Burnley vs. Brighton Odds, Pick, Prediction: Can Premier League’s Unluckiest Team Break Through? (Aug. 14)
Kieran Cleeves/PA Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Leandro Trossard.
- Burnley host Brighton & Hove Albion to open their Premier League seasons on Saturday morning.
- The Seagulls appear due for a big season after registering strong underlying metrics last season, while the hosts are hoping to avoid a relegation battle.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down Burnley vs. Brighton and delivers his pick for the game below.
Burnley vs. Brighton Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-174 / +142)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated Friday afternoon via FanDuel.|
Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion open up their Premier League seasons at Turf Moor Saturday morning, looking to improve from underwhelming 2020-21 campaigns.
Burnley survived relegation last season, finishing in 17th place with 39 points. It will be their sixth straight season in the Premier League, but they are +250 to be relegated this season. Burnley’s defensive, physical style of play has been good enough to keep them in the English top flight, but this may be the season that sees them finally get relegated back to the Championship.
Brighton had the most historically unlucky season in the Premier League last season and it was a crime that they finished in 15th place. The Seagulls are due for a ton of positive regression coming into the 2021-22 campaign and have a dream matchup against a really below-average side like Burnley to start their season.
Burnley Content to Defend
Burnley’s ultra-defensive style of play is very difficult to break down if you aren’t ready for a physical battle.
The Clarets don’t allow opposing teams to play through the middle of the pitch, instead forcing them out wide. Burnley’s 4-4-2 formation allows them to stick eight guys behind the ball and absorb opposing attacks, daring teams to beat them with crosses into the middle.
However, Burnley’s 4-4-2 wasn’t that successful last season. The Clarets are allowed 1.46 expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes when playing out of that formation and their attack always suffers from that style. They only averaged 1.01 xG per 90 minutes in the 4-4-2.
Burnley’s attack is way too reliant on creating chances from set pieces, as 14.66 of their 39.38 xG last season came off free kicks, corners or penalties. That’s basically where the goals are going to have to come from in this match because Brighton only allowed 0.72 xG per 90 minutes from open play last season.
Brighton Due for Big Season
It was almost impossible to describe how unlucky Brighton was last season.
The Seagulls’ +13.91 expected goal difference (xGDiff) was good for fifth best in the Premier League. Based on xG and expected points, they should have finished 11 spots higher than they did. Brighton should have been battling for a Europa League spot, but instead it was in a relegation battle.
This is a fantastic matchup for Brighton in the opener because the Seagulls’ build up play was unbelievable last season. They play very close to the same formation as Chelsea, which is a 3-4-2-1, but sometimes they play it as a 1-2 up top with two strikers.
Brighton get to start off against a Burnley side that is the most defensive team in the Premier League that had the second-fewest pressures in the Premier League last season.
Brighton should be able to live in their final third because the Seagulls ranked in the top six in touches inside the opponents final third and touches inside the opponents penalty area last season, per fbref.com.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Brighton should be able to create a ton of high-quality chances against a very below-average Burnley side that is going to sit back defensively for most of the match.
We always want to try to back teams that are due for positive regression, and I can’t think of a better matchup to begin the season.
Since I have Brighton projected at +103, I think there is plenty of value on their Tie No Bet -138 and would play it up to -143.
Pick: Brighton Tie No Bet (-138)