Everton vs. Crystal Palace EPL Betting Preview, Prediction: More Scoring on Tap Saturday
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images. Pictured: Neal Maupay.
- Neal Maupay and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were supposed to jump-start Everton's attack, but the results haven't been there so far.
- Crystal Palace have managed to handle a tough slate with some impressive results.
- When the two collide on Saturday, an over bet on the total makes a ton of sense as your best wager.
Everton vs. Crystal Palace Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+123 / -155)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network|
|Odds via Unibet. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Crystal Palace look to make it three wins out of four Saturday when they visit an Everton side trying to halt a three-game slide.
Palace have hit a relative soft spot in their schedule and taken advantage, winning home to Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers with an away draw at Newcastle United sandwiched in between.
Everton have hit a rough patch while stepping up in class in opponent, losing home to Manchester United and away to Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle.
These teams met three times last season. Palace won twice at home, once in the league and once in the FA Cup. But it was Everton who stole the headlines, coming from two goals down in a 3-2 home win in early May to seal Premier League survival.
A Square Peg in a Round Hole for Everton?
The signing of Neal Maupay at striker and return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to fitness were supposed to jump-start Everton's attack.
Instead, the opposite has happened. The Toffees have now gone 265 minutes without a goal and failed to register so much as a shot on target in either of their last two matches.
And they're averaging a shade under 0.7 xG per 90 minutes since Maupay's first start. The Toffes averaged more than double that in their first five games while trying to problem solve with imperfect striking options.
Maybe playing a false nine system with more interchangeable pieces is a better option for manager Frank Lampard and a roster with a lot of emphasis on holding midfielders and wingers — because Calvert-Lewin in particular is heavily reliant on service.
And while Maupay can create from midfield, his presence might be keeping teammates from making more aggressive runs when he leaves his spot up top.
The strength-in-schedule issue is also a real one that should curb some pessimism. Everton's three defeats have come against the third, fifth and sixth teams in the current table. Tottenham have allowed opponents the fourth-fewest xG at home, while Newcastle have allowed the fourth-fewest xG overall.
Crystal Palace Taking Care of the Business They Should
Like Everton, Palace have had a stronger-than-average schedule to start the campaign. They've managed it better than Saturday's foes not by shocking any of the big boys, but by taking points against all of the rest.
In total, Patrick Vieira's squad have earned 12 points in six matches against sides outside the top six. And that includes a draw at a Liverpool team most believe will find its way inside that half-dozen sooner than later.
You could argue that Palace still need to prove their mettle away, but their four away league fixtures have included two top six sides and Liverpool.
Striker Wilfried Zaha could be eyeing a third consecutive double-digit goals season if he remains healthy. He has five so far, including a 70th-minute winner that snapped a four-match drought Tuesday against Wolves.
Behind the Ivory Coast international, Eberechi Eze and Odsonne Edouard each have two goals and two assists.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Teams have combined for an average of 2.6 xG in Everton's 11 league matches so far and 2.5 xG in Palace's 10 games.
Yet a wager on the total above 2.5 goals is available at well above even money, in part because home/away xG splits predict lower totals, and in part because Everton have seen eight fewer goals scored in their games than models predict.
But these splits also don't account for a tougher-than-average schedule for Everton at home and Palace away.
And if you believe Everton will continue to defy xG models all season, it's worth remembering Lampard's tenure last year began with a similar stretch, followed by a regression toward some higher scoring games.
Lastly, styles make fights. And these teams combined to produce at least three goals in all three meetings last season.
This is a good spot to back another total of three goals or more. At +123 odds, you're playing an implied 44.8% probability.
The Pick: Total over 2.5 goals (+123)