Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City Sunday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Dec. 20)
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Son Heung-min (left) and Harry Kane.
- After suffering a midweek defeat to Liverpool, is Leicester City just what the doctor ordered for Tottenham Hotspur?
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup and explains why bettors should back Spurs below.
Spurs vs. Leicester City Odds
|Spurs Odds||+108 [BET NOW]|
|Leicester City Odds||+260 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+245 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-130/+105) [BET NOW]|
|Time||9:15 a.m. ET|
|TV||NBCSN | fuboTV|
Tottenham Hotspur looks to reignite its title challenge Sunday when its host Leicester City.
Spurs’ hopes were dealt a blow on Wednesday by Roberto Firmino’s stoppage-time winner at Anfield, which put Liverpool back on top of the Premier League. If either side wins this match, it will finish the weekend in second behind the Reds.
As much as Tottenham’s late loss to Liverpool was disappointing for Spurs fans, the performance was actually one of their best of the season. They allowed the Reds to have the ball, sat deep and counter attacked the Jose Mourinho way.
According to expected goals (xG), Spurs actually created four of the game’s five best scoring chances. Better finishing on the day from Steven Bergwijn or Harry Kane, and we may have been talking about a very different result.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Spurs were bound to regress from their absurd finishing rates from the start of the season, as they’ve scored 25 goals from just 18.7 xG. Tottenham have been on a remarkable run of scoring early in games too. Spurs have eight goals in the opening 15 minutes of games despite just 4.5 xG from those shots.
Mourinho will be happy to let Leicester City have the ball in this game, much like he did against Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea. Spurs’ ability to counter will depend on the effectiveness of Wilfred Ndidi in the defensive midfield role for Leicester, but I also have major questions about the Foxes’ fullbacks.
Leicester City have proven to be at their best when teams give Jamie Vardy space to run in behind and he’s able to wreak havoc on opposing Premier League defenses with his pace. However, his non-penalty xG (NPxG) numbers are down a bit this year, and there are some warning signs for the Foxes if the penalty kicks ever dry up.
My numbers currently project Brendan Rodgers’ team as the league’s seventh best side, and the table certainly flatters them in fourth. The Foxes have major question marks at fullback, with Ricardo Periera injured and Timothy Castagne’s status uncertain, although Leicester expects to have him available. Rodgers could go to a back three, but I have concerns with how exposed that would leave them on the counter attack against a team like Spurs.
Leicester haven’t been nearly as good at controlling the game this season, and their fullbacks are a major reason why. Leicester ranked fourth in passes in the opponent’s penalty area last season and are 13th in this one. They were first in pressing intensity in 2019-20, and now they sit in 10th.
All of these issues were exposed last week, when Leicester was easily contained and countered against by Everton. I envision similar issues against an even better counter-attacking unit like Spurs.
On the whole, these two teams that are quite similar in terms of xG. Spurs and Leicester have both spent a lot of time leading games thanks to great finishing (Spurs) and being awarded early penalty kicks (Leicester), and both have a similar xG difference per 90 minutes.
I’d imagine that Rodgers will want to avoid what happened in the last meeting between these two teams, when Spurs had three lethal counters and scored three goals in the first half of the penultimate match of the Premier League restart in July.
I make this number Spurs +100, which is about on the market, but I still like Tottenham to take all three points while Mourinho exposes Leicester’s deficiencies at fullback and teams eventually stop giving the Foxes free goals from the penalty spot.
Pick: Spurs ML +108 (+100 or better)