Saturday Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Manchester United vs. Leeds United Betting Preview (August 14)
Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, left, and Leeds United standout Raphinha.
- Manchester United open their Premier League campaign as odds-on favorites against Marcelo Bielsa's high-flying Leeds United.
- Should bettors expect a goalfest on Saturday morning?
- Jeremy Pond believes so and explains below why he's expecting fireworks at Old Trafford.
Manchester United vs. Leeds Odds
|Manchester United Odds||-190|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-160 / +125)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Friday morning via DraftKings.|
Set your alarm clock and get the coffee timer fired up, folks. Premier League action is back, with Manchester United welcoming Leeds United to Old Trafford for a bright-and-early, 7 a.m. ET start.
These are two of the most electric teams in England’s top flight, both of whom I believe are sitting on big campaigns this time around. The Red Devils, who finished with 74 points and 12 behind league champion Manchester City last season, will be without several key players for various reasons in their debut. However, the club’s depth more than makes up for those expected losses.
As for the Peacocks, they’re coming off an impressive ninth-place finish under manager Marcelo Bielsa in their first season back in England’s top flight. Now, Leeds will hope to make a bigger charge up the table and contend for a spot in next season’s European competitions.
Key Absences Create Tricky Spot for Manchester United
The Reds Devils are hopeful they can carry over some solid play over the course of last season into this season’s campaign. However, they’ll have to start things with an array of first-team talent on the sideline.
Numerous players, including Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and several others reportedly won’t be available. Edinson Cavani has also been deemed doubtful, which creates plenty of question marks surrounding the club’s lineup.
However, the Red Devils have the kind of roster depth where they have will still have the capability of sending out a powerful starting XI. And oddsmakers have taken notice of that, tabbing them as -190 favorites as of writing.
Last season, Manchester United had decent numbers in its advanced metrics, but they really weren’t anything to write home about. The club finished with 60.2 xG and 42.2 xGA, generating a +18.0 expected-goal differential and +0.47 xGDiff/90 minutes. As I said, those are respectable numbers, but will never be good enough to contend for first place.
Can Leeds Put Together Another Strong Campaign?
Oh, how I’ve missed you, Peacocks. My affinity for Bielsa’s side began in its season-opening 4-3 loss against Liverpool at Anfield. I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch the newly promoted club, but was drawn in by Leeds’ carefree approach.
That match followed with a 4-3 triumph against relegated Fulham. From that point forward, I was officially hooked on the Peacocks. They would end riding quite the rollercoaster when it come to performances, but really put together a stellar run over the final third of their campaign to finish top 10 in the table.
So, just how good was that string of matches? Well, it was really impressive considering the fact Leeds went unbeaten in 10 of its final 11 league fixtures, including a four-game winning streak to end the season with a bang at Elland Road.
And the performances didn’t just come against the bottom feeders. There were massive wins in there, including a 2-1 road victory at Manchester City and a 3-1 home triumph over Tottenham Hotspur. The club also notched a scoreless draw against Champions League winner Chelsea, plus ties with Liverpool (1-1) and Manchester United (0-0) to raise eyebrows around Europe.
Patrick Bamford will lead the line again for the Peacocks, who ended their season with 57.5 xG and 62 goals in 38 league matches. Unfortunately, Leeds was downright awful defensively, finishing with a ghastly 62.9 xGA that was second worst in the entire league.
Betting Analysis & Picks
My bias might sometimes creep into my previews involving Leeds, but this really is a prime spot for the club to make some noise right out of the gate. That might not come in the form of an outright win at +500 odds, but snagging a point at Old Trafford wouldn’t be too far-fetched in my opinion.
However, I’m staying away from both sides and will back the total to go over 2.5 goals at -155 odds via DraftKings as my top pick. That might be a little too much juice for some, so waiting for a lower number somewhere in the -130 neighborhood on a live wager might be more appealing in this spot.
I will also play both teams to score goals at a more palatable -130, due to the fact these sides erupted for a combined eight goals in United’s 6-2 trashing of Leeds last season on Manchester soil.
Bottom line, this has all the makings of being a wide-open affair and should deliver some fireworks to kick off the season.
Picks: Total Over 2.5 Goals (-155) | Both Teams To Score — Yes (-130)