This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
There are a couple weeks every season when the Premier League turns into the Bundesliga and every team looks like Bayern Munich-light. While it'd take hours to track, Gameweek 2 may have been one of the highest scoring gameweeks ever with 44 goals scored in 10 matches. The funniest part may be that the match with the highest implied total (Liverpool at Chelsea), finished with just two goals.
Gameweek 2 will probably be an outlier and I'd bet on there not being seven braces again in another gameweek this season. One of those braces came from Wilfried Zaha, who scored four goals all last season, and another from Helder Costa, who scored four goals in 43 Championship appearances last campaign.
Unfortunately, weird weeks are rarely good in terms of betting unless you're a big underdog bettor. I may have hit on teams like Everton and Arsenal to win, but one of my posted bets was also Everton to score first and win. Of course, they scored five goals, but they didn't get the opener against West Brom.
Making things worse, I had a play on the Chelsea v. Liverpool over, while throwing the unders of West Brom and Crystal Palace into a parlay. Then, Sheffield United had a man sent off in the 12th minute and that play was doomed, despite being awarded a penalty (and missing). Like I said, weird weeks aren't good for betting purposes.
Through two weeks, I'm down to 4-6 overall and down $74 if you bet $100 on every play.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The worst thing you can do after a bad week is limit your plays. I'm taking Gameweek 3 the same as any because when you take your foot off the gas, that's when all your predictions come true. But similar to last week, there are midweek Cup matches, so keep an eye on lineups because a week ago Southampton went almost unchanged in their Cup match and then gave up five goals to Spurs.
Following last week's results, the odds seem to have changed a bit. Manchester United are just -125 to win Saturday's opening match and probably were closer to -150 or -170 a week ago. I think Brighton are overrated in this spot, and they had almost identical numbers home and away last season, so I don't think that matters. Even better is that Man United won this matchup by a combined 6-1 scoreline last season. Getting them at almost even odds doesn't feel right.
The other number that feels off is Southampton as a +125 favorite away to Burnley. I know Burnley play defensively and aren't a popular team to bet, but they won both meetings last season. Plus, Southampton are in a bit of a funk, losing their last three matches in all competitions, two of them to Brentford and Crystal Palace in which they didn't score in either contest. Burnley at +230 to win is in play, but I'll take the safe route with a Burnley draw no bet at +138 odds. I'd also consider Burnley win/draw -150 for a parlay piece.
I like Everton, but they're getting a lot of love and it's a letdown spot for both teams, mainly because they're top of the table with six points each. I'd rather bank on a bounce back from Chelsea and call on Timo Werner scoring the first goal at +310. You could play it safe and go with anytime goal odds of -120, but no one else has been consistent in getting opportunities for the Blues and Werner is hungry for his first Premier League goal.
Sunday's opener features the defensive Sheffield United against attack-or-bust Leeds United. Things haven't worked for the Blades early in the season, and while this match could go either way, I think the way Leeds play will lead to goals. There have been 14 goals through their first two matches, and I think this may be one of the last times there will be +104 odds at over 2.5 goals for them, outside of against a side like Burnley.
It's a similar situation in the Fulham v. Aston Villa match, mainly because Fulham have the worst back line in the league. I think both sides will rack up opportunities, with the main issue for the over being that neither are efficient. Similar to the early match, the over 2.5 goals is +102. If that's too risky, an Aston Villa draw no bet comes in at -112. Fulham may be my favorite team to bet against this season because they've lived up to the label of worst in the league through two matches.
The rest of the fixtures are somewhat tricky because it's clear home-field advantage is built into the spreads. Surprisingly, Manchester City were just -270 at home against Leicester City with fans last December (they won 3-1). Without fans, they're bumped up to -335 favorites, which seems large given that Leicester City opened the season in form. It also feels like a trap that Tottenham are bigger favorites (-220) against Newcastle than Liverpool (-210) against Arsenal.
Instead of messing with the favorites, I'm going back to the Fulham-Aston Villa match with a first-goal bet. Aleksandar Mitrovic scored 26 of Fulham's 64 goals last season, and he already has two of their first three. I'll take him at +400 to score first combined with Ollie Watkins at +550 to score his first club goal. Watkins isn't as likely as Mitrovic to score, but he was active in his debut most likely to benefit from Fulham's back line.
If you think nothing weird will happen this week, a Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham moneyline parlay is calling your name.
Manchester United to win -125
Burnley draw no bet +138
Sheffield United/Leeds United over 2.5 goals +104
Parlay: Everton win/draw (-360), Fulham/AstonVilla over 1.5 goals (-315), WestBrom/Chelsea over 1.5 goals (-530) = +101