Tomorrow's game against Arsenal is arguably the game I was most looking forward to at the start of the season and that has only been heightened by what's happened to Arsenal in recent weeks (best players leaving, 3 red cards and only 1 point from their first 3 league games).
It would be crazy to think we go there as equals but the above combined with the fact that the game comes between international week and Champions League games means this is a huge opportunity to do something special.
Swansea go into the game best priced at 10/1 (BetFred), but the best bet for me is Sinclair to score first at 15/1 (Unibet) which I think is generous odds for a penalty taker.
As mentioned in previous blogs, the more 'exotic' the bet the worse the value. The combined likelihoods of the best odds for the game add up to 102.2% (Arsenal 7/19, Draw 4/1, Swansea 10/1) which means over the long run if you were an average punter you'd expect to have around 2% of the total amount you bet.
This assumes you always chase the best price for any bet, for a single bookie the margin for this game is between 4% Blue Sq and 12% Coral.
For the half time/full time combination the best price combination still has a 10% margin and I hate to think what the margin is for first goalscorer given the fact that Bet365 offer 80/1 on Tate being the first goalscorer (unlikely enough at the best of times but even harder with a broken leg!).
In short, bet on outcomes with only 2-3 possibilities if you're looking to actually make money (or not lose too much) and consider the odds on the other bets as an charge for making a game more interesting.
On that note I'd recommend betting on last goalscorer rather than first goalscorer as your interest in the bet is likely to last longer (unless it stays 0-0) and for which I'd recommend Caulker at 69/1 (Unibet).
Chalkboards review of the game to come next week.
All odds taken from oddschecker.com and are subject to change.