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English Premier League predictions: two live futures bets to target today

Nick Hennion of The Action Network breaks down his two favorite live futures plays in the English Premier League.

FOR ACTION NETWORK USE ONLY. MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on August 07, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
FOR ACTION NETWORK USE ONLY. MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on August 07, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Read moreMichael Regan / Getty Images

Two matches into the Premier League season, soccer bettors are starting to form early impressions of every team.

Although it’s a relatively small statistical sample, it appears as though Manchester City are well on their way to yet another title while the top-four race will (likely) come down to five teams — City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. Based on that belief, it’s difficult to make an argument for hopping into a live future play unless you have a sizable bankroll.

That said, a few early impressions of mid-table sides leave me encouraged enough to hop into two live futures markets. Let’s get right into the plays, which feature odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook and are reflective at time of writing.

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Best Bet #1 - Brighton & Hove Albion Top-6 Finish (+650)

If you had told me before the season started that I’d back Brighton for a top-six finish after selling Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella, I would have called you crazy.

Alas, here we are. Manager Graham Potter’s squad is off to a solid start, claiming all three points at Old Trafford against Manchester United and drawing at home against Newcastle United. However, the Seagulls dominated the xG battle in that match and were frankly unlucky not to grab all three points.

Beyond that, there are a few reasons to back Brighton stealing a top-six spot from Manchester United, who appear beyond repair based on their first two fixtures.

Historically, Brighton’s mid-table finishes have largely been a product of poor first halves. But once the second-half rolls around, Brighton are —at least historically — quite good. Last season, Potter’s side avoided defeat in 14 of 19 fixtures when they play a team for the second time. Further, Brighton won the expected goal battle in 10 of those 19 fixtures.

Additionally, Brighton has established themselves as a very reliable home team. Over the last two seasons, Brighton have finished third and 10th in the home xGDiff table. Additionally, Brighton were also very good at home against bottom-half sides last season. In 10 such fixtures, they posted a +0.67 xGDiff per 90 minutes and won seven of 10 fixtures on expected goals.

If Brighton can continue this positive run in the first half and build up enough points, their second-half trends should allow them to make a run at sixth. For those reasons, this feels worth a flier at anything better than +600.

Best Bet #2 - Bournemouth to Finish Last (+175)

Historically, the worst offenses in the league are the ones that face relegation. Those that finish on the bottom are usually lacking in the goal department as opposed to conceding a lot of goals.

I recognize that Bournemouth’s two-match sample includes a road match against Manchester City where they looked lifeless, but this offense is straight garbage. On Matchday One at home against Aston Villa, the Cherries created only 0.59 expected goals and one big scoring chance, per fotmob.com. Should that continue, manager Scott Parker’s Bournemouth could be in for a long campaign.

In terms of their competition, I rate the race to the bottom as three teams for one spot. Along with Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Southampton appear as the competition for 20th in the league. However, Forest are spending like crazy and the additions of Emmanuel Dennis, Jesse Lingard and (likely) Houssem Aouar should give them enough attacking pieces to stay out of the bottom.

As for Southampton, although I think there’s a chance they get relegated, there’s enough top-flight experience in the squad that I believe they stay out of the bottom. Plus, although they lost 15 percent of their xG total this offseason, Southampton still ranked 11th last season in total xG, per fbref.com.

Based on those factors, I’ll play Bournemouth at +125 or better for a dead-last finish.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.