Everton vs. Leicester City Preview & Prediction: Back Toffees to Pick Up Needed Result
Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Seamus Coleman.
- Everton takes on Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday.
- Where does the betting value lie between the sides?
- Read on for Ian Quillen's best bet and pick.
Everton vs. Leicester City Odds
|Leicester City Odds||+200|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-105 / -125)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 1:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBC|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Everton look to continue putting a slow start behind them on Saturday when they host a Leicester City side struggling to do the same.
The Toffees have only won three times this season. But, they’ve drawn as often as they’ve lost, which is the main reason they enter the weekend in 12th place following last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Fulham.
Leicester have the same number of wins but have usually lost when they’re not victorious. As a result, they’re three points behind Everton and in 18th, just on the bad side of the relegation zone one-third of the way through the season.
A pandemic-related postponement meant these teams met twice this past spring. They drew 1-1 at Everton in April and the visiting Toffees won 2-1 at in Leicester in May.
Everton Getting Big Keeper Help
You can talk about defensive additions in the summer or a renewed sense of spirit since Frank Lampard’s takeover last winter, but the biggest reason Everton are trending closer toward the middle of the table than the bottom right now might be goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
He was exceptional again in last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Fulham, continuing a credible Premier League Best XI bid with a flurry of first-half saves.
The England national team starter’s 83.6% save percentage is second in the Premier League, as is his +3.9 goals saved according to post-shot xG data.
While the center back pairing of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski has performed well, Lampard will have more options there this week; the injured Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina have both returned to training.
Leicester City Facing Opposite Problem
Perhaps some of the Foxes’ struggles to grind out results is born in trying unsuccessfully to fill the void left by former goalkeeping standout Kasper Schmeichel.
The Danish international left Leicester for Nice in France’s Ligue 1 over the summer after a decade with the club. Replacement Danny Ward’s analytic numbers aren’t great, with -4.6 goals saved compared against post-shot xG.
The defending has gotten a lot better since the September international break, however. Leicester have only conceded three times since, including a valiant performance in a 1-0 defeat at defending league champions Manchester City last weekend.
James Madison is making a case for his inclusion in England’s World Cup squad while spearheading Leicester’s attack. He has six goals and two assists, and is halfway to the 12 goals he scored last season that marked a Premier League career high.
Betting Analysis & Pick
If you believe xG Diff as the best predictor for future performance, you’d like Everton to win at home. The two teams have posted a roughly even xGDiff figure this season, and so far home sides are winning slightly more than 50% of the time. Even if that latter figure is likely to regress, you’d give Everton the edge at +140 odds and an implied 41.7% probability.
A lot of models out there don’t consider these teams even, perhaps factoring in last year’s performances. Everton barely escaped relegation, while Leicester were just outside the European places.
But a funny thing about that: Everton’s xGDiff in the 2021-2022 campaign was slightly ahead of Leicester’s. They were significantly unlucky to be in a relegation fight, at least as far as the stats were concerned.
There’s another reason to be on the home team here: They just haven’t lost many games they’re not supposed to. Four of Everton’s five defeats have come against teams that currently sit in the top six. Leicester can’t say the same, with losses to Brighton, Southampton and Bournemouth on their resume so far.
The best opponent they’ve beaten is 15th-place Leeds United, whilst Everton’s best win was their last, a 3-0 home triumph over 10th-place Crystal Palace.
A draw is always a strong possibility with Everton involved this season. But for me, they’re considerably more likely to win than to lose here. So I’m playing them on a Draw No Bet wager at -140 odds, backing a 58.3% probability that they’ll win this game if they don’t draw it.
The Pick: Everton, Draw No Bet (-140)