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Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Previews: Our 4 Best Bets, Featuring Aston Villa vs. Liverpool

Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Previews: Our 4 Best Bets, Featuring Aston Villa vs. Liverpool article feature image
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Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Mohamed Salah.

Back to reality. The World Cup is over, which means the Premier League has returned for Boxing Day.

BJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo are here to take you through the upcoming matches and offer up their best bets on the slate.

Cunningham and Dabbundo, who are part of the Wondergoal podcast crew, will be guiding you on the midweek Premier League fixtures and delivering their favorite picks along the way. They’ll also provide their individual model projections for the games.

If you’d like to see picks from Cunningham and Dabbundo during the season for all UCL action and all five European leagues, follow them in the Action Network App.

Cunningham’s Model Projections


Dabbundo’s Model Projections

 

Brentford vs. Tottenham

Brentford Odds +280
Tottenham Odds -106
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | Time Monday | 7:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: Tottenham had more minutes played at the World Cup than almost every club in the world. Compare this to Brentford, who had no key outfield players playing big minutes in Qatar. As Spurs return to Premier League action, they’re in a very tricky road spot against Brentford on Monday.

Spurs’ attack has been heavily reliant on set pieces to score goals this season. They’re the number one attack on set pieces, but Brentford are well positioned to limit Spurs’ dominance there. The Bees rank seventh in xG per set piece allowed and are a well organized set piece defense normally.

Brentford are a much better team on their home ground than they are away from home. They’ve been very difficult to beat at home, where they have three wins, three draws and just one home defeat all season. The Bees excel at forcing teams to shoot from distance against them.

They concede the longest average shot distance in the entire league. Spurs were elite in creating big scoring chances last season under Antonio Conte, but they’ve fallen to ninth in the category this season. 

Spurs aren’t creating as many clear scoring chances and the attack is generally overvalued because of its reliance on set pieces to produce chances and goals. The attack has otherwise struggled and should struggle at Brentford on Monday. 

I like the Bees +0.5 at -135 or better. 

Pick: Brentford +0.5 (-110 via Caesars)

Aston Villa vs. Liverpool 

Aston Villa Odds +375
Liverpool Odds -143
Draw +300
Over/Under 2.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | Time Monday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: Liverpool have been a disaster defensively away from Anfield this season. They will still be without key attackers Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota and they have conceded 10.6 xG in six league matches. The press that overwhelmed Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the spring in the Champions League semifinal isn’t nearly as dominant as the one that Emery’s Aston Villa will see on Monday.

The Villans appointed Emery to get more out of their clearly talented squad than Steven Gerrard was getting. He won against Manchester United and Brighton to begin his tenure and then had an entire six-week break to impose his vision and tactics on the Villa side. 

While Liverpool had a handful of players in Qatar, Aston Villa only had a couple players play deep into the tournament.  

Liverpool have just one win away from home in the league all season, that being a 2-1 triumph at Spurs that was even on xG, and Liverpool’s only big scoring chance came from a mistaken Eric Dier header. 

Emery will have Aston Villa prepared to handle the pressing element of the Reds and play through it effectively. The Villans are a live underdog at home in this spot and I like them +0.5 at +105 or better.

Pick: Aston Villa +0.5 (+120 via Caesars)

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Arsenal vs. West Ham

Arsenal Odds -200
West Ham Odds +550
Draw +333
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | Time Monday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: This is a battle between two of the top three defenses in the Premier League with an inflated total. 

The reason Arsenal are in first place in the Premier League is because of their defense. The Gunners are only allowing 0.73 npxG per match, they have allowed just five big scoring chances all season and they are allowing the fewest progressive passes and dribble per 90 minutes in the Premier League.

Teams have not been able to counter Arsenal successfully because of how good William Saliba, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are at defending in transition, which is what West Ham’s game plan is most likely going to be in this match. 

West Ham have been better offensively since Lucas Paqueta joined the side, but against the big six, they’ve only created 4.9 xG in five matches.

Defensively, David Moyes’ team is playing just the way he wants them to with a low block that has been incredibly effective. West Ham have no problem conceding possession – they are second to last in PPD – and they’re playing one of the lowest average defensive lines with a field tilt at 43.2%, but they’re only allowing 0.89 npxG per match, which is third in the Premier League. 

Arsenal have some impressive offensive numbers, as they’re first in npxG and touches in the penalty area. However, Gabriel Jesus is out, which mean Eddie Nketiah is going to be starting up top. He’s consistently been around a 0.45 xG per 90 minute striker throughout his career and is a downgrade, especially when you are trying to break down a low block. 

I only have 2.39 goals projected for this match, so I like the value on Under 2.5 goals at +106 (FanDuel). 

Pick: Under 2.5 (+106 via FanDuel)

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Chelsea vs. Bournemouth

Chelsea Odds -334
Bournemouth Odds +900
Draw +450
Over/Under 2.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | Time Tuesday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Cunningham: Chelsea are going to turn a corner at some point under Graham Potter, but let’s not forget how terrible they were playing going into the World Cup break. 

Since Potter has taken over Chelsea, the Blues have a -3.2 xGD and in their last six matches in the Premier League before the break they lost the xG battle in every single match if you take away penalties.

Then you take a look at the Chelsea injury report, which did not get better over the break. As it currently stands, N’Golo Kante, Armando Broja and Wesley Fofona are all out for this match, while Reece James, Ben Chillwell and Cesar Azpilicueta are all questionable. 

Bournemouth are finishing at a ridiculous rate right now, but this match sets up perfectly for their direct counterattacking style and their offense has gotten a lot better since the beginning of the season. Over their last nine matches they have created 9 xG and 11 big scoring chances, so they’re not the worst offense in the Premier League. 

The Cherries are going to sit deep, concede a ton of possession to Chelsea and allow them to tilt the field. However, when you look at matches that Chelsea have played recently where they’ve had to break down a low block, Crystal Palace created just 1.1 xG, Aston Villa created just 0.9 xG, Brentford created just 0.9 xG and Manchester United created just 1.1 xG. 

I only have Chelsea projected at -175, so I love the value on Bournemouth +1.5 at -105.

Pick: Bournemouth +1.5 (-105 via BetRivers)

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