Bournemouth vs Tottenham Pick & Prediction | Premier League Preview

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Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Heung-min Son.

Bournemouth vs Tottenham Odds

Saturday, Aug. 26
7:30 a.m. ET
USA Network
AFC Bournemouth Odds+280
Tottenham Odds-110
Draw+280
Over / Under
2.5
 -200 / +165
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Tottenham won their first match under new manager Ange Postecoglou on Saturday as Spurs had a stellar second half performance en route to a 2-0 victory against Manchester United.

Spurs are now a small road favorite on the road against Bournemouth and their new manager, Andoni Iraola. The Cherries took an early lead at Anfield before dropping the contest 3-1, but the principles of Iraola's tactics have been clearly on display through the first 180 minutes of the season.

The market has responded to the wide-open and aggressive pressing approach that both sides have displayed under their new managers. The total in Spurs/United shot up considerably last week from 2.5 to 3 and the total has soared past three ahead of this matchup as well.

Both teams are changing rapidly under their new managers, but I think the market has overreacted to the first two match weeks in making this total north of three. As a result, it may be time to hold your nose and play an under.


AFC Bournemouth

Pass completion rate allowed is one of the best ways to measure defensive pressing intensity. Last year, Bournemouth allowed the second-highest pass completion rate and consistently waited for opponents to turn the ball over before their quick strike countering approach. It's only two matches, but the Cherries' possession dominance against West Ham and high pressing attempts against Liverpool shows that Iraola is going to be more aggressive. The Cherries rank seventh-lowest in pass completion rate allowed despite one of their two fixtures coming at Anfield.

Liverpool did manage a ton of shots against the Cherries, but Bournemouth are still right around league average in box entries allowed and crosses into the penalty area conceded through two matches. This is major improvement for a side that allowed the most expected threat in the entire league last year. The Reds have as much attacking firepower as any team in the Premier League and also were helped by a controversial penalty call that was more of a dive than anything.

Bournemouth were one of the most efficient set piece teams in the league last season and they do project decently well on set plays yet again this year. Tottenham were one of the top set play defenses in the league last season though, and even though the managerial and coaching staff has had some turnover, Spurs are much tougher than average to score on in dead ball situations.


Tottenham

There is one major injury question for Spurs, as James Maddison was pictured in a walking boot as a precaution following the win against United. His status is in doubt, and his potential absence would leave Spurs a bit short on shots while they still look to bring in a striker to replace the production of Harry Kane.

Postecoglou said that Maddison was able to train without any restrictions on Friday, so I'd imagine it's more likely than not he is available in the central attacking midfield role on Saturday morning. Even with Maddison, Richarlison has had a disappointing start to the 2023-24 campaign with just two shots in the first two matches.

Because Postecoglou wants to invert the fullbacks and have them be more of a factor in build-up, that leaves Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski in more wide, traditional winger roles. This was on full display against Brentford, who sat deeper and made it difficult for Son and Kulusevski to exert their skill sets on the match.

As good as Spurs looked at times against United, the front three's current fit isn't totally ideal given the talent and their strengths. I still doubt there's enough shots to be a top five or six attack, unless Pape Matar Sarr continues to get into the penalty area as much as he did in preseason.


Bournemouth vs Tottenham

Pick & Prediction

Bournemouth have tweaked how they are playing this season considerably, but the jury is still out on how good the attack will \ be under Iraola. The Cherries had a lot of the ball against West Ham but didn't generate much in terms of quality chances until a deflection fell to Dominic Solanke. Against Liverpool, the majority of the shots and chances came once Liverpool went down to 10 men.

My projections have just 2.88 goals for this match. While Tottenham matches have looked very open and back and forth thus far, Spurs won't hit the offensive ceiling the market suggests with this price unless it makes talent upgrades in key areas. A manager can only have so much impact and an attack led by Richarlison and his 0.28 NPxG per 90 isn't deserving of a total this high.

Pick: Under 3 (+100 or better)

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