Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest Odds, Pick, Premier League Prediction
Rob Newell/Getty. Pictured: Martin Odegaard.
Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest Odds
|Nottingham Forest Odds||+1400|
|Over / Under|
+100 / -125
After nearly pulling off one of the biggest title upsets in recent memory last season, Arsenal begin the job of proving that challenge was no fluke when they open their Premier League campaign on Saturday against visiting Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal have already opened their formal campaign by lifting the Community Shield via penalties following a 1-1 draw with Manchester City last Sunday.
Last time Forest were in action, they were winning three of their final six 2022-2023 league fixtures to ensure their first Premier League Season in more than two decades would not end in relegation. That included a 1-0 home win over this same Arsenal squad that clinched Manchester City's third consecutive Premier League title ahead of the Gunners.
Momentum is hard to quantify — and its very existence in sports is disputed by some — but if it does exist, Arsenal's ran out over the final two months of last season.
Perhaps the stress of a title chase combined with the workload of a European competitor's schedule just caught up with Mikel Arteta's young, still-growing squad. The Gunners took only six points from five league fixtures in April and sustained two more scoreless defeats during a disappointing May.
They finished only five points shy of City despite that slide, suggesting what could be possible with some more seasoning and the right additions. Arsenal went about making several of those new signings early, most notably adding defensive midfielder Declan Rice from West Ham for a reported fee of $138 million.
Arteta's men begin the season without striker Gabriel Jesus, who is set to be out for at least a few weeks with a knee injury. But Arsenal shared the scoring load a season ago, with Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Martinelli all hitting double-digit goals.
Arguably the most impressive thing about Forest's return to the Premier League was manager Steve Clark's ability to build the plane while flying it in regards to a roster that seemed in near-constant addition mode.
The hope now is that Forest will be able to take another step forward toward mid-table security based primarily on having more continuity in this year's squad.
And the final month of last season should be encouraging to that end. Forest went four unbeaten to close the campaign. Even in late-season away defeats, they showed progress in generating more of an attack on their travels, scoring in their last four road fixtures.
Among the Trees' new faces is U.S. national team No. 1 Matt Turner, who could face his former Arsenal squad just days after completing a preseason transfer. The other choice in net is fellow American Ethan Horvath.
Defender Moussa Niakhate and striker Taiwo Awoniyi are both on the road back to full fitness from injury, but they are unlikely to play Saturday. Awoniyi led Forest with 10 goals last season despite health limiting him to 27 league appearances.
Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest
Betting Pick & Prediction
Arsenal are understandably steep favorites given their strong home record and Forest's meager away form last season.
And even though they might not have Jesus, I still believe they'll continue to do what they did most consistently last season – score goals at home.
In total, the Gunners scored three or more in front of the home faithful in 13 of their 19 league fixtures, and that was a trend that became even more pronounced in the back half of the campaign.
Of the six times they failed to reach that threshold, all came against squads that finished in the top of the table, including in a home defeat to Manchester City and a home draw to Newcastle.
Forest might be able to climb away from a true relegation threat, but mid-table feels like the ceiling. And all season on the road, they continued to leak goals to lesser sides than they'll face Saturday.
So for me, the team total on the Gunners to score three or more goals at -115 odds and an implied 53.5% probability is the value here, even if they're shorthanded up front.