EPL Matchday 2 best bets: No winning return to Molineux for Nuno

Nick Potts - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

We narrowly missed out on a pair of draws that would have made Matchday 1 hugely profitable, but if you followed our advice on backing strong starts for Brentford and Watford, chances are you still did well for yourself.

Here's what's on tap for Matchday 2:

HOME DRAW AWAY
Liverpool (-525) Draw (+620) Burnley (+1400)
Manchester City (-1000) Draw (+900) Norwich City (+2250)
Aston Villa (-125) Draw (+280) Newcastle (+320)
Leeds United (+125) Draw (+250) Everton (+210)
Crystal Palace (+165) Draw (+210) Brentford (+175)
Brighton (-140) Draw (+245) Watford (+375)
Southampton (+430) Draw (+315) Manchester United (-175)
Wolverhampton (+225) Draw (+215) Tottenham (+125)
Arsenal (+365) Draw (+265) Chelsea (-130)
West Ham (+165) Draw (+240) Leicester City (+170)

Leeds United vs. Everton
Aug 21, 10 a.m.

The Rafa Benitez era at Everton began with three points last weekend in a 3-1 win over Southampton, while Leeds were ripped apart at Old Trafford. As a result, we're getting something of a skewed line here. The Toffees are still a bit thin, and this is very much a squad in transition that will struggle against some of the league's stronger sides. Everton were able to come from behind at Goodison last weekend to beat Southampton, but Leeds is a big step up in class from a Saints side that is expected to be firmly entrenched in the relegation battle this season.

Leeds struggled on the road in a very tough opening match, but Manchester United's clinical finishing largely undid the Whites, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad scoring five goals on just 1.64 expected - eight sides generated more xG on Matchday 1. That's not to say the Red Devils weren't deserving, but the scoreline was certainly flattering. Playing at home here will be massive for Leeds, which didn't get to play in front of a full stadium once in their first season back in the Premier League a year ago. Elland Road will be buzzing for this one, as we can expect a strong response from Marcelo Bielsa's squad - which will have Kalvin Phillips back - against an Everton side coming into this a bit overvalued after topping lowly Southampton at home last weekend.

Pick: Leeds (+125)

Brighton vs. Watford
Aug 21, 12:30 p.m.

Watford made a victorious return to the Premier League at Vicarage Road, but Matchday 2 presents an entirely different test for the Hornets. The club was able to ride the wave of adrenaline that comes with that first match back home in the top flight but was a bit fortunate to grab a 2-0 lead off a pair of generous deflections. Meanwhile, Aston Villa - who were without several first-team regulars - never really got going. Now Watford take to the road, where they will be hard-pressed to win many matches this season.

Brighton, which began their campaign with an impressive away win last weekend, came out on top in just four of 19 matches at home last season (D9, L6). Expect that tally to at least double this campaign. The Seagulls were an impressive fourth in xG at home last season, while only Manchester City allowed fewer than them on home soil. Brighton's poor home form certainly didn't match up with their remarkable underlying numbers, and those will only improve with fans back in the stands this time around at the wonderfully hostile Amex Stadium.

Pick: Brighton (-140)

Wolves vs. Tottenham
Aug. 22, 9 a.m.

Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo returns to Molineux for the first time after leaving Wolves last season, and he will receive a warm welcome from his former supporters after four wonderful years with the club. Espirito Santo's new side got off to a terrific start last weekend, but expect his former team to give them trouble on Sunday.

Wolves were punished for their profligacy in front of goal on opening weekend, falling 1-0 at the King Power despite beating Leicester 1.33 to 0.67 on xG. The Wanderers carved out some really good openings while surrendering little at the back only to be undone by Jamie Vardy's sensational finish. Wolves face a similar test here against Spurs, but they get to do so on home soil in front of a packed house at Molineux for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign when they were an impressive 8-7-4 at home.

Tottenham executed the perfect game plan in beating Manchester City 1-0 on opening weekend, despite losing 2.11 to 1.06 on xG, but this is a very different hurdle for Spurs to clear. Tottenham will be expected to force the issue at Molineux, unable to sit back in their defensive shell, which will leave them more vulnerable to Wolves' dangerous counter. It will be a fascinating match in which the hosts will do enough to make Nuno settle for a point on his return to West Midlands.

Pick: Draw (+215)

Alex Moretto is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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EPL Matchday 2 best bets: No winning return to Molineux for Nuno
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