West Ham vs. Tottenham Premier League Picks Aug. 16th

Kevin Stott

Friday, August 8, 2014 8:32 AM GMT

Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 8:32 AM GMT

West Ham United (11-7-20) welcomes city neighbors Tottenham Hotspur (21-6-11) to East London and The Boleyn Ground in what should be a fairly competitive and important English Premier League pick.

The Hammers (13th place) were 7-3-9 at Home last season while Europa League playoff qualifiers Spurs (6th place) were a very impressive 10-3-6 on the Road, but dipped off after a sensational start last season. So handicapping this game is pretty hard as who knows exactly what these two teams will be like with new players and such and playing in Week 1 with at least some significant levels of rust—practice and friendlies just aren’t the same as real games that count in the standings—means that anything can happen here.

 

Spurs Didn’t Score Against West Ham Last Season
In the two matches these two played in the Premier League last season, it was all West Ham as Sam Allardyce’s boys shut out Tottenham twice as Finnish goalkeeper Jussi Jääskeläinen registered clean sheets both here at home (2-0) and across town at White Hart Lane (3-0). That lack of offensive production from a team that like Spurs which have strikers like Emmanuel Adebayor (14 goals) and Roberto Soldado (11 goals) makes it really hard to want to back the road favorites (Tottenham +110, BetVictor) in this one and wagers on hosts West Ham (+240) or the Draw (+270) actually seem like better bets if one is expecting at least some drop off from manager Mauricio Pochettino and his Spurs club this new season.

And with one game barely going Under (2 goals) the usual posted 2½ total and the other barely going Over (3 goals) along with Tottenham being 18-20 (O/U) last season and the Hammers a dead-even 19-19 in their totals in 38 games, trying to find an edge in this game’s total (2½u -135, BetVictor) is virtually impossible although Jääskeläinen has proven his worth against Tottenham and Spurs do have three really decent goalkeepers on their roster right now in Hugo Lloris, Brad Friedel and new-acquisition Michel Vorm.

 

Tottenham Has Held Edge in Series of Late
Tottenham has gone a noticeable 6-1-3 in their last 10 in this series in EPL play, but Spurs (55 GF-51 GA +4 GD) have only outscored the feisty Hammers by a total of three goals (13-10) over those meetings. West Ham (40 GF-51 GA, -11 GD) and its fans will undoubtedly be ready to go next Saturday and are definitely a part of the handicap in this contest and will be expecting their team to beat Tottenham in the home and season opener. And because of the fact that two of those three losses came last season—and in their last two meetings—it appears like the hosts and fairly big underdogs will have the edge confidence-wise heading in. So, it seems the crowd and the confidence here favor West Ham.

 

What To Do?
This game seems like a good one for either the home underdog (West Ham +240, BetVictor) or the Draw (+270) player, as both bets would yield well over a 2/1 payback should one of them win. And although neither side in this London derby probably has to worry too much about potential relegation this season, they both need to worry about trying to stay at least as good as they were last season—and that certainly won’t come easy.

Neither team will want to start the new season with a loss and will want at least 1 point out of this baby, so expect a fairly conservative approach from both coaches and clubs. The Both Teams To Score odds (-129, BetVictor) seem fair enough, but, as previously mentioned, the goalkeepers in this game will be good ones and both teams must have at least some summer rust. For me, the home pitch advantage in the home opener combined with Tottenham’s now possible paranoia that it can’t beat West Ham is enough to make a recommendation on the Hammers and the healthy plus (+270 at both BetVictor and Matchbook).

And for those of you proposition punters who think this predicted Correct Score of 2-1 West Ham below is worthy of a soccer pick (+1200, BetVictor), Andy Carroll and the Hammers will do their best to accommodate you. In the end, this is another one for only those with a strong opinion as Spurs still probably have more decent offensive weapons than do the hosts. We shall see.

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Prediction: West Ham 2 Tottenham 1

Free Soccer Pick: West Ham +270 (BetVictor, Matchbook)

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August 7, 2014

SBR Story #19

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