Premier League betting preview: Go for goals at Carrow Road
Michael Holden is one of the UK's leading football betting tipsters. A former casino croupier with a deep-rooted curiosity in statistics and probabilities, his passion for betting on the beautiful game stretches back more than two decades. Since graduating as a journalist from the University of Central Lancashire in 2005, he has delivered consistent profits for his legion of followers on Sportinglife.com and produced many groundbreaking feature articles on the application of social science in a football betting context. He is now the editor of Bestofthebets.com having orchestrated the design, build and launch of the new sports betting website for Gaming Media Group during the summer of 2011.
Friday 03 February 2012
Bolton and Norwich have both shown increasing professionalism in certain matches of late but they remain fun-loving cavalier types at heart and we like the 5/6 quotes about over 2.5 goals when the two sides meet at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The Trotters played out a goalless draw with Arsenal at the Reebok on Tuesday, which was very uncharacteristic of a team that shipped 13 goals in early home games against Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, but it provides evidence that Owen Coyle's men have what it takes to avoid the drop.
Indeed, that game against the Gunners bore a canny resemblence of the 0-0 that the Canaries played out with Chelsea a fortnight ago but both dogged displays were a case of horses for courses and we're not inclined to believe that either side has turned over a new leaf.
So let's get to the stats that are driving this bet. Taking the top seven out of the equation, both teams have played 11 times since they last met in a 2-1 win for Paul Lambert's men at the Reebok back in September and both average over three goals per game in those samples.
In Norwich's case, both teams have scored in ten out of 11 matches - the exception being the blank they fired at Sunderland in midweek - and the over 2.5 goals marker has been triggered nine times. As for Bolton, seven out of 11 have finished overs but the case is made most plainly by their away record, which shows five out of six and ten out of 11 overall.
Circumstantially, we anticipate that Norwich will come out firing because simply because they will wish to put the humbling experience of their midweek defeat on Wearside behind them and Bolton aren't really in a position to adopt an overly cautious mindset against promoted opposition, especially not when you consider that their positivity has bagged them points at Blackburn and Everton in the past couple of months.
By contrast, the game at the DW Stadium isn't likely to entice too many neutrals but that won't bother Everton and they can go about their business against Wigan in typical fashion by stifling the hosts and trying to win the game late on. Take odds of 13/5 about the second half to produce the first goal in William Hill's time of the first goal market.
The Toffees are so good at what they do that Manchester City were left scratching their heads for answers in midweek, so you'd have to fear for Wigan if they haven't put their stamp on the game by the interval.
As such, we're tempted to back the Draw/Everton double result at 9/2, which accounts for seven of their eight wins this season, but we're also mindful of five other occasions when David Moyes' men have gone into the break all-square and failed to come up with the goods.
Therefore, it's the goalless 45 that gets the nod. The deal-breaker is the fact that both sides have mustered a paltry total of just 16 goals between them in 2,025 first-half minutes.
3pts Over 2.5 goals Norwich v Bolton at 5/6 (188Bet, Boylesports)
1pt First goal time 46+ mins Wigan v Everton at 13/5 (William Hill)
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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