This fixture last season saw a tepid 1-0 Hull victory but with several top clubs playing in Europe in midweek, Sky had little choice but to show this underwhelming match in it’s Monday night slot. However, easyodds.com editor Simon Hopper thinks going against the grain and backing over 2.5 goals will reward those hardy souls who choose to brave the full 90 minutes…
Hull v West Ham (Monday, 20:00, Sky Sports 1)
Simon Hopper’s Verdict: OVER 2.5 GOALS @ 7/5 – BET NOW
Admittedly the long-term stats are against this selection but I don’t think the bookies have caught onto a dramatic change in philosophy at both Hull and West Ham over the summer.
Firstly, it should be mentioned that the match odds look about right, with Hull favourites at 6/5, West Ham at 3/1 and the draw a 12/5 chance. It’s 16th against 13th from last season, while Hull are 9th and West Ham are 11th this time around, so it’s fair to say these two are of roughly equal ability. And when two broadly equal sides come together, naturally the team with home advantage is correctly awarded slight favouritism.
However, over 2.5 goals at 7/5 doesn’t look a bad wager. Last season only 26% of Hull’s home Premier League games went over 2.5 goals (and just 42% of West Ham’s away matches) but that will change this time around. Firstly Hull have increased ambitions and an increased budget this season, which Steve Bruce has used to bring in the likes of Abel Hernandez (for a club record fee), Tom Ince plus Gaston Ramirez and Hatem Ben Arfa on loan. That’s to go with Nikica Jelavic who has already been in good scoring form this season. Clubs are always expected to attack more in their second season and I expect Bruce to take the game to West Ham on Monday night.
And Sam Allardyce has openly admitted he’s been forced by the club to change to a more attacking philosophy. The Hammers’ three Premier League games so far have seen nine goals scored – well up from their 2.36 goals per game average from last season – while Allardyce has recruited heavily in the forward department with World Cup star Enner Valencia getting close to full match fitness while Mauro Zarate has already been on target. Defensively they are clearly not as good though as the 3-1 home defeat to Southampton last time out demonstrated. While Big Sam finds the right balance, we should expect Hammers matches to see goals at both ends.
Normally I wouldn’t go against stats but both clubs are demanding a more attacking style this season so over 2.5 goals at a best price 7/5 looks surprisingly decent value.
Hull v West Ham Team News: Hull could be without Andrew Robertson after missing Scotland’s match against Germany on Sunday with a calf strain, while Robert Snodgrass is a long-term absentee. Steve Bruce must decide whether to hand debuts to new signings Abel Hernandez, Mo Diame, Gaston Ramirez and Hatem Ben Arfa. West Ham are still without Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan while James Collins is also likely to miss out again. Matt Jarvis and Carl Jenkinson should return but Joey O’Brien is a doubt after withdrawing from the Republic of Ireland squad through injury. New signings Alex Song and Morgan Amalfitano will be hoping to make their debuts.
Anytime Angle: Nikica Jelavic @ 5/2 – BET NOW. The Croatian has bagged two goals in his last two Premier League games and should benefit from a leaky West Ham defence plus the service of skilful new arrivals Gaston Ramirez and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Banker Bet: Hull Half-Time Draw No Bet @ 3/5 – BET NOW. Hull have only trailed at half-time in four of their 20 home Premier League games since being re-promoted while West Ham have only led at the break in four of their last 20 away Premier League matches.
Premier League Betting: Hull’s Premier League relegation odds have drifted to a best price 23/5 having been 7/2 pre-season – they sit comfortably in 9th place with four points from three games. Club record signing Abel Hernandez should make his debut here and is 6/1 to beHull’s top league scorer this term. West Ham’s relegation odds have come in from 11/2 to 23/5 after two defeats from their first three games and Sam Allardyce is back to joint-favouritism in the sack race market at 5/2. He could certainly do with a positive result at the KC to negate the fans.
*Simon is editor of easyodds.com as well as being one of our resident football tipsters. He has an ROI of over 29% on his Premier League best bets since the start of last season (video available every Thursday) and napped Swansea to beat Man United at 10/1 on the opening weekend of the 2014/15. You can follow Simon on Twitter to keep up with his latest articles.
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