Aston Villa vs Fulham Odds, Expert Betting Pick: Back the Under
Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images. Pictured: Ollie Watkins.
- Fulham visits the midlands on Tuesday against Aston Villa.
- Aston Villa has been charging up the table of late, but can it be trusted in this spot?
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup and shares his betting prediction below.
Aston Villa vs Fulham Odds
Aston Villa Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-125 / +100)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Aston Villa’s late-season charge up the table now has them in serious contention for the European places as the Premier League season enters the home stretch. Unai Emery’s side remains unbeaten in its last nine PL contests as Fulham visits the midlands on Tuesday night. Villa is all the way up to sixth in the table, and while Champions League is likely out of reach, Villa would move ahead of Spurs with five matches to play if it could win on Tuesday.
Fulham may not have star forward Aleksandar Mitrovic due to suspension, but that hasn’t stopped Marco Silva’s side from winning matches. The Cottagers beat both Everton and Leeds United in back-to-back matches to solidly maintain its spot in the top half of the Premier League table. Barring a collapse to the finish, Fulham will finish top half of the league.
When you compare underlying numbers to position in the table, Aston Villa and Fulham are the two most overvalued teams in the Premier League. Villa has marginally improved under Emery, but a lot of the improved results is down to elite scoring and finishing run from Ollie Watkins in attack. The attacks are overvalued and the matchup suits a low-scoring encounter.
Despite recently elite form in terms of results, Villa sits just 16th in expected threat for the season, showing that they’re not particularly good at sustaining pressure in the opposition’s final third. Based on underlying numbers, they’ve certainly played better during this recent run — they have a +0.4 xG difference per 90 minutes and are producing 1.45 xG per match in the nine league matches since Feb. 19.
But the attack has been scoring goals at a rate that’s pretty hard to sustain going forward. They’ve scored 1.9 goals per match despite a below-average number of shots per 90 and the third-worst average shot distance in the league.
Villa stole a point at Brentford last week with a late flurry of chances that ultimately led to the equalizing goal, but they managed just five attempts on goal in the first 70 minutes. Aston Villa has been quite successful at getting a handful of great opportunities of late and Watkins has finished them clinically, but the consistent chance production and underlying process suggests that regression is looming.
One of Villa’s biggest issues in defense generally comes in transition when the Villans turn it over high, but I worry less about that weakness in this matchup given Fulham’s low pressing intensity.
Fulham’s defense is flawed overall, but has improved as the season has progressed. The Cottagers don’t really press from the front and thus won’t turn Villa over when Emery’s side attempts to build from the back through defensive possession. The Cottagers are 16th in high turnovers forced.
Fulham instead will drop off the front line and use a more mid-block approach that relies on the ball winning of Joao Palhinha in midfield. They’ve been poor in some areas defensively and conceded plenty of chances, but Fulham also doesn’t concede that many box entries for a newly promoted team.
Fulham is still without Mitrovic — one of the most valuable players to his team in the league. The attack has produced just 10.7 xG in 12 90s without Mitrovic. I’m betting against both attacks sustaining its levels of goal production, especially given the mediocre underlying numbers.
The defense has trended in the right direction as the season has progressed. Since the World Cup break, Fulham’s defense is 14th in xG allowed. The underlying numbers like box entries, field tilt and final third entries suggested that the defense would improve marginally, and it has. The attack has also declined solidly as well, with Fulham 17th in expected goals created since the World Cup.
Part of that is Mitrovic playing fewer minutes, and part is teams adjusting to Fulham’s extremely cross-heavy approach.
Aston Villa vs Fulham Pick
Fulham’s attack has produced 1.1 xG per match away from home this season and doesn’t really have the high press or the direct attacking style to trouble Villa in immediate transition moments. It’s also true that the market has gotten really high on an Aston Villa attack based on recent form and winning results, while the reality is that the attack is still not consistently pressuring opponents.
I’m lower than the market on the true talent and quality of both attacks and thus think this matchup will be lower scoring. My projections have 2.4 goals in this match and I’d bet anything at 2.5, -110 or better.
Pick: Under 2.5 (-110 or better)
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