The English Premier League holiday schedule is in top gear and Saturday holds a series of tough matches, including West Ham as it looks to rebound after a 3-1 loss to Arsenal.
West Ham had many fans holding their collective breaths against Arsenal on Thursday as it led 1-0 up until the 68th minute but ultimately dropped a 3-1 result to the Gunners. Because of that loss, the Hammers now find themselves in the relegation zone.
With only a short 48-hour rest, both clubs in this contest will have to dig deep on Saturday in order to stay away from the dreaded bottom three slots.
The Hammers are listed as minor favourites by betting firm William Hill at 2.40 in the 1x2 market and 3.80 for the double result. Despite sitting in second-last position, West Ham has more clean sheets than any other team in the English top flight and will be hard-pressed to concede goals in what is a pivotal game for the home side.
But they also have a single win from their last 11 league matches and have a losing record of 2-5-2 at Upton Park so far on the campaign. With a few injuries, including Ricardo Taz Ve, Andy Carroll, and James Collins, I am sticking away from an outright today.
Instead, I much prefer the draw result at an even 3.00. West Brom has drawn 56 percent of its away matches, which is the highest in England. The Baggies have tied their last pair of games, including a valuable point on the road at White Hart Lane against Spurs on Thursday. The fact that four of the last five encounters between West Ham and WBA have ended in draws should give even more confidence to this selection.
For a little more value, why not try a double draw pick at 5.00?
On the opposite side of the outright market, the visitors are paying out 3.40 to win -- but with only one victory in nine away matches that seems rather risky.
The under 2.5 total goals looks the more favourable of the two picks at 1.91, considering that West Ham games at home and West Brom away matches have both generated on average less than 2.5 per.
For a correct score pick, the 1-1 result looks appealing at 7.00. It would be the third time in a row that West Brom games have ended with that scoreline.