Aston Villa vs Tottenham Odds, Pick: Over/Under Valuable in Premier League Fixture
Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Hugo Lloris.
Aston Villa vs Tottenham Odds
Aston Villa Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-138 / +115)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-163 / +125)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Aston Villa are now power rated in the market similarly to Tottenham with three matches to play in the season. It’s a sign of how far Tottenham have fallen in the eyes of the market with their inconsistent form and multiple managerial changes in the last two months. Villa were surging up the table until its last two 1-0 defeats, but the club is clearly over-performing their baseline talent level while Spurs are under-performing their own.
Neither team has a realistic chance at top four, but the battle for the Europa League and Europa Conference League places are on the line with Spurs holding a three-point lead on Villa with three matches to play. Villa won the reverse fixture in North London, 2-0, in what was a very low event affair. I’m expecting more of the same and think the recent poor defending from Spurs and elite finishing from Villa has driven this total too high on Saturday.
Aston Villa Excelling With Premier Attacking Numbers
Unai Emery’s side has continued to improve defensively and just turned in another defensive performance with less than 1 xG conceded to Wolves. Even though Villa lost 1-0, the defense conceded just 0.7 xG and six total shots. Villa have conceded six xG total in their last seven matches combined. I’m buying the defensive improvements in this Villa side because of Emery’s track record of improving a team’s defensive shape at past clubs — most recently Villarreal as they made the Champions League semifinals.
I’m not quite buying the improved attacking output of Villa being sustainable, especially now against a good Spurs penalty box defense that isn’t going to press much or give much space for Ollie Watkins to get in behind. Both defenses in this matchup are quite passive — both are bottom half in high turnovers forced and in passes per defensive action.
Villa are also just 14th in expected threat in attack, so they’re not very good at sustaining attacks in the opposition penalty area. They’ll get plenty of space and time on the ball to complete defensive possession at home against Spurs, but Spurs are still an above-average defense in terms of xG allowed and average shot quality conceded.
Even when Villa were winning every match and in excellent form (by results), the attack wasn’t particularly elite or even above average. Since February began, Villa are 12th in xG per match. Combine that with the low expected threat numbers and the high defensive third touches and you see that the ball progression and consistent production just isn’t there.
Tottenham Project Better Here Than in Prior Matches
Tottenham have had some embarrassing defensive displays in the last month — conceding four to Liverpool and six to Newcastle isn’t exactly inspiring. But Newcastle and Liverpool are two aggressive defenses that press back lines and have much more attacking dynamism. They’re both top four in xG created in England. Even Manchester United are an elite transition team with much more high end talent than Aston Villa has.
So, while Tottenham really struggled to keep goals out against those top sides, Villa are actually closer to a mid-table attack like the one Spurs faced last week against Palace. Spurs have conceded a ton of early goals lately and had to be a much more aggressive team for the rest of the match because of it. Despite their budget and preseason expectations as a top four contender and team, Tottenham are just eighth in xT, seventh in xG created and 13th field tilt. Spurs are overly reliant on the penalty box creation and talent of Harry Kane to overcome mediocre ball progression numbers and an inability to sustain final third possession against opponents.
Spurs’ defensive line won’t be under as much pressure on Saturday and the result should be a lower event contest.
Aston Villa vs Tottenham Pick
Goals are trending solidly upward as the Premier League season draws near a close, and that’s common for teams playing with little motivation that are perhaps looking ahead to the holiday early. That’s not the case for either of these sides, though, as they are jockeying for European positioning.
Villa’s improved defense is legitimate in my view, and the Spurs blip in performances defensively had more to do with opponents, spot and matchup than an above average defense all year suddenly turning to mush near the end of the year.
The three performances under Ryan Mason have been capable and assuming that Tottenham have quit on the year is a mistake in my view.
My projections have 2.5 goals for this match, so I’ll take the under 2.5 at anything +100 or better.
Pick: Under 2.5 (+100 or better)
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