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Football Lunchtime Kick Off Curse

The lunchtime kick off in the Premier League has become somewhat of a curse in recent times.

Experienced punters might say, “never bet on a lunchtime game”, because it’s guaranteed to ruin your accumulator before it’s even started.

But is that true? In this article, I’ll check how the odds compare to the result of every Premier League lunchtime match from the beginning of the 2021/22 season to the present time.

Real Match Data

The following table shows the odds and outcome of every lunchtime game in the Premier League since 14/08/2021.

DateTimeHome TeamAway TeamWinning Odds & Winner
14/08/202112:30Man UnitedLeeds31/50 – Man United
21/08/202112:30LiverpoolBurnley1/4 – Liverpool
28/08/202112:30Man CityArsenal17/50 – Man City
11/09/202112:30Crystal PalaceTottenham76/25 – Crystal Palace
18/09/202112:30WolvesBrentford417/100 – Brentford
25/09/202112:30Man UnitedAston Villa7/1 – Aston Villa
02/10/202112:30Man UnitedEverton163/50 – Draw
16/10/202112:30WatfordLiverpool17/50 – Liverpool
23/10/202112:30ChelseaNorwich1/5 – Chelsea
30/10/202112:30LeicesterArsenal89/50 – Arsenal
06/11/202112:30Man UnitedMan City18/25 – Man City
20/11/202112:30LeicesterChelsea19/25 – Chelsea
27/11/202112:30ArsenalNewcastle51/100 – Arsenal
04/12/202112:30West HamChelsea387/100 – West Ham
11/12/202112:30Man CityWolves17/100 – Man City
01/01/202212:30ArsenalMan City16/25 – Man City
15/01/202212:30Man CityChelsea16/25 – Man City
22/01/202212:30EvertonAston Villa8/5 – Aston Villa
12/02/202212:30Man UnitedSouthampton7/2 – Draw
19/02/202212:30West HamNewcastle77/25 – Draw
26/02/202212:30LeedsTottenham97/100 – Tottenham
05/03/202212:30LeicesterLeeds51/50 – Leicester
12/03/202212:30BrightonLiverpool12/25 – Liverpool
19/03/202212:30Aston VillaArsenal29/20 – Arsenal
02/04/202212:30LiverpoolWatford4/25 – Liverpool
09/04/202212:30EvertonMan United77/25 – Everton
16/04/202212:30TottenhamBrighton111/20 – Brighton
23/04/202212:30ArsenalMan United21/20 – Arsenal
30/04/202212:30NewcastleLiverpool27/50 – Liverpool
15/05/202212:30TottenhamBurnley8/25 – Tottenham
06/08/202212:30FulhamLiverpool259/50 – Draw
13/08/202212:30Aston VillaEverton39/50 – Aston Villa
20/08/202212:30TottenhamWolves9/20 – Tottenham
27/08/202212:30SouthamptonMan United19/20 – Man Utd
03/09/202212:30EvertonLiverpool417/100 – Draw
17/09/202212:30WolvesMan City17/50 – Man City
15/10/202212:30LeicesterCrystal Palace62/25 – Draw
22/10/202212:30Nott’m ForestLiverpool393/50 – Nott’m Forest
29/10/202212:30LeicesterMan City41/100 – Man City
06/11/202212:30ChelseaArsenal41/25 – Arsenal
12/11/202212:30Man CityBrentford448/25 – Brentford
26/12/202212:30BrentfordTottenham67/25 – Draw
31/12/202212:30WolvesMan United93/100 – Man Utd
14/01/202312:30Man UnitedMan City299/100 – Man Utd
21/01/202312:30LiverpoolChelsea13/5 – Draw

What team has played in the most lunchtime kick off games?

As you can expect, the usual “top 6” teams occupied most of the lunchtime kick off games (36 out of the 45 games), which included at least one of Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Arsenal.

Some people may put this down to the lack of European Football played during the week, but Manchester United kicked off at lunchtime more than any other team (10 games) since August 2021.

TeamGames PlayedWins
Manchester United104
Manchester City97
Tottenham Hotspur62

Does the “favourite” always win?

In short, no. Since August 2021, there have been plenty of examples of the so-called underdog beating the favourite.

Brentford beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in November 2022. West Ham beat Chelsea in December 2021. Nottingham Forest beat Liverpool in October 2022. Brighton beat Tottenham in April 2022. And Aston Villa beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

As with any Football match played anywhere in the world at any time of the day, there is always an opportunity for the favourite to slip up against a team that is perceived to be not as good.

What’s the best result to bet on?

No one wants a boring draw to kick off a weekend of Premier League football. As the data shows, it rarely happens – only 8 out of the 45 games have been draws.

In contrast, the away team were typically the most successful teams – achieving 20 away wins, which left only 17 home wins. Maybe the best option for your lunchtime bet could be on the away team.

Who has the best early kick off record?

Manchester City won 77.7% (7 out of 9) of the matches they played at midday on a Saturday since the beginning of last season. Man City are prolific on any given day, let alone at a time that is perceived to be notoriously “cursed” for the big teams.

They won every midday match they played in their title-winning season in 2021/22 but slipped up against Brentford (at home) and Manchester United (away) this season. Arsenal are another team that performs well. They have won five of the seven games they played on a Saturday at lunchtime.

Who could win your bet?

As with any bet you place, there’s a risk factor that you need to consider. But you might be surprised at who performs the best on the early kickoff.

Aston Villa has won three out of the four games they played on a Saturday lunchtime – one of those wins was even against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Both Brighton and Nottingham Forest have won 100% of their Saturday lunchtime kickoff games. Although they have only played at 12:30 PM once in the Premier League since the beginning of last season, their wins were against Tottenham and Liverpool, respectively.

Unless Manchester City are playing away to Manchester United or at home to Brentford, you can trust that Pep’s superteam will deliver a winning bet to set off your weekend.

Betting on a “smaller” team to cause an upset against one of the big six could be a risky game to play, though.

The odds have always favoured one of the top six teams whenever they’ve played someone outside the top six, but there have been plenty of examples of people winning big on their underdog bets.

Lunchtime Curse RoundUp

The dreaded “lunchtime kickoff curse” isn’t as evil as you think – at least in recent times.

The stats show there’s just as much chance of an upset happening as any other day or time. It’s never nice for your entire weekend’s accumulator to be over before 3 PM on a Saturday, but that’s the risk you take when betting. Your bet will either win or it won’t. There’s no in-between.

Lunchtime kick offs used to be far more cursed. It is only relatively recently that the Premier League has become a 4-day event – with games from Friday night until Monday night.

With the progression and better understanding of Sports Medicine, the elite teams are much better at adapting to an earlier kickoff time than they used to be, which means that it’s much less of a risk to bet on the favourite to win while you have your lunch.

On the Betting Punter website, you can learn the best tips for giving yourself the best chance when betting responsibly on your favourite sports.

Rhys Hanscombe

Rhys Hanscombe

About The Author

Rhys is a sports and fitness writer, football player and personal trainer. He has notched up an impressive CV, with a Diploma in Sport Performance and is a FA Level 1 Football Coach. He also shares his knowledge and experiences on his own site, where visitors can find out everything from healthy lifestyles to motorsport.

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