Football Bulletin: Are Arsenal Just First Half Wonders?

By utilising the excellent Form Lab Black software, the team at the Smart Betting Club have cast their eye over some of the weekend’s feature games in search for any angles of betting interest.

Last week at £10 stakes, our suggested bets would have made a £10.80 profit from just £30 risked.

This weekend, we start off with two teams woefully out of form in the league in Arsenal and Bolton who meet at the Emirates.

Arsenal vs Bolton

Arsenal have picked up just four points from the first five games, conceding an incredible 14 goals so far – That’s one more than their opponents Bolton. Can they bounce back? History says they can. Arsenal have won 15/20 home matches following a loss in their previous league fixture, with 12 W/W doubles.

Bolton is in many ways a key test, it’s the sort of game they ‘should’ win. Putting aside the Blackburn result, Arsenal have a very good record against bottom six sides. Over the last ten possible games, they rank 1st in performance against bottom six teams with strong records of winning both the first and second half.  Although some might consider it a stretch to consider Bolton a bottom six side, they certainly look weaker than last season, when they finished 14th.

Since 2005/06, Arsenal have won all of their 11 home games against bottom-six sides since 2009/10 with seven Half Time/ Full Time win doubles.

In the last ten games, Bolton have lost nine of the last ten league games at half time and at full time, with a terrible record against top half teams (going by last season’s positions)

Arsenal are strong at home and with the lanky Mertesacker at the back, they should be better equipped to cope with Bolton who were the best ranked team for aerial duels in the league last year.

The home win odds of 1.50 look too skimpy but the half time scenarios offer some interest.

Bet Suggestions:

0.5 point: Arsenal Half Time/ Full Time W/ W. 2.19 with Bet Chronicle.

0.5 point: Arsenal Half Time.  Arsenal to win 1st half 2.00 with Stan James & Unibet.

Chelsea v Swansea

Chelsea are 1.22 favourites to take this match with Swansea as high as 19.0 with some bookmakers – a huge price for any side in the Premier League. Chelsea were arguably unlucky against Man United, they had more shots on target, but as Fernando Torres is acutely aware – they didn’t convert those chances as clinically as United did.

A Chelsea victory looks highly likely, but by what margin?

Chelsea have conceded just two goals in their last ten home games against eventual bottom half finishers and in their last twenty games, they have won nine of them by two goals or more. At home, Chelsea are ranked 2nd in the league for keeping clean sheets against promoted sides, while Swansea have lost their two away fixtures to nil.

Chelsea to win to nil is available with Ladbrokes at 2.1, but I’m put off a full stake by the relatively small range of bookmakers pricing this market. There’s a smidgen of value in the Chelsea -2, which may amount to a similar bet at 2.09 as Chelsea have won by two goals or more in nine of their last twenty games.

I much prefer the first half scenario. Chelsea are ranked top for first half performance against promoted sides. If they are going to win, the first half is where it might happen. The -1 Asian handicap means a win if Chelsea are two goals to the good and a refund if the margin is just one goal.

Bet Suggestions:

0.5 point: Chelsea to win to nil. 2.10 with Ladbrokes.

0.5 point: Chelsea -1 Asian Handicap 1st half. 2.20 with Paddy Power.

More Stats, Ratings & Strategies as a SBC Member

If you like this kind of analysis, then we have plenty more available as a Smart Betting Club member each weekend. Some of the best bits include our Fink Tank value bets for the Premier League (50+ pts profit last year) and free advice from our non-league football expert, Skeeve (5+ years of proven profits)

Pick up a Smart Betting Club membership to access all this and more.