Premier League Betting Odds & Picks: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leicester City (Saturday, March 6)
ANDREW BOYERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Leandro Trossard, Pascal Gross
- Leicester City took the first Premier League meeting against Brighton & Hove Albion, 3-0, back in December.
- That match was much closer than the score indicates, though, and now the Foxes are missing two of their top three scorers.
- Kieran Darcy breaks down why he's backing the Seagulls, who are overdue for a win.
Brighton vs. Leicester City Odds
|Leicester City Odds||+195|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+128 / -162)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds as of Friday evening and via BetRivers.|
Brighton facing. Leicester City looks like a mismatch in terms of the Premier League table. The home team sits in 16th place, while the away team is in third place and fighting for a Champions League spot.
However, all is not as it seems.
Here’s a closer look at the two clubs, followed by a prediction.
The bad news, if you’re a Brighton fan, is that your team is now well and truly involved in a relegation battle. The Seagulls are just three points ahead of 18th-place Fulham with 12 games remaining on the schedule.
The Seagulls are winless in their past five matches across all competitions, including a 1-0 defeat at Leicester City in the FA Cup fifth round on Feb. 10. They’ve also lost their last two league fixtures via a 1-0 defeat against 19th-place West Bromwich Albion last Saturday. That was preceded by a 2-1 defeat to 13th-place Crystal Palace the week before.
However, the final scores are misleading in terms of the performances. Brighton held a 2.6-0.5 edge in expected goals, according to FBref.com. That includes two missed penalty kicks.
The loss to Crystal Palace was even more unfortunate. The Seagulls outshot Palace by a 24-3 margin, plus they wound up with a 2.6-0.2 advantage in expected goals.
For the season, Brighton has 37.7 xG, but have only scored 26 goals. And the Seagulls have 26.3 xG conceded, but given up 33 goals. In terms of xG differential, Brighton’s mark of +11.4 is fourth in the league behind Manchester City (+31.7 xGDiff), Chelsea (+18.0 xGDiff) and Liverpool (+16.0 xGDiff).
That’s right. Brighton would hold a Champions League place, based on the underlying statistics.
On the flip side, the Foxes are rather fortunate to be where they are in the table. In terms of xGDiff, Leicester City sits eighth at +5.5 and trails Manchester United (+10.3 xGDiff), Aston Villa (+6.5 xGDiff) and West Ham United (+6.2 xGDiff) in the category.
Nevertheless, Leicester City has a good chance of actually finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League next season. The Foxes currently have 50 points, putting them just a point behind second-place Manchester United and four points clear of fifth-place Everton.
However, Leicester City hasn’t had good results lately, either. The club is coming off a 1-1 draw at Burnley on Wednesday, preceded by a 3-1 loss to Arsenal last weekend. And just prior to that, Leicester City was knocked out of Europa League competition following a 2-0 home defeat to Slavia Prague.
Injuries have been a big factor. James Maddison, who has eight goals and five assists in league play, missed those matches due to injury. Maddison won’t play against Brighton, either. And now Harvey Barnes (nine goals, four assists) is out as well.
Betting Analysis & Picks
When these teams met in the FA Cup last month, it was a scoreless stalemate until the 94th minute when Kelechi Iheanacho finally broke the deadlock to give Leicester City the victory.
In their first league meeting back in mid-December, the Foxes cruised to a 3-0 win. Yet, that game was much closer in terms of xG (1.7 to 1.1) and Maddison scored two of the three goals.
Brighton, which is at home this time around, is more well rested and Leicester City is missing two of its top three scorers. I’m going to trust the underlying numbers, which say the Seagulls are more than due for a win.
Pick: Brighton ML (+200)