Sports Betting Weekly

West Brom v Tottenham Hotspur

When: Saturday, 31 January 2015 @ 21:00 (FINISHED)
Where: The Hawthorns
In last week’s SBW, we highlighted the fact that new Crystal Palace manager, Alan Pardew, was aiming to “do a Tony Pulis” and inject new life into the Eagles’ domestic season after taking the helm in January – well, now it’s time to look at the real deal himself as the Welshman’s West Bromwich Albion side welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Hawthorns on Saturday.

There is perhaps no manager in Premier League football more synonymous with a particular style of play than Pulis – and true to form West Brom have almost instantly started following the blueprint their new boss set out during a seven-year spell at Stoke City and, latterly, half a season at Palace.

Baggies goalkeeper, Ben Foster, recently described the new regime as “brutal” but “fantastic” and there are already signs that Pulis’ methods are starting to take effect. Having conceded 29 goals prior to his appointment, West Brom have since kept back-to-back clean sheets in the league and conceded one goal in total, which came during the 2-1 derby win over Birmingham in the F.A. Cup.

As such, the home side will go into the game with renewed confidence and the bookies have shortened odds on a West Brom victory to 2/1 accordingly. Naturally given their superior form and league position, Spurs remain favourites for the tie at 6/4, but make no mistake about it – the visitors will have a real battle on their hands if they’re to take all three points back from the Hawthorns.

Given Pulis’ reputation, it is perhaps not surprising that the best value bets on the game hinge around the clean sheet and goals markets this weekend, and you can currently get 12/5 on his team not conceding and a massive 9/1 on the game finishing goalless. Furthermore, the 3/4 on the game featuring under 2.5 goals looks about as close to a ‘banker’ as you’ll find in the league this weekend.

The caveat to this is that Spurs have a well-documented knack of nicking games 2-1 this season, and you can get 10/1 on them doing so again on Saturday – though with West Brom likely to again be well-drilled and hard to break down, a 1-1 draw may be preferable at 6/1 and these odds can be further boosted if you back either team to claim a draw after falling behind at an improved 15/2.

In terms of backing a goalscorer in the game, Victor Anichebe was the hero against Birmingham last time out and with the big striker seemingly a good fit for Pulis’ game plan, you can get 7/1 on him finding the net first. For the visitors, meanwhile, Harry Kane is again the favourite at 5/1, but with two goals in his last two games and penalties also in his locker, Andros Townsend currently represents an interesting outside bet at 23/2.