Premier League Odds, Picks | Leicester City vs West Ham Preview
Rob Newell/Getty. Pictured: Declan Rice.
Leicester City vs West Ham Odds
Leicester City Odds
West Ham Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-163 / +130)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-163 / +120)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here|
The final day of the Premier League is here and only relegation is really still left to decide in the league. Leicester City earned a point away at Newcastle on Monday to move into 18th, but the Foxes need a win on Sunday at home against West Ham and Everton to drop points in order to remain in the league next season.
West Ham have clinched safety and do have a Europa Conference League final in 10 days, so it's possible that David Moyes will choose to rest and rotate some key players.
The market is well aware that Leicester are in a desperation spot and must win this game to have any chance of survival. That has created a clearly inflated price on the Foxes and that creates value on the Hammers to get at least a point. Just two weeks ago, Brentford were -110 at home against West Ham in a much worse spot for the Hammers. Leicester are considerably worse than Brentford this season, yet the Foxes are lined similarly. It's important to remember that even though Leicester must win, the team hasn't been good for 37 games and is unlikely to find form from nowhere.
Leicester City Overvalued in Market
The Foxes were in a desperation spot on Monday when they traveled to Newcastle. Even though they clawed out an impressive point on the road, they weren't deserving of it at all based on how the chances and match played out. The narrative coming out of the match might be that they clawed their way to a result, but the reality is that they were downgraded considerably off the performance.
Newcastle created 2.1 xG to just 0.1 for Leicester. The final shots in the match were 23-1, Newcastle had 46 attacking penalty area touches to just four for Leicester and the Foxes completed just 59.1% of passes. The match was completely one sided despite the "must-win" narrative for the Foxes headed into it.
It was a repeat performance for Leicester to their home defeat to Liverpool the week prior, when the Reds outshot them 16-4 and won the match comfortably, 3-0.
The attack has trended upward considerably since hiring Dean Smith, but the defense has also gotten worse. They've conceded at least 1.5 xG in seven of eight matches and have switched between a back three and back four to try to sort out the issues. This is the same defense that conceded five to Fulham and 3.1 xGA to Everton while also trying to fight off relegation.
Maybe the Foxes will find form out of nowhere, but betting against them doing so at a cheaper price is the value side on Sunday.
West Ham Should Be Clear For Full Effort
This is the second straight week that West Ham are at a discount because it is facing a team fighting off relegation. For the second straight week, I'll take the discount and continue to buy Moyes' Hammers. If the Conference League final had been this Wednesday, we might see a very different team for West Ham. But since it's 10 days out and they don't have a competitive match between now and then, there's no reason for Moyes to not start his best XI on Sunday.
West Ham held 59% of the ball against Leeds last week, created more than 2 xG and in the end won the match 3-1. Leicester are likely to have a lot more of the ball in this game at home — especially given West Ham's passive defensive structure — but the Hammers remain solidly above average defensively this season.
They will allow touches in and around the penalty area because they don't press much, but there's a ton of transitional ball progression ability in this team through Jarrod Bowen, Declan Rice and Said Benrahma. All three rank in the top 20 in either progressive carries overall, carries into the final third and carries into the box.
The Foxes also take the third-worst shot quality in the league on average, and the Hammers' defense concedes the sixth-fewest big scoring chances and fourth-longest average shot distance. Leicester should struggle to generate clear scoring chances and the data shows that the defense is trending in the wrong direction to trust them as an odds-on favorite.
Leicester City vs West Ham Pick
My projections have this game lined as a true coin flip. West Ham have been the better team all season and they've shown no signs of quit or being on the beach with a cup final to prepare for in 10 days. Given that the Hammers should play their best XI, this line is way too slanted toward the Foxes.
Leicester might play a tick or two better overall, but it's not nearly enough to get to them as a -110 favorite. For that to be the case, you'd have to think either Leicester are the better team overall, or that West Ham are going to rotate much of its first team. With neither expected to be true, I'd bet West Ham to win or draw (+0.5) at -120 or better.