Brentford vs. Arsenal Odds, Pick, Prediction: English Premier League Betting Preview (Aug. 13)
Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images. Pictured: Ivan Toney.
- Arsenal are a big favorite over Brentford on Friday afternoon in the first match of a brand new English Premier League season.
- BJ Cunningham is comfortable betting the Bees, who will make their top flight debut, at the right price.
- Get his full Brentford vs. Arsenal pick and preview below.
|Over/Under||2.5 (-120 / -105)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.|
The Premier League season kicks off Friday afternoon with an incredibly interesting encounter between newly-promoted Brentford and Arsenal.
Brentford was promoted to the Premier League by way of the Championship playoff, defeating Swansea. It’s been one of the best clubs in the second division over the past two seasons. This is its first season in the English top-flight since the 1947-48 season, so it will no doubt be an emotional opener at home for its supporters on Friday.
One interesting note about Brentford is it’s owned by Matthew Benham, who founded sports betting companies and bought the team for $700,000 in 2012.
Last season was a tumultuous one for Arsenal, which finished in eighth place and will not be playing any European competitions for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
It’s been incredibly busy in the transfer market, bringing in the likes of Ben White from Brighton, Albert Lokonga from Anderlecht, and Nuno Tavares from Benfica.
We’ll see if the new signing and a new renowned focus on the Premier League without European competition obligations lifts Arsenal back into being one of the four best clubs in England.
Brentford Relishing Opportunity to Face Arsenal
Brentford was the best team in the Championship this season by expected goals with a +34.8 xGD, which is 10.3 xG higher than first-place Norwich City.
One of the reasons for that is because of Brentford’s offense, which scores goals in bunches at 1.66 xG per match.
Striker Ivan Toney thrashed opposing defenses all season long, breaking the Championship scoring record by bagging 32 goals with a 0.61 xG per 90-minute scoring rate.
Brentford also had the best defensive record in the Championship, allowing only 0.90 xG per match. So, we could see Brentford burst onto the scene like Leeds did last season.
Brentford plays somewhat similar to that of Leeds in the fact that it plays high-tempo, high-intensity, “heavy-metal” football. It plays a very vertical style that condenses the middle, allowing wingers and full backs to get space on the outside in their 4-3-3 formation.
So, the Bees are not going to be frightened by playing one of the “Big Six” clubs to open the season.
Can Arsenal Keep Last Season’s Hot Streak Rollin?
Arsenal really struggled to create chances on the domestic front last season, averaging only 1.38 xG per match. The Gunners’ defense was stout, though, conceding just 1.14 xG per match, which was the fifth-best mark in the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta typically plays out of a 4-2-3-1 formation, which is the most common setup in modern football. The formation allows Arsenal to deploy three attacking midfielders going forward, which can overwhelm opposing defenses.
Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, and Emile Smith-Rowe will likely be the attacking midfielders, and all of them really improved toward the end of the season, as the Gunners ended the 2020-21 season on a five-match winning streak.
Arsenal will be well equipped to handle Brentford’s high-intensity, high-pressure style of play because opponents have the third-lowest pressure success rate against them last season at only 26.8%, per fbref.com.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This match is very close to my projected line, so I don’t think there’s much value in backing either side or the under. However, if Arsenal gets steamed and I can get Brentford +0.5 at +110 or better I think there’s some value there.
I will also be monitoring the odds on under 2.5, which is currently at +100 on DraftKings. If under 2.5 goals moves to +112 or better, I think there’s some value on the under.
Pick: Brentford +0.5 (+110 or better) | Under 2.5 (+112 or better)