Saturday Premier League Betting Odds & Pick: Liverpool vs. Brentford Preview
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images. Pictured: Ivan Toney
- Mighty Liverpool brings its stellar play to West London to face Brentford in Saturday's Premier League clash (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
- The Reds and Bees have each put together some big defensive performances thus far, but Anthony Dabbundo thinks they're due for some regression.
- Get his full Brentford-Liverpool pick and preview below.
Liverpool has blown away four of its first five opponents in the Premier League, thrashing mostly bottom half teams en route to 13 of a possible 15 points.
The Reds have taken more shots and created more chances than any team in the league, but they face a tricky road trip to London on Saturday when they take on PL newcomers and surprise top-half side Brentford.
The Bees are in their first top-flight season in 74 years and have already beaten Arsenal and Wolves. Brentford’s defense has been particularly impressive, conceding just two goals from five matches. Its attacking pair of Bryan Mbeumo and Ivan Toney should be able to create some chances and find a goal against Liverpool’s defense.
The Reds’ numbers are a bit inflated since they’ve played nearly a whole match worth of minutes with a man advantage, further inflating their defensive numbers that are already due for some regression to the mean. Brentford and Liverpool should both find the back of the net this entertaining clash on Saturday.
Brentford vs. Liverpool Odds
|Our Pick||Both Teams Score -120|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-130 / +105)|
|Time||12:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Is Brentford’s Success Legitimate in English Top Flight?
Brentford was a press-and-possess team in the Championship that had excellent attacking numbers and not as good defensive numbers despite being more than good enough to secure promotion to the top flight.
The questions coming into the season were about the Bees’ defense in the PL and whether they could keep enough goals out to remain in the division. Through five games, the Bees have the second-best xG allowed numbers and have only conceded twice. They haven’t played any particularly tough opponents given they faced a weak Arsenal lineup on opening day and have played Brighton, Aston Villa, Wolves and Crystal Palace in the other games.
The defense will almost certainly regress, and Saturday is by far their toughest test yet with a Liverpool attack that leads the league in shots and xG. The Bees have succeeded by being much more pragmatic, sending fewer players forward and relying more heavily on Mbeumo and Toney to be the entire attack.
It’s worked for the Bees because the goals have come, often early in games and given them leads to play with.
Brentford has only trailed for a few minutes all season, in stoppage time of their 1-0 defeat to Brighton. They’ll be tested out of game state advantages if they fall behind to Liverpool and are forced to come out and play more aggressively.
Even with that, the Bees have an avenue to attack Liverpool directly through transition, where AC Milan, Leeds and Palace found some success even if goals didn’t come for the latter two.
Dominant Liverpool Will Eventually Concede Goal
Norwich, Burnley, Leeds and Crystal Palace have all created quality chancess against the Reds’, but they didn’t find the goal. Liverpool has conceded 5.1 xG in five matches, which is fourth best in the league.
They’ve allowed at least 0.7 xGA in every game but haven’t allowed any goals except a set piece header by Chelsea’s Kai Havertz. It’s unsustainable to allow about an expected goal per match and only concede one actual goal in five matches.
There are always multiple factors that contribute to xG overperformance defensively. Goalkeeper, quality of the average chance allowed and luck are the three main factors that affect it.
The Reds have been fortunate that teams have turned 5.1 xG into just 3.6 post-shot expected goals. Alisson is one of the best shot-stoppers in the world, which must be considered when tracking the Reds overperformance. He’s saved 2.6 goals based on shots allowed this season, more than anyone else in the league.
Even factoring all of that in, the Reds are well overdue to concede a goal. Norwich even missed a penalty in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup fixture.
Liverpool’s attack is as dominant ever with the most shots taken and most xG created in the entire league. They’ll break through against Brentford, and they’ll probably concede enough chances to let a goal through too.
Betting Analysis & Picks
Liverpool and Brentford have allowed three combined goals through three matches and the underlying performances and talent levels of both teams suggests that it’s way too few. The Reds’ defense is understandably improved with the return of Virgil van Dijk, but they’re still conceding chances.
Brentford was only slightly above average in the Championship last year defensively and hasn’t faced a great attacking team yet this year. Their 3.6 xGA is a bit of a mirage through five matches and given their overall talent level will struggle to contain Liverpool’s counterpress and swarming attack in this matchup.
I show value on both teams to score at -120 odds or better, with the current number sitting at -105 odds. My projection puts both teams to score at 57.6%, which creates an implied -136 odds.
Pick: Both Teams to Score Yes (-120 or better)
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