The 2023-24 English Premier League season kicks off Friday as we get set to share our first batch of season picks. Headlining the opening weekend of play is Chelsea vs. Liverpool on Sunday. Elsewhere, defending champions Manchester City begin Friday against Burnley while 2022-23 EPL challengers Arsenal host Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
However, we focus on the remaining seven matches for our best bets. With that established, let’s dive into the selections – odds come courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook and are reflective at the time of publication.
English Premier League Odds and Predictions: 2 Best Bets for Matchday 1
Two-Leg Moneyline Parlay: Brighton & Hove Albion & Manchester United (-129)
These sides take on Luton Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers, respectively, and should cruise with relative ease. Last season in the Premier League, Brighton proved a very reliable home side. Although they won only 10 of 19 fixtures at the Amex Stadium, manager Roberto de Zerbi’s side underperformed their underlying metrics.
All told the Seagulls posted a +16 goal differential against a +18.1 expected goal differential, according to fbref.com. Shrink the sample down to home matches against the bottom-11 teams, and bettors will find Brighton won the expected goals battle in all but one of those matches
Add in Luton finished with only the fifth-best road expected goal differential in the Championship last year, and we expect the hosts will cruise.
Regarding Manchester United, they proved an outstanding home side last year as well. At Old Trafford, United dropped points only four times. Plus, the Red Devils thoroughly dominated Wolves in two head-to-head meetings. Despite winning both matches by a 3-0 aggregate margin, the xG tally finished 5.2 to 1.0 in favor of United, according to fbref.com.
With Wolves sacking their manager days before the season starts, it’s difficult to see them earning a result away from home. Back this parlay up to -145.
Newcastle United Moneyline (-135) vs. Aston Villa
Villa’s seventh-place finish last season largely came as a result of their home form, and they’re not to be trusted away from home.
Manager Unai Emery’s side earned a result in only 11 road fixtures last season and enter this campaign a negative regression side away from home. All told, Villa posted a -7 road goal differential compared to a -7.9 expected goal differential, per fbref.com.
In the lone trip to Newcastle last season – albeit without Emery at the helm – the Magpies handed Villa a 3.4 to 0.4 defeat on expected goals. That’s indicative of strong home form for manager Eddie Howe’s side. Last season, Newcastle dropped all three points in only two matches at St. James’ Park.
Plus, they actually underperformed their home expected goal differential. Across all 19 fixtures, Newcastle recorded a +22 home goal differential compared to a +27.7 expected goal differential, again per fbref.com. Given the Newcastle defense performed markedly better at home – they surrendered 0.44 fewer expected goals per 90 minutes – we expect the Villa attack will struggle to keep up.
Back the hosts to claim all three points at -145 or better.