Premier League Odds, Pick, Prediction: Everton vs. Watford Betting Preview (Oct. 23)
Peter Powell – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Everton standout Richarlison.
Everton vs. Watford Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+100 / -125)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Everton look to rebound from their first home loss under manager Rafa Benitez when they host a Wolverhampton Wanderers side that suffered an embarrassing defeat to begin Claudio Ranieri’s managerial tenure.
The Toffees’ attack was inadequate — especially before halftime — in a 1-0 loss at Goodison Park last Sunday to ex-manager David Moyes’ West Ham United.
A day earlier, Watford suffered a 5-0 home thrashing at the hands of Liverpool in Ranieri’s debut, marking their worst home defeat since a 6-0 loss to Manchester City in September of 2017.
The loss dropped the Hornets into 16th place and a bit close to the relegation places for comfort, while the Toffees now sit a season-worst eighth in the league table entering this matchup.
Richarlison Returning to Everton Lineup
The good news for Everton is Brazilian attacker Richarlison has been cleared to return from a knee injury to face his former side. Even with the goals the also-injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin provides, Richarlison is the Toffees’ most influential and consistent attacker.
With Richarlison in the lineup, Everton started the season unbeaten with 10 goals scored in four league fixtures, including a 3-1 home win over Burnley that Calvert-Lewin missed. Without the Brazilian, they’ve taken four points in four games since while scoring only three times.
The disparity in expected goals across those stretches is smaller, but still notable, with 7.4 xG created in Richarlison’s four games and 4.7 xG registered in games he missed.
As for the bad news, Abdoulaye Doucoure has been confirmed out for several weeks with a foot injury. He joins Calvert-Lewin and center back Yerry Mina among those unavailable for Benitez.
Doucoure — another former Watford player — has been excellent in his second season in the Everton midfield, pairing with Andros Townsend to be the Toffees’ two most important players in Richarlison’s absence.
Watford Hoping to Turn Things Around
Ranieri’s troubling debut came after manager Xisco Munez was dismissed after less than a year in charge on Vicarage Road, where there has been a revolving door for some time.
The nature of the Watford roster’s response to that exit has to be at least mildly alarming.
Liverpool are always a troubling proposition, but the Hornets conceded to Sadio Mané after only nine minutes. Any faint prospects of a result were truly dashed when Roberto Firmino scored his second of the game and Mohamed Salah added his first two minutes apart to make it 4-0 by the 54th minute.
Ranieri has attempted to put a bright face on the whole thing, attributing part of the performance to an unfamiliarity with many of his new players. He also jokingly said this week he would treat his team to a meal if they kept a clean sheet on the blue half of Merseyside.
And he deserves at least a little benefit of the doubt. The international break definitely limited his time with some players before his first match in charge. However, there’s a smell of disorder around Watford, including a somewhat silly controversy involving goalkeeper Ben Foster’s online presence.
Betting Analysis & Pick
For Evertonians, the best trend of the Benitez era is that the Toffees have taken care of business in league fixtures against clubs with lesser resources. Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion, Norwich City and Burnley have fallen to the Toffees by multiple goals, even if sometimes the chance creation was closer than that.
That’s a welcome change compared to Everton under previous boss Carlo Ancelotti, whose side had an awful record as favorites.
On the other side, Ranieri might provide stability to a Watford outfit that habitually lack it. More likely, he won’t. The 70-year-old Italian was an likable character in Leicester City’s Cinderella run to become the 2015-16 Premier League champions. He has also managed at five clubs since then, never for so much as two full seasons. His last stint in England with Fulham was disastrous.
At -150 odds and an implied 60% probability, the money line price on Everton is probably fair. Yet, for me the value is on a Toffees win by multiple goals — wagering Everton -1.5 on a spread bet — at +210 odds and a 32.3% implied probability. Even without Calvert-Lewin and Dacoure, Benitez’s side have the considerably better roster. They’ve also thrived on the kind of transition opportunities that could arrive should they take a lead.
It’s fair to wait to see if Richarlison starts or at least makes the matchday squad. If he doesn’t do either (or if you just like Watford more than I do), you might take the Hornets to score first at +190 odds.
Everton have conceded first in six of eight games, including in eventual home wins against Southampton and Burnley.
Pick: Everton -1.5 (+210)
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