Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool Preview & Prediction: Value With Home Underdog

Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool Preview & Prediction: Value With Home Underdog article feature image

Alex Dodd/Getty. Pictured: Alisson.

Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool Odds

Forest Odds+1100
Liverpool Odds-400
Over/Under3.5 (+128 / -159)
Day | TimeSaturday | 7:30 a.m. ET
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Liverpool look for their third straight win and first in the league away from home when they visit last-place Nottingham Forest in Saturday’s early kickoff.

The Reds are coming off consecutive home wins, 1-0 each over Manchester City and West Ham, to climb to seventh in the table following a slow start.

Forest need points soon if they're to survive their first Premier League season in more than two decades after a run of nine games without a victory.

Liverpool won an FA Cup quarterfinal 1-0 at Forest last March. Before that, the sides hadn’t met since the latter was last relegated from the Premier League in 1999.

Forest Learning a Cruel Lesson

After a promising start, Forest are finding out how cruel the Premier League can be.

Since a 6-0 defeat away to Manchester City, manager Steve Cooper’s side have created as many or more expected goals (xG) than their opponents in five of their last six games.

The result is only two points earned, with draws at home to Aston Villa and away last weekend against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Oddly, Forest have earned all their points in matches in which they’ve created fewer xG than the opposition.

Perhaps that's a sign of promise for Saturday’s clash, but they’ll need to snap a scoreless stretch of 255 minutes if they’re going to take something against their more talented opponents.

Emmanuel Dennis scored Forest’s last goal in a 1-1 home draw against Aston Villa on October 10.

Liverpool Finding Form

Liverpool are on the verge of their first three-match winning run in league play of the season, a fact that sounds almost unfathomable given their recent status as regular title contenders

But even though the Reds saw off Manchester City two games ago, their overall product remains shy of what we’ve come to expect.

If anything, they were a bit fortunate to take all three points from Wednesday’s 1-0 win against West Ham on Darwin Nunez's first league goal at Anfield.

The ambush some might have expected after the Uruguayan summer signing's 22nd-minute header never materialized.

Instead, the Hammers punched back, forcing Liverpool's Alisson into a penalty save late in the first half and their defense into some resolute defending in the second. 

The Reds are also in search of their first road win, though that owes a bit to a tough schedule. Their weakest opponent so far on their travels has been derby rival Everton, who held their neighbors to a 0-0 draw.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

The visitors should win, but the betting market is still pricing Liverpool like last year’s side that finished second in the league. 

Wednesday’s workman-like victory over West Ham is the latest evidence that this team just isn't playing that well. And save for City’s demolition job, Forest have performed better in games where they’re not expected to bring the attacking impetus.

I’m not saying the home side pull off a shock, but backing Liverpool to cruise is the wrong play in what I think will be a win they have to grind out again.

So, I’m backing Forest on a two-goal spread.

That means you're backing a three-in-five chance that a game that doesn't finish as a two-goal Liverpool victory is closer than that.

If you want to be more aggressive, you might consider backing Liverpool to win by exactly one or exactly two goals (or both.)

The Pick: Nottingham Forest +2 (-150)

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