Saturday’s Premier League soccer clash between Norwich City and Bournemouth could genuinely be the definition of a six-pointer (10am ET).
Here we have the bottom two sides in the EPL facing off in what should be a pivotal game in the battle to beat the drop.
Norwich peaked when they beat Champions Manchester City at the start of the campaign but since then, Daniel Farke’s side have become accustomed to the drop zone. Bournemouth were looking comfortable but an alarming slump has left the Cherries in big trouble.
Something has to give at Carrow Road but where are these vital points heading?
Norwich vs Bournemouth Moneyline Odds
It is a tight result market and the moneyline odds for all three possible outcomes start with a plus sign. With the benefit of home advantage, Norwich City are favorites with the online sports betting sites and available at a biggest price of +126.
Anyone looking to get behind Bournemouth for the win can get best odds of +222 while a drawn game is priced up at +255 at the biggest. A share of the points would be no use to either side so you feel that Norwich and Bournemouth will have to go for the win. We are edging towards the home side here but before we commit to our Norwich vs Bournemouth predictions, let’s consider the individual players who can make the difference.
Most Likely Prop Bets
The big news as far as Norwich City fans are concerned confirms the return of Teemu Pukki to the starting line-up. Manager Daniel Farke stated that Pukki’s importance to the Canaries could be compared to Lionel Messi at Barcelona but will the Finn have a say in this match?
Pukki is the clear favourite in the first goalscorer betting on Saturday and his odds put distance between himself and Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson.
Pivotal striker Pukki may be the obvious bet here: The Finn remains Norwich’s leading scorer with nine goals this season but there are alternatives. Midfielder Todd Cantwell has weighed in with six goals and in a struggling side, that return has attracted the attention of bigger clubs.
The 21-year-old Cantwell may even leave Carrow Road in this current transfer window but he will play on Saturday and carries a generous mid-range price in the goal scorer markets.
Other common prop bets that we like to consider each week include Both Teams to Score. This may be too short this week at odds of around -150 and when we consider that Bournemouth have scored just one goal in their last four league games, we’ll give it a miss.
As an alternative, consider the Total Goals market. It’s fair to say that we’re not exactly expecting a goal-fest here and the pick is to back Under the 2.5 line. If we take these two teams and combine their last eight English Premier League matches, this bet would have been successful 50% of the time and so it is tempting to take it again.
As an extension of that tip, we can only see one goal deciding this match. Depending on your preferred team, we would suggest looking at the winning margin market and betting on one goal. Similarly, a correct score of 1-0 to Norwich City can be claimed at around the +800 mark while the same scoreline in favor of Bournemouth is a general +1100.
Neither side possesses the quality to make a sustained challenge at the top of the table and some of the following comparisons may be unfair. Much has been said about Teemu Pukki and the striker was an early contender for the EPL Golden Boot but he currently averages 208 minutes per goal. If we look at the Liverpool pair of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, they are striking at an average of 148 minutes and 164 minutes respectively.
If we look at Bournemouth we find England international Callum Wilson with six goals at an average of 291 minutes. For a man that’s been linked with Chelsea in recent weeks, that’s a poor return. Players such as Mane and Salah are obviously receiving better service but the point underlines just why Bournemouth and Norwich City are struggling. More importantly, it also suggests that this game will be won by whichever of those two forwards – Pukki and Wilson – steps up to take responsibility.
Our Preview’s Norwich vs Bournemouth Predictions & Picks Betting Verdict
We are surprised by Bournemouth’s slump as this is a side who have impressed under Eddie Howe since joining the Premier League for the first time. The Cherries have upset plenty of big sides and as recently as December 26, they held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw.
It’s a side packed with players who attract the bigger clubs but it’s not happening for Bournemouth right now. Having missed out on the points when hosting fellow strugglers Watford last week, we can’t see any joy for Howe’s men on their travels.
Norwich to win is the pick and the prop bets listed below will hopefully contribute to a profitable 90 minutes at Carrow Road on Saturday. These are the Norwich vs Bournemouth predictions for this preview:
- Norwich City to win @ best odds of +126 with 5Dimes.
- Todd Cantwell to score a goal at any time @ +188 with Bovada.
- Under 2.5 Goals @ +105 with Bovada.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.