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Nottingham Forest vs. Fulham Betting Odds, Picks & Prediction: How to Target the Total (September 16)

Nottingham Forest vs. Fulham Betting Odds, Picks & Prediction: How to Target the Total (September 16) article feature image
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Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Dean Henderson during the Premier League match at The City Ground, Nottingham. (Photo by Scott Wilson/PA Images via Getty Images)

  • Fulham has surpassed expectations so far this season and will now hit the road for a match against Forest, a team that has struggled of late.
  • Forest needs a win on Friday, so will it tweak its strategy?
  • Anthony Dabbundo previews the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Nottingham Forest vs. Fulham Odds

Nottingham Forest Odds +175
Fulham Odds +155
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (-116 / -106)
Day | Time Friday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

When two newly promoted sides meet in the Premier League, it’s often billed as a relegation six-pointer given how difficult it is for newly promoted sides to remain in the English top flight. Fulham has surpassed expectations to this point with an average beginning to the campaign. The Cottagers have nine goals for and nine against. They sit 10th in the table with two wins, two draws and two defeats in six matches.

Next up for the Cottagers is a tricky Friday road trip to the City Ground in the Midlands to take on Nottingham Forest. Forest stunned West Ham at home and earned a point at Everton, but they’ve lost three consecutive matches and conceded 11 goals in that span.

Forest has signed 22 new players this transfer window and the week off may have given manager Steve Cooper time to gel new players into the team. Either way, Forest has been the league’s worst team by xG difference. They’ll need to get something from this match at home, so could we see a more conservative Forest?

Nottingham Forest

Trying to project a lineup for Nottingham Forest is quite difficult given the sheer number of incoming players during the transfer window. The defense is shorthanded and will be without former Mainz defender Moussa Niakhite once again. That remains the weakness of the squad in general, but the excellent shot-stopping of Dean Henderson should help them a bit in this game.

Forest could also bolster the ball winning in its midfield by starting former Atalanta midfielder Remo Freuler. There are also questions about where Forest will go for attackers in this match.

It could be Emmanuel Dennis and Taiwo Awoniyi together as a two with Brennan Johnson. That’s probably Forest’s best front three, but the midfield lacks creativity and the ball progression to get the ball forward right now.

Forest, like Fulham, overperformed its attacking xG considerably with its total goals in the championship. The attack has mustered less than one xG per match and may need to be more compact to prevent clear scoring chances in a match Forest cannot lose at home.

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Fulham

Fulham produced 106 goals last season from 87.3 expected goals in the English championship. The Cottagers were an over machine thanks to that elite performance and finishing variance. They entered this Premier League season as a prime attacking regression candidate. The team, outside of Aleksandr Mitrovic, has really struggled to create chances. Mitrovic has scored six of the team’s eight league goals through six matches. He is holding up the entire attack right now, which has produced the 18th most box entries and 16th most shots per 90.

The Cottagers did make noticeable improvements defensively, and that has shown in their improved midfield personnel and performances against Liverpool and Arsenal. Even though the Cottagers ultimately conceded two in those matches, they defended their penalty area well.

Fulham’s midfield three of Palhinha, Harrison Reid and Andreas Pereira has encouraging ball winning numbers thus far. Palhinha is averaging 5.93 tackles + interceptions, which is among the best in the Premier League. Reid adds in aerial duels and blocking ability from the base of the midfield and Pereira is good at pressing without the ball. It’s a functional midfield that doesn’t have much passing and the result has been plenty of destruction and not much creation from that area.

The attack has been centered around Mitrovic. I question how long that is sustainable going forward and if we might see them struggle to score in the future.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Only once has Forest produced more than one non-penalty expected goal this season. Their defense is also quite poor and has conceded the most expected goals in the league. 

Most people will expect an open game with plenty of goals and chances, but that really wasn’t the case in Forest’s home game two weeks ago with Bournemouth. There was just 1.6 non-penalty xG in that match, even though it ended 3-2. Fulham’s defense has held up well in most matches this season and Forest’s defense has been better at the City Ground than it’s been away from home.

My projection has just 2.4 goals expected in this match. Throw in that this is a matchup of two overrated attacks primed for regression and I’ll bet under 2.5 at -120 or better. 

The Pick: Under 2.5 (-120 or better)

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