Chelsea 1.26 v Burnley 16.50; The Draw 6.80

Chelsea start the defence of their Premier League crown at home to one of last season's worst away performers, so no one will be in the least bit surprised to find the Blues trading at a very short price to record a victory.

Antonio Conte's men won 17 of their 19 league games at Stamford Bridge last term and had a goal difference of +38; only Tottenham had a better home record. Burnley won just one of their 19 away games and had a goal difference of -22; only relegated Hull had a worse record on their travels.

Chelsea actually hosted Burnley in the Premier League almost 12 months ago, it was just the third game of the season for each club. The Blues won 3-0. And since their title success Chelsea have spent around £140m on defender Antonio Rudiger, midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, and former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

So you wouldn't blame anyone for backing a really comfortable home win on the evidence of the above, and I for one certainly aren't going to oppose Conte's men. But I do think there's a chance that we'll see a low-scoring game, and therefore backing Under 2.5 Goals at around the 2.40 mark is the recommendation.

Chelsea needed an 89th minute Victor Moses goal to get over the 2.5 goal line in that 3-0 victory over the Clarets last term, and my hunch is that Burnley will be a much tougher nut to crack on their travels this time around.

Sean Dyche is an extremely clever manager, and even if his men are feeling more confident having survived last season when so many people wrote them off, he'll know that this is a game his team are very unlikely to win and hopefully he will set them up with the intention to frustrate Chelsea.

Another pointer towards a low-scoring affair perhaps is the absence of Eden Hazardwho will miss the game with an ankle injury. Bakayoko is a major doubt for the game also, while Morata is struggling for full match fitness and is likely to start from the bench. And unless there's a remarkable kiss and make up between Conte and Diego Costa then last season's leading goalscorer won't be on the pitch either.

Burnley can be a stubborn bunch, and even if they fall to a defeat I'm more than happy to take a chance on them keeping the scoreline very respectable.

Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.40 (best bet)

Crystal Palace 1.86 v Huddersfield 5.00; The Draw 3.65

I'm not overly pleased to put up an odds-on selection in the Match Odds market on the first day of the season but this is purely a price-based punt, as I genuinely believe that if this game was a bit further down the line in the campaign then Palace would be quite a bit shorter.

Of course, you always have to respect a newly-promoted club at the start of a new season simply because of the momentum they bring from a successful campaign, but I find it impossible to oppose Palace on the way they performed last term when relegation became a big threat.

Then managed by Sam Allardyce, the Eagles won away from home at Chelsea and Liverpool, and sandwiched between that was a very easy 3-0 win at Selhurst Park over Arsenal. They then concluded their home campaign with a resounding 4-0 victory over Hull.

Those strong results were in large down to some excellent performances from Palace's star men - the likes of Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye, and the very underrated Jason Puncheon. Cabaye will be absent for Saturday's game but I don't see any reason why Palace won't start the season in similar fashion under their new boss Frank de Boer.

Huddersfield fans won't thank me for reminding them that the last three play-off winners (QPR, Norwich, and Hull) all made an immediate return to the Championship, and on paper at least - and I mean absolutely no disrespect by this whatsoever - the Terriers look to be one of the weakest sides to be promoted in recent seasons.

But then that's why they're the rank outsiders to win the Premier League, favourites on the Exchange to finish Rock Bottom, and the only club to be trading at odds-on in the Relegation market.

Full credit to Huddersfield and boss David Wagner who has spent close to £40m in strengthening his squad during the summer, though approximately a quarter of that was spent on turning the loan signings of Aaron Mooy and last season's leading goalscorer Elias Kachunga into permanent deals.

But my gut feeling is that over a 38-game season the Terriers won't be strong enough to survive, and I can easily see them falling to an opening day defeat against a decent Palace side.

Recommended Bet
Back Crystal Palace to Win @ 1.86

West Brom 2.50 v Bournemouth 3.30; The Draw 3.40

I have to be honest, as someone who considers form - both team and individuals - strongly, I find the opening weeks of the season quite difficult to predict and I tend to keep stakes relatively low.

A club can finish a season very strongly, invest heavily in the summer, but then quite easily start the next campaign in poor fashion. You just don't know how new players are going to adapt, what the morale of a squad is like, how the three-month break has affected the team as a whole, who is super fit, who isn't etc.

That's not a cop out, it's just how I feel given 'form' is the main thinking behind most of my bets. I feel I've put up a strong case for my two recommended bets but they could easily go the other way, and that's also true of my final wager. I believe Over 2.5 Goals is slightly over-priced at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.

Perhaps the reason for that is we have a Tony Pulis side on show, and he's generally regarded as a defensive-minded manager. But on the flip side of that we have Eddie Howe's Bournemouth who were involved in some very entertaining games last term, and there's no reason to think that won't be the case this season.

Games involving the Cherries witnessed 122 goals during the last campaign, that's an average of 3.21 per match and no club in the Premier League were involved in more. The prolific Jermain Defoe has been signed and Howe's men now have the potential to be even more entertaining.

The Baggies have also made an eyecatching signing in attack - Jay Rodriquez was brought in for £12m from Southampton and at his best he's another striker who should push up his team's goal tally this season.

The Over/Under 2.5 Goals market is pretty much a coin toss, you wouldn't be surprised at all which way it went, so given that the 'Overs' option can be backed at the price it can then that has to be the call.

Recommended Bet
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.24

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