Premier League Odds, Pick, Prediction: Watford vs. Liverpool Betting Preview (Oct. 16)
David Klein – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
- Powerful Liverpool heads to Vicarage Road for Saturday's Premier League battle with Watford.
- Claudio Ranieri begins his tenure with the Hornets, who are huge underdogs against the title contenders.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the match and explains why he's expects Liverpool's offense to put on a clinic.
Watford vs. Liverpool Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-170 / -135)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Liverpool looks to keep pace in the Premier League title race Saturday when they travel to Vicarage Road to take on Watford.
The Hornets have had a dreadful start since being promoted to the English top flight. It has been so bad that they sacked their Xisco Muñoz during the international break and appointed the former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri to lead the club.
🤝 Watford FC is delighted to confirm the appointment of Claudio Ranieri as the club’s new Head Coach.
Welcome to Watford, Claudio! 💛
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) October 4, 2021
Ranieri will have a tough task ahead of him, with Watford currently sitting in 15th place with seven points from its first seven matches.
In contrast, Liverpool has been on the same level as Manchester City and Chelsea to start its Premier League campaign, as the club is just a point behind the Blues for first place in the table.
The Reds, who earned a well-deserved draw with Manchester City before the break, have been the best offense in the league behind Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané, who have combined for 10 goals already this campaign. However, the last time they visited Vicarage Road, Watford walked away with a 3-0 win back in the 2020 season.
Offensive Woes Continue to Haunt Watford
The Hornets have really struggled offensively since promotion, as they’re only averaging 0.89 non-penalty expected goals, which is 18th in the league. They do have a young star in the making in Ismail Sarr, who has scored four of the club’s seven goals and has the fifth-most progressive carries in the first division, per fbref.com. However, outside of Sarr, it’s pretty bleak for Watford.
This a terrible matchup for the host on the offensive front, because they really struggle against high-pressing teams, as they’re 19th in pressure success rate allowed and 18th in Offensive PPDA.
Guess what? Manager Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool employs one of the most successful high presses in the league, ranking first in PPDA. So, it’s going to be really difficult for Watford to not only create chances, but successfully progress the ball up the field.
Defensive Stars Powering Liverpool Engine
The Reds have found the form that led them to the Premier League title during the 2019-20 season, with the main reason for that being they’re finally healthy at the back. Virgil Van Djik, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez missed most of last season, but since they’ve returned Liverpool has been able to play more a more cohesive style of football, which has really benefited their offense.
Nobody has had an answer for the Reds’ attack, as they lead the league in npxG, shots per 90 minutes and big scoring chances. Liverpool have also lived in the opposing teams’ penalty areas, averaging 19.57 box entries per match, which is the second-best mark in the league.
Now, they’ll be facing a Watford defense that’s conceding the fourth-most box entries and sixth most non-penalty expected goals.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 6, 2021
Opposing defenses haven’t been able to press Liverpool successfully at all, as the Reds are averaging 23.24 PPDA, which is the best mark in the Premier League. Watford is only 16th in that same defensive category.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Liverpool’s offense has a huge mismatch against Watford’s defense in just about every advance metric. Given the amount of big scoring chances and shots Liverpool has created, I think there’s value on their team total going over 2.5 goals at +120 odds via DraftKings and will make it my top selection.
Pick: Liverpool — Team Total Over 2.5 Goals (+120)