Nottingham Forest vs. Leeds United Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview (Feb. 5)

Nottingham Forest vs. Leeds United Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview (Feb. 5) article feature image

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Nottingham Forest vs. Leeds United Odds

Sun, Feb. 5
9 a.m. ET
USA Network

Nottingham Forest Odds


Leeds United Odds

Over/Under2.5 (-115 / -110)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-150 / +125)
Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.

United States international Weston McKennie could make his Premier League debut on Sunday when Leeds United visit Nottingham Forest in a match that is critical to both teams' Premier League survival.

McKennie joins a Leeds side with familiar American faces in manager Jesse Marsch, and teammates Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson. He's also no stranger to a relegation fight: Schalke were embroiled in one in his last season at the club, and ultimately went down the following year.

Newly promoted Nottingham Forest were once favorites to go back down after reaching this level for the first time since they 1990s. They're now unbeaten with eight points from their last four league fixtures, and begin the weekend in 13th place. That's three points above Leeds in 15th and four above the relegation zone.

This is the duo's first meeting of the campaign, with their previously scheduled clash in Leeds one of many September EPL postponements.

Nottingham Forest Capable of Responding Well

Perhaps there's a risk that Forest will have their recent league form uprooted by a dispiriting two-leg loss to Manchester United in the League Cup semifinals.

Forest lost 5-0 on aggregate, including a particularly rough 3-0 result in the first leg at home. The second half of the tie at Old Trafford was relatively uneventful until Anthony Martial and Fred scored on 73 and 76 minutes, respectively.

But manager Steve Cooper's have already taken some hefty beatings before and responded well. In all competitions, their record following a multi-goal defeat is 1-3-4 (W-L-D). More generally, they appear to be a side that has figured out their identity at this level.

In their last 10 in the league, Forest's only defeats have come to top-four sides (Manchester United away, Arsenal away). Although their season-long xG difference is -7.4, it's only -1.7 over that stretch, including those two defeats.

Costa Rica international Keylor Navas could make his first start for Forest days after his acquisition from Paris St. Germain. His goalkeeping colleague Dean Henderson is still out with a hamstring issue.

Further up the pitch, Morgan Gibbs-White and Taiwo Awoniyi are both unavailable. That duo have combined for six of Forest's 16 goals.

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Leeds United Struggling to Get Results

You could argue the quality of Leeds' play has been better than Forest's over stretches of the season. But the results have not.

Marsch's men have the superior goal difference and xG difference, and they have easily given the better accounts of themselves against top-half sides. That includes a 0-0 draw at Newcastle last month that is the only point earned by either side against the current top four.

But they occupy a lower rung in the current table in part because of their inconsistency, particularly on the attacking end. In defense, they're a bit too consistent in letting in goals, having allowed at least three more often (five games) than they've kept clean sheets (four).

They're also short Rodrigo, whose 10 goals are easily Leeds' most this season.

This is a place where McKennie could offer supplemental help. The box-to-box midfielder is good at providing late-arriving runs, and he had averaged above 0.2 goals per 90 minutes in his first two Serie A seasons before a drop off this year.

At striker, Patrick Bamford has been healthy for a couple weeks after his own layoff, and he could be in line for his first start since his return.

Nottingham Forest vs. Leeds United Pick

Neither of these teams are particularly reliable attacking sides, but Forest are consistent in home games.

Cooper's squad has been held scoreless only once in 10 league games at the City Ground, through they've yet to score more than two. Leeds have kept only one clean sheet on their travels.

Add in that Forest seem to be a visibly improved side in their last 10 Premier League games, and that Leeds lack some attacking solutions right now, and the home side should be a heavier favorite. This is a line that appears to factor in the analytics from the entire season, without a heavy enough lean on more recent games.

The moneyline on Forest isn't a bad play, but given that Forest can't really run and hide with a goal barrage — even though Leeds sometimes allow them — I feel more comfortable taking the draw out of the equation on a draw no bet wager at -110 odds and an implied 52.4% probability.

If you really believe in Forest's home track record, the best play here might be on a relatively unsexy prop: Forest 1-2 multigoal (-167, BetMGM) has cashed on 15-of-19 occasions (78.9%) between these teams when Forest is home or Leeds is away.

Pick: Nottingham Forest, Draw No Bet (-110 via DraftKings)

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