Huddersfield Town vs. Nottingham Forest Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: How to Bet English Championship Playoff (May 29)
Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Nottingham Forest players huddle before a match.
Huddersfield vs. Nottingham
|Over/Under||2.5 (+125 / -175)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
So, you thought the Champions League final was high stakes?
I’ll raise you the English Championship Playoff, where one match decides who is promoted to the Premier League and receives a reported $239 million dollars in broadcasting-rights money, and who is staying in the Championship.
Huddersfield Town takes on Nottingham Forest in Sunday’s huge showdown to decide who gets promoted to the most prestigious league in global football.
Huddersfield Town Seeking EPL Return
It’s been three years since Huddersfield was relegated from the Premier League and it’s back in the playoff it won over Reading to get promoted to the Premier League. The club was famously able to finish fifth in the league table with a negative goal differential. And guess what? It’s back to its old ways.
Despite finishing in third place in the table, Huddersfield finished the regular season with a +0.7 xGDiff, per infogol.net. Based on expected points, the club should have finished in 12th place. So, to say it’s fortunate to be here would be an understatement.
The club is the worst pressing team in Championship by PPDA, only averaging 0.78 xG per match from open play, but has scored the most goals off set pieces, per Opta.
Huddersfield basically did nothing in the previous two matches against Nottingham Forest, creating 0.88 xG in the first meeting and 0.82 xG in the second clash. That said, I find it hard to believe it’s going to create a ton of chances given its passive style in the most pressure-filled match of the season.
Nottingham Forest Desperate for Promotion
Nottingham Forest is a club that needs to be back in the English top flight. For those who don’t know, it was back-to-back European Cup champions (equivalent of Champions League) way back in 1979 & 1980.
The club was relegated from the Premier League during the 1998-99 season and have spent the last 23 years in the Championship.
Even with all of that rich history, this Nottingham Forest team isn’t all that impressive. Its +15.6 xGDiff was good for sixth in the Championship and the side was fortunate defensively, allowing 40 goals off 54.3 xG this campaign.
🏆 #OnThisDay in 1979, The Reds were crowned European Champions for the first time following a 1-0 victory against Malmö in Munich
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) May 30, 2021
The club has some young, exciting players that helped it get to this point like wingback Djed Spence, who’s garnering interest fromTottenham and Manchester United. Brennen Johnson, who is only 21 but has 18 goals for the club is there, as well as midfielder/Manchester United loanee Jack Garner.
Nottingham Forest plays is a heavy counterattacking profile, setting up in a 3-4-1-2 formation. The club led the Championship with 97 direct attacks, but its direct speed was only 15th in the league, per Opta.
So, the club is very measured in its counterattack rather than relying on pure speed to get at the opposing defense, which is an advantage for a Huddersfield side that plays a passive/defensive style in its 3-4-3 formation.
BJ Cunningham’s Projections & Best Bet
Given how passive Huddersfield plays (its matches this season only averaged 2.31 total xG) and the pressure of how big the moment is for both clubs playing at Wembley Stadium, this should be a low-scoring game, which is why the total of under 2.5 goals is heavily juiced.
That said, I’m banking on both teams playing conservative early on and will bet the highest scoring half to be the second on the props market at -110 odds.
Pick: Highest Scoring Half — Second (-110)