Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leicester City Pick & Betting Preview: Foxes Overvalued On Road (Sept. 19)
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images. Pictured: Brighton standout Neal Maupay, right, and his teammates celebrates a goal.
- Brighton host Leicester City for a Premier League match on Sunday.
- Both the Foxes' and Seagulls offenses have declined since last season, but value has faded from the total.
- Anthony Dabbundo explains below why he is instead picking a different side for his bet.
Brighton vs. Leicester City Odds
|Leicester City Odds||+185|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+110 / -135)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
In a league that’s often been dominated by the so-called big six of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton and Leicester City are two teams that have tried to upend that narrative.
The Foxes famously won the Premier League as 5000/1 underdogs in 2015-16 and have been a mainstay in the top half of the table since. They opened the door for fellow upstart clubs, like their Sunday opponents, Brighton.
The Seagulls have languished near the bottom of the table since returning to the top flight, but not without playing a possession-based style of soccer, playing out from the back and not shying away from challenging the top teams.
Brighton, owned by a sports betting company, has often featured analytics at the forefront of its decision-making and even joked about expected goals (xG) on their official team Twitter account.
The Seagulls have drawn the fandom of much of the analytics community after their historically unlucky 2020-21 season saw them finish 16th in the actual table despite a top-half finish in xG difference.
It seems that Brighton’s performances have been worse so far this season, but the results have been better. Playing at home against a Leicester side whose offensive numbers have dropped off a cliff to begin 2021, though, the Seagulls are undervalued to get the result.
Seagulls’ Offensive Potential Aided by Continuity
I wrote about this in my weekend recap, but the Brighton offense isn’t performing as well through four games as it was last year. Brighton has now won twice despite losing the xG battle.
Brighton is 2-1 in one-goal games after running impossibly cold in such matches last season. The Seagulls have five goals from 3.9 xG and conceded three goals from 4.2 xG allowed.
But Brighton’s xG difference on their home pitch last season cannot be ignored either. The Seagulls were +0.89 xGD per 90 last season in 19 home matches, third-best in the league behind Chelsea and Manchester City.
Despite a +17 xG difference, Brighton had an even goal difference
It’s a new year and the new numbers should be weighted more heavily now, but those impressive xG numbers can’t be ignored when most of the same team has returned with a key midfield upgrade in Enock Mwepu from Salzburg.
Two-Way Troubles for Leicester
Leicester had a really slow start to the 2020-21 season in terms of performances but were bailed out by an absurd number of penalty kicks to keep their goals and attack afloat.
The penalties have expectedly dried up, and the offense has been even worse to begin the new year.
The Foxes are last or near last in nearly every offensive category despite signing promising young striker Patson Daka from RB Salzburg in the offseason. They are last in shots per 90 (7.25), last in shot-creating actions per 90 (10.5) and 19th in xG for the season (3.6).
The Foxes are 19th in attacking penalty area touches and final third attacking touches.
Their ball progression and ball-carrying numbers are mediocre, as well. There’s absolutely nothing to like about them going forward, and the defensive numbers haven’t been stellar either.
The backline looked shaky against West Ham, Norwich, Man City and Napoli, each of the Foxes’ last four games. Leicester hasn’t won a single game on xG this season, and even last season’s start wasn’t nearly this bad.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I recommended a play of under 2.5 at -115 earlier in the week in the Action Network App, but the market has moved the total too low for a play at the current number.
However, my projections show Brighton is undervalued at home in this matchup. The Seagulls were similar to LCFC in my power ratings last season, and have outperformed them thus far this year.
The Foxes had to play a Europa League game on Thursday against Napoli, and thus have had much less rest on a much thinner squad than most teams competing in Europe have.
In what is likely to be a cagey, low-scoring affair, Brighton is the more likely winner if there is one. Anything -135 or better is good on the Seagulls on the draw no bet line.
Pick: Brighton — Draw No Bet (-135 or better)