Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Aston Villa vs. Leeds United EPL Betting Preview (Feb. 9)
Tim Keeton/Pool/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Leeds United standouts Raphinha and Jack Harrison embrace after Harrison’s goal.
- Aston Villa hosts Leeds United in Wednesday's Premier League showdown.
- The Villans are strong -120 moneyline favorites against the Peacocks, who are seeking the upset victory.
- Nick Hennion breaks down the meeting below and details why he loves Leeds to get a result.
Aston Villa vs. Leeds Odds
|Aston Villa Odds||-130|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-140 / +120)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
It’s a bottom-half-of-the-table clash Wednesday when Aston Villa hosts Leeds United in Premier League action.
While this marks their first head-to-head meeting, each picked up three points in two meetings last season. A win for the Villans could move them into the top half of the standings, while a victory for the Peacocks would provide extra distance from the relegation zone.
Prior to the international break, Aston Villa produced a 1-0 road win over Everton, while Leeds suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Newcastle United, ending its two-match winning streak.
Gerrard, Aston Villa Solid on Home Soil
Since the appointment of Steven Gerrard, the results have been mixed for Aston Villa. In 10 matches under the former Liverpool talisman, the club has produced a 5-4-1 (W-L-D) record and turned in the exact same record in terms of expected goals.
However, the results at home have been positive for the Villans, who orchestrated a two-goal comeback against Manchester United in their most recent fixture at Villa Park. All told, the side is 2-2-1 (W-L-D) on home turf since Gerrard took over, but are 3-1-1 on xG in those fixtures.
That said, Villa is due for some negative regression in terms of its home underlying metrics. Through 10 home fixtures, Villa holds a +1 goal differential, but on a -2.3 xGDiff, per fbref.com. Most of that over-performance can be attributed on attack, which has scored 17 home goals on just 10.9 xG overall.
However, this is also an Aston Villa side that has played well against bottom-half opposition this season, particularly at home. Although it’s a small sample — the Villans have played only three home fixtures — Gerrard’s men enter this game unbeaten at home against such opposition.
Lastly, there are previous indicators to suggest Aston Villa’s offense will experience success here. Through seven matches against sides ranking below Villa in the xGA/90 table, it has only been held goalless once and has generated at least 1.5 xG in three of the last four such contests.
Record Doesn’t Tell Entire Tale at Leeds
While Leeds are definitely a bottom-half side, manager Marcelo Bielsa’s club isn’t as bad as its metrics suggest.
Through 21 fixtures, Leeds hold a -16 goal differential on a -10.2 xGDiff, per fbref.com. The Leeds attack is also due for a good amount of positive offensive regression, as it has scored 24 goals on more than 27 xG overall.
Plus, there are further underlying metrics to suggest Leeds is better than its position indicates. The Peacocks are sixth in shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, ninth in attacking penalty area touches and 12th in goal-creating actions per 90 minutes.
All that said, this is still a Leeds side that has been decimated by injuries. All of Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper, Junior Firpo and Kalvin Phillips will miss out on Wednesday’s tilt, while Adam Forshaw could return to feature in time.
The other (slightly) good news for Leeds? It has been decent in matches against the Premier League’s 10 worst defenses. In 10 such fixtures, Leeds hold a -0.3 xGDiff, while putting up at least 1.5 xG in half of those games. Further, it has only been held under 1.0 xGA in two such contests.
However, Bielsa’s defense has also allowed an average of almost 1.3 xGA in those fixtures and has only kept one clean sheet in that set of matches.
Betting Analysis & Pick
To me, these teams are closer together than the odds indicate. That leads me to try to find value with what I believe is an overpriced Leeds side.
With the visitors, you kind of have to take their past performances with a grain of salt as they weren’t fully healthy. That said, the Peacocks have produced a result in four of their last five fixtures against bottom-half sides.
Additionally, Lady Luck wasn’t on Leeds’ side in its most recent game against Newcastle. Despite losing 1-0, Leeds won xG battle by a 1.19-1.05 margin and created more big scoring chances.
Finally, the Peacocks have surpassed their season-long xG/90 average in six of its last eight matches and has turned in above-average xGA/90 performances in four consecutive games against the bottom half.
With Villa due for some negative offense regression, I expect Leeds could be primed for a road upset.
Pick: Leeds +0.75 (-120)
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