Note: If I Were A Betting Man is a new feature where we look at the fixtures in the Premier League and offer some shoddy, sometimes tongue-in-cheek betting advice based on the current odds. For now, we'll get all of our odds from BetFred, unless there's a better sportsbook out there that you guys prefer.
First, a rule. Nothing you see here will be the obvious bet (i.e. less than 1:1 odds), but we will try to base our predictions on something of substance, at least most of the time. The format is very loose, so tell us what you like and what you don't. Right now, let's start by making a prop bet on the Newcastle game, betting on the result of one other, and then taking a long shot.
Bet #1: Stoke City vs. Newcastle
Score Anytime - Mike Williamson, 12/1
As a defender who has never scored in a Newcastle uniform, Williamson is always going to be something of a long shot to score. He's emerged as a target man on set pieces the last few matches, and with a couple of weeks off, the Toon are sure to have worked on them on the training ground. The odds are very good that he's going to break through at some point this season. Why not now?
The reasoning here is simple. Everton and Fulham have 27 draws between them and both squads are missing multiple players in the midfield. The betting on Everton is even right now because they've beaten the Cottagers in 17 straight matches and haven't lost to Fulham at home since 1948. Don't ever get fooled by these statistics. Since when did a match in 1954 (for example) have any bearing on one in 2011?
Bet #3: Manchester United vs. Bolton Wanderers
Bolton drew the Red Devils at home last time out, and Sir Alex Ferguson's squad will be without Jonny Evans, Ji-Sung Park, and Paul Scholes. The inexperienced Andre Marriner will be the match official, and one has to wonder if he'll be keeping Ferguson's recent bannable comments in mind when making his decisions.