Brentford vs Aston Villa Odds, Pick: Take Advantage of Overpriced Line
NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Bryan Mbeumbo.
Brentford vs Aston Villa Odds
Aston Villa Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-134 / +100)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
The Premier League season is so long that Aston Villa went from preseason sleeper team to bottom of the table in the fall. Then Villa fired Steven Gerrard and now the Villans are challenging for the top four. A recent winning run has Unai Emery’s side sitting in sixth place, just three points behind Spurs in fifth and six behind Newcastle in fourth. Villa thrashed Newcastle at home last weekend as Ollie Watkins continued his recent form.
Despite the improvements in the results, the underlying process stats don’t really rate Villa that much. Brentford’s steady performances and results have taken a turn for the worse in the last few weeks, and the form in the last month has created a sell high and buy low value position on Thomas Frank’s Bees at home on Saturday.
Brentford Not Getting Results Despite Decent Performances
Brentford are winless in five league matches, but none of those matches are truly concerning from a performance stand point. The Bees weren’t very good at home against Leicester City in a 1-1 draw, but they also played Manchester United tough at Old Trafford in a 1-0 loss and then outplayed both Newcastle and Wolves in eventual defeats to them. The market’s disdain for Brentford compared to their underlying numbers is truly one of the most shocking developments of the entire season for me. It made sense last year when the Bees had a hot run of good performances despite a low squad value as PL newcomers.
But, Thomas Frank’s side has proven its ability to play as a low possession side. Brentford are at their best without the ball and waiting for moments to press and force turnovers before breaking into space. Villa like defensive possession, but they are prone to giving the ball away because their midfield and defense aren’t the best at passing. That’s a matchup that the Bees should benefit from stylistically.
The Bees also don’t concede big scoring chances. They force teams to take a ton of shots from distance — the Bees are bottom five in shots allowed – but allow the worst average shot quality and very few clear cut opportunities. If you can’t dominate with the ball like a club of Brentford’s size cannot, the Bees settle for the next-best thing from an analytical perspective.
Time to Sell High Aston Villa
This is a prime opportunity to sell high on Aston Villa at the peak of their market value. The Villans have won five straight matches and are unbeaten in eight league contests – and they’ve run ridiculously well to achieve those victories. Since February began, Villa have a -0.16 xG difference per 90 minutes. They’ve gotten blown out a couple of times against top teams — Arsenal and Manchester City — but they’ve also managed a +0.76 goal difference per 90 in that same time span. The overachievement has come at both ends of the pitch — Emiliano Martinez is on a hot run of shot stopping and Ollie Watkins is in the midst of a stellar finishing run.
Emery deserves some credit for building a system that can put Ollie Watkins in excellent situations, but there’s real questions if he can sustain this level of production. He’s scored eight goals in his last nine matches and produced a shade under 8 xG in that time frame. Given his past career as a 0.4 xG per 90 striker in the league, he’s either finally breaking out at age 26 and leveling up to one of the best strikers in Europe, or he’s going to regress back toward his career mean in the coming weeks.
It’s much more likely that regression looms for Watkins, as much as I’ve always been higher on him than the market and often found myself bullish on Villa in preseason projections. I bet Villa top Midlands club, top half and to finish as the best non-big six club. But the market perception has reached its peak now.
Brentford vs Aston Villa Pick
Brentford are priced as a solidly worse team based on this near toss-up price at home. There’s nothing in the season long data that suggests that to be the case, as Brentford have a better xG difference for the season. Villa will get the opportunity to do plenty of their defensive possession in this matchup, but Emery’s side has a lack of midfield ball winning and weaknesses in defensive transition. They’re also not great on set pieces, where Brentford excel.
The Bees are the better team and at home. I’m buying the Bees, draw no bet, at -130 or better.
Pick: Brentford – Draw No Bet (-130 or better)
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