Monday Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: Fulham vs. Aston Villa (Sept. 28)
Julian Finney/Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Grealish.
- Aston Villa takes on Fulham on Monday at 12:45 p.m. ET at Craven Cottage.
- Aston Villa is better on paper, but Michael Leboff sees value on Fulham in this match and likes the over based on the number of penalties being handed out this season.
- Check out Leboff's full betting analysis and preview for Aston Villa vs. Fulham with updated odds below.
Aston Villa at Fulham Odds
|Aston Villa Odds||+140 [BET NOW]|
|Fulham Odds||+200 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+235 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+100/-124) [BET NOW]|
|Time||12:45 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||Peacock|
By the end of Leicester’s 5-2 upset over Man City, one which saw the Foxes become the first team in the history of the league to convert three penalties in the same game, we were on pace for 319 penalty kicks this season.
Ironically, none of Leicester’s penalties came via the Premier League’s ludicrous new handball rule that is leading to a record-setting number of spot-kicks and, quite frankly, wreaking havoc on the game.
The handball rule also changes the way bettors and bookmakers need to approach each match. The obvious wrinkle is that more penalties means more scoring, so Over/Unders will likely tick up. But, the new rule will also change the way defenders have to play and makes their job really difficult.
Everybody, including managers whose teams benefited from the law, seems to be in agreement that something has to change. Until then, though, bettors need to keep in mind that every game could turn on its head in an instant.
The Cottagers have been welcomed back to the Premier League with a pair of losses. Fulham were drubbed, 3-0, by Arsenal in their opener and then fell short of a comeback against high-flying Leeds, ultimately losing 4-3.
As bad as Fulham were against Arsenal, they created just 0.13 expected goals, their performance against Leeds United was an improvement as the xG finished 1.56 to 1.45 in favor of the Cottagers. Leeds aren’t the most disciplined team defensively so take those numbers with a grain of salt, but it was still a step in the right direction for Scott Parker’s offense. The defense remains a problem.
Arsenal and Leeds are both dynamic going forward, but allowing seven goals in two games is an ugly mark against a defense that finished 10th in expected goals against in the Championship in 2019-20. It’s hard to be confident that Fulham’s defense will play well enough to earn them a win, but they should match up alright against Aston Villa.
Aston Villa came away winners over Sheffield United in their season opener last week but benefited from a borderline red card going against the Blades in the 11th minute. The Villans were able to wear down Sheffield United but the game was really tight and Sheffield United were probably unlucky not to earn a point in a game where they posted a slight 0.85 to 0.81 advantage in the xG department.
It may not have been a Picasso, but Villa were stingy defensively and only allowed four total shots and one on target against the short-handed Blades. Sheffield United aren’t ever going to be mistaken for Barcelona and they played with 10 men for over 80 minutes, but it was still a strong showing from Dean Smith’s defense, whose improvement the key component in their Great Escape from relegation in 2019-20.
The Villans were the worst defensive team in the Premier League before the hiatus, allowing 2.2 expected goals per match through 28 contests. They weren’t great offensively, either, but their porous defense put way too heavy of a burden on Villa’s attack and landed them in the thick of the relegation battle.
Remarkably, Aston Villa turned their defense into a strength after the pause and allowed just 1.01 xGA per game in the 10 matches after the break.
It remains to be seen if Villa’s defensive improvements are for real — an 11-game stretch is still a small sample size — but it does look like Smith and his staff have implemented some genuine changes at Villa Park.
Fulham-Aston Villa Betting Pick
I think this is a pretty good opportunity to buy low on Fulham.
The Cottagers’ defense will give you agita, but they’re not going up against a robust attack on Monday so their ineptitude in front of their own net should be mitigated in this matchup.
Aston Villa is slightly better on paper, but the difference between these two teams is not wide enough that I’d turn my nose up at a nearly 2-1 pay-out to take on a team that was projected to be in a relegation scrap. At +188 you need Fulham to win about 35% of the time to start seeing value and I think they tick that box.
I’m also going to take a shot on the Over (2.5) at any plus number. I wouldn’t say this matchup profiles as a goal-fest, but it’s hard to pass on this number with the amount of penalties being handed out.
The Bet: Fulham +188; Over 2.5 Goals (+100 or better)