring was down in Week 1 last season but only two goaltenders managed to post clean sheets.

Newly promoted clubs went 1-1-1in their openers last season, which included Hull City’s 2-1 victory over then defending champion Leicester City.

Other notable Week 1 trends to watch this weekend.

-- Liverpool and Manchester City have both gone 4-0 in Week 1 the last four seasons.

-- Everton has posted draws in each of the last four seasons.

-- Arsenal is 1-3 in its opener the last four seasons and it’s conceded nine goals during this span.

2017-18 Newly Promoted Clubs

Every season, three clubs are relegated to the Premier League and those spots are filled with three teams from the English Football League Championship. Not much success is expected from these clubs and they’ll be listed as healthy underdogs for the majority of their matches. Of the three teams that were promoted last season, only Burnley was able to survive while Hull City and Middlesbrough were sent packing again.

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This year’s newbies will get tested right out of the chute and they’re all listed as heavy ‘dogs.

Huddersfield Town (+375) at Crystal Palace (-130): Huddersfield will be making their debut in the EPL and the books believe they might have a shot in its opener. Palace finished in 14th place last season and it was a tad better on the road than at Selhurst Park. Neither of the clubs has a potent attack and that’s part of the reason the total is listed at 2 ½ goals and shaded to the ‘under’ (-145).

Manchester City (-335) at Brighton & Hove Albion (+915): Brighton hasn’t played in the Premier League since the 1982-83 season so an enthusiastic crowd will be ready to go at Amex Stadium. City opened last season with six straight wins and anything short of earning three points would be a disappointment.

Tottenahm (-155) at New Castle United (+420): Even though the Spurs have far more talent, United has won three of the past four encounters in this season and that includes a 5-1 thrashing in May of 2016.

France Ligue 1

The French clubs kicked off their season last weekend and home teams posted a 7-2-1 record while five of the 10 games saw at least three or more combined goals scored.

According to the oddsmakers at BetOnline.ag, this league is a two-horse race between Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco, who is the defending champion. PSG is listed as a 1/5 choice (Bet $100 to win $20) to reclaim the title this season while Monaco has 5/1 odds.

Monaco had an incredible championship run last season and scored 107 goals in 38 games, which cashed a ton of ‘over’ tickets. They opened last Friday with a 3-2 home win over Toulouse and now face Dijon as heavy road favorite (-210) this Sunday.

PSG will also be in action on Sunday and it’s laying a heavy price (-450) at Guingamp. Brazilian striker Neymar could be in action for PSG as long as his paperwork gets finalized. Guingamp upset PSG 2-1 at home last season and is 2-1 in the last three home matches in this series.

Fearless Predictions

After receiving feedback from users, I’ll include this section each week and post projected scores for the EPL and highlighted matchups from other global leagues. Best of luck this season!

Best Bets

Under 2.5 Everton-Stoke City: Replacing Romelu Lukaku and the Toffees enter this opener banged up as well. Stoke doesn’t scare me offensively and I don’t see either team putting more than two on the board.

Over 3 Manchester United-West Ham United: I believe we’re going to see more goals from United this season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the production start from Week 1. West Ham was a great ‘over’ bet away last season and they have the ability to get on the board too.

EPL
(Home team listed first)

Arsenal 2 vs. Leicester City 1
Watford 0 vs. Liverpool 2
Crystal Palace 1 vs. Huddersfield 1
Everton 1 vs. Stoke City 0
Southampton 1 vs. Swansea City 0
West Bromwich Alion 0 vs. Bournemouth 0
Chelsea 3 vs. Burnley 0
Brighton & Hove 0 vs. Manchester City 2
Newcastle United 1 vs. Tottenham 2
Manchester United 3 vs. West Ham United 1

  
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