Brighton vs Southampton Odds, Pick: Premier League Preview
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images. Pictured: Duje Caleta-Car .
Brighton vs Southampton Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (+100 / -125)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-110/ -110)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Brighton & Hove Albion look to take a step closer to their dream of European football when they host a Southampton side that was the first to see its relegation from the Premier League.
Brighton entered the weekend in possession of the sixth spot in the Premier League table, still with one match in hand after a midweek thumping at Newcastle United. But this will likely be the last time this season they enter as oddsmakers’ favorites, as they host Manchester City on Wednesday and then visit Aston Villa to close their schedule.
Southampton was officially consigned to the drop in their home loss to Fulham last weekend. Even had they beaten the Cottagers, their maximum point potential would’ve been 33, which looks unlikely to be enough for survival.
Brighton won these South Coast rivals’ previous meeting 3-1 at Southampton in early January.
A top-six finish and a place in the UEFA Europa League can be a mixed blessing for ascending clubs because of the demands it puts on rosters that often aren’t as deep as regular continental competitors.
The Seagulls are getting a taste of what those demands might look like in the stretch run of their current league campaign. Because of several reschedulings due to their own cup run (and that of a couple other teams), they’re finishing the league with a stretch of five matches in 15 days. That may ask questions of this squad’s depth in a way much of the season hasn’t.
It’s easy to say Thursday’s heavy loss at Newcastle is evidence of a team that might not be up to the fixture congestion. Then again, the Magpies have throttled nearly everyone who’s dared travel to St. James Park of late, posting an astounding +12.6 xG difference across their last five home matches.
Even so, it was Brighton’s longest away journey of the season, with a home game following less than 72 hours after.
To date, they’ve only played two matches fewer than 72 hours apart, and only one when both matches were league games. Things turned out alright on that occasion, when the Seagulls dispatched the Wolverhampton Wanderers 6-0 at home on April 29, less than three full days after an away loss to Nottingham Forest.
There’s not much the Saints did well in a season that went sideways quickly. It often felt like the sum was adding up to less than the total of Southampton’s parts.
Their worst attribute was clear — an inability to earn results at The St. Mary’s Stadium.
Southampton earned six fewer points at home than anyone else in the league, the exact same gap as their overall margin from the next-closest team in the table. There are four teams who have earned fewer away points than the Saints entering the weekend, and all but Leeds United begin the matchday above the relegation line.
More recently, the Saints have become less rigid defensively, conceding multiple times in eight of their last 10 matches, all of those in the league.
And despite all that, plus a run of 11 games without a win, they’ve posted some of their best performances against their toughest foes, with draws at home to Tottenham Hotspur, away to Manchestster United and Arsenal since the start of March.
Brighton vs Southampton Pick
Southampton feels like the proverbial young team that plays to the level of its opponent at times.
There’s evidence for it in this stat: The Saints have scored at least one goal in 63.6% of their games against the current top six, and in 61.1% of their games overall. I think their away form — where things are less comfortable and more challenging — could also indicate this.
I suspect that having relegation already decided might even be freeing for a team with a lot of compelling but unpolished talent.
Meanwhile, the Seagulls have an all-or-nothing tendency in terms of their results. In their eight home games against teams in the bottom half of the table, they’ve won four by three goals or more. The other five were at least within a goal, including a 0-0 draw to Nottingham Forest and a 5-1 demolition job at the hands of Everton two weeks ago.
Given the busy Brighton itinerary and Southampton’s nature, I will back the Saints to keep this one within a goal at +128 odds and an implied 43.9% probability. But I also understand if you want to go the other direction and play the Seagulls -2.5 goals well into plus-money territory.
Pick: Southampton +1.5 goals (+130, Bet365)
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