Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: Everton vs. Liverpool (Saturday, Oct. 17)
Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Everton standout James Rodriguez.
- Defending Premier League champion Liverpool welcomes visiting Everton to Anfield on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET.
- Michael Leboff breaks down the marquee match and tells us why he thinks the Toffees are live underdogs.
Everton vs. Liverpool Odds
|Liverpool Odds||-117 [BET NOW]|
|Everton Odds||+290 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+300 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3 (-125/+104) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN|
Saturday’s Merseyside Derby features the top team in the Premier League and Liverpool. Everton went into the international break in first place at 4-0-0, having won all seven of its competitive matches to start the 2020-21 campaign.
The Toffees haven’t won a Merseyside Derby in 10 years. So, even though they are +290 underdogs, Everton fans will feel this is their best chance to beat their neighbors in some time.
The last time we saw Liverpool it was getting shellacked, 7-2, at Aston Villa as -235 favorites. It was the most shocking result of what’s already been a chaotic season, but it’s hard to view that loss as anything more than a bewildering outlier at the moment.
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.
The only cause for minor concern for Jurgen Klopp is his defense, which is allowing 1.67 xG per match through the first four games of the season. Liverpool only allowed 1.04 xGA/90 en route to its title in 2019/20, but that number ticked up to 1.2 in the 10 games after the hiatus, so signs of a downturn were there even before the new campaign kicked off.
Even if Liverpool’s defense does continue to wobble, it’s still more than capable of outscoring its issues. The Reds have created the most expected goals (10.6) and non-penalty expected goals (9.2) through the first four weeks of the season and rank second in shots on target. Even with its struggling defense, Liverpool have a +0.98 xG differential per 90 minutes.
A 7-2 loss to a team that finished 64 points below them in the table last season will stop you in your tracks, but it’s no reason to panic. If you throw out the loss to Villa, Liverpool have a +5 goal differential and a +6.22 xG differential in three games against Leeds, Chelsea and Arsenal.
For the first time in years, Everton have a cohesive vision offensively. The Toffees have capable ball-winners in the midfield, two quality attacking fullbacks, a world-class playmaker and two top-level finishers. The roster reads like a team that should be competing for a spot in the Champions League and its manager is considered to be one of the best in the world.
The Toffees were expected to take a step forward in Carlo Ancelotti’s first full season at Goodison Park, but nobody expected them to look this good right out of the gate. Everything about Everton’s hot start checks out.
Not only do the Toffees sit atop the Premier League with 12 points, but they rank first in xG differential per 90 (+1.42), expected goals against (2.9) and share a tie for first with 12 goals scored.
The arrival of James Rodriguez and breakout performance from Dominic Calvert-Lewin has earned Everton’s offense a ton of praise, but the defense has been just as impressive, allowing just 0.73 xG per match. Everton have only kept one clean sheet to start the season, but that’s got more to do with an out-of-form Jordan Pickford in goal more than anything else.
It should be noted Everton hasn’t played any offensive dynamos yet, but have only allowed more than 1.0 xG in a match once this season.
There are a couple of injury concerns for Everton ahead of the derby. Seamus Coleman, Allan, Andre Gomes, Richarlison and Lucas Digne look like they will be good to go, but centerback Yerry Mina seems to be a true game-time decision for Carlo Ancelotti. If Mina can’t go, Everton’s only other option at the position is Ben Godfrey, who they it bought from Norwich City two weeks ago.
Everton vs. Liverpool Betting Pick
This is a tricky spot to navigate for a few reasons. Not only is this the first game after the two-week international break, but it’s also a matchup between a red-hot underdog and a favorite coming off a jaw-dropping loss. It may have the makings of a classic overreaction spot, but I still think there’s value on the Everton.
There’s no doubt that Liverpool have the advantage in almost every area of the pitch, but the gap is not all that wide between these two teams. Not only does Everton’s improvement check out statistically, but logically it does, too. Bringing in players like James, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure will make the others around them better.
If you convert the listed odds to implied probability, you get Liverpool with a 51.6% chance of winning, Everton at 24.5% and the draw at 23.9%. Perhaps you’re buying high on the Toffees, but I still think that number is a little low on a team that looks every bit a Champions League contender.
Put it this way, if Everton is on its way to contending for a spot in the Top 4, it will be competing with the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. Would any of those teams be +290 at home against the Reds? Probably not.
I know it’s not exactly apples to apples and those squads have better pedigrees than the Toffees, but I do wonder if Everton’s middle-of-the-table reputation is still causing the market to be skeptical of its start.
It’s a bet you lose more often than you win, but I think Everton are worth a punt at these odds and would play them down to +275.
Pick: Everton +290
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