Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Aston Villa EPL Betting Preview (Feb. 26)

Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Aston Villa EPL Betting Preview (Feb. 26) article feature image

Nathan Stirk/Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Graham Potter of Brighton & Hove Albion chats with Shane Duffy.

  • Brighton & Hove Albion squares up against Aston Villa in Saturday's Premier League contest.
  • Neither side has any real chance of moving up or down the table that would be of any consequence, which makes this meeting tough to handicap.
  • Avery Zimmerman breaks down the game below and explains why he's Brighton on the ML and the total staying under the number.

Brighton vs. Aston Villa Odds

Brighton Odds+130
Aston Villa Odds+225
Over/Under2.5 (+105 / -130)
Day | TimeSaturday | 10 a.m. ET
How To WatchPeacock Premium
Odds updated via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

When Brighton & Hove Albion takes on Aston Villa on Saturday, it won't be the most consequential game in the Premier League.

In fact, this might be the least consequential match when it comes to implications on the league's top-four race and relegation battle, but that doesn't mean this won't be an intensely contested battle with both teams looking to generate a result.

After all, this is the English top flight and each squad has been knocked out of their other competitions, so this is the only thing to focus on and play for the remainder of the season.

Here is where I see the betting value in this matchup.

Brighton Struggling to Bring Intensity 

Sitting at ninth in the table with safety from relegation essentially secured and rising up to a European spot almost impossible, Brighton is in a stable, secure spot in the league.

There isn't much to lose at this point in the season, but there isn't that much to gain, and one has to wonder if that has impacted the Seagulls' play over the past few games. Against Burnley, Brighton tossed in a subdued performance that generated only 0.45 expected goals and resulted in a 3-0 defeat.

In a defeat to Manchester United four days prior, Brighton was handled with relative ease and struggled to create many causes for concern toward United, which found a comfortable 2-0 win. It's certainly not a pressing problem for Brighton, but manager Graham Potter will be looking for improvement from his team in the coming games.

The Seagulls will have a chance to do that against a Villa team that handed them a 2-0 defeat earlier in the year, and it's not a particularly impactful side away from home either.

A third consecutive defeat would be incredibly disappointing for Brighton, and while it wouldn't have any major implications on the club's outlook for the rest of the year, it would put it in its worst form of the season by a solid margin.

Aston Villa Finds Itself in Similar Position

When Steven Gerrard took over as manager, the goal was to ensure the Villans didn't have to deal with a relegation battle. He delivered on that in quick fashion, and Villa now sits seven points clear of the bottom three with four teams between it and 18th-place Burnley.

They've likely suffered from a similar drop in intensity to what Brighton has dealt with, which is no surprise given the circumstances of their position. Nonetheless, Villa has mustered just 1.56 xG in its past two games and hasn't scored a goal. Sound familiar?

Much like Brighton, Villa will be looking to break its luck with a positive result, and like its foe it'll have a key return from suspension in Ezri Konsa. Potter will be able to play captain Lewis Dunk, and it'll only help shore up both sides in the defensive third, though goals are the more pressing issue at the moment.

Villa hasn't lost three games in a row since Gerrard's arrival, and another loss could theoretically force it into a mildly dangerous position once more.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Though each side has been going through a down period, it would probably be fair to look at Villa's performances as a touch worse considering it faced two teams in the bottom four of the table when it received its two losses.

Brighton was a touch unfortunate in its loss to Burnley, but the performance was really poor from start to finish and and a better outcome should be expected from this squad.

As the Seagulls hold a +0.17 xG differential per game at home and Villa currently maintains a -0.4 xGDiff number, the edge definitely starts in the host's favor. Whether or not it brings a better level is a big question, but what's certain is these teams haven't been able to generate anything offensively in the past two games.

They've managed just 0.8 xG/game in their last four combined, so despite the total's juice toward the under, it does appear to have more value than the odds of these squads combining for three or more goals.

Without much stakes and each team struggling to find form, it's hard to handicap this matchup, but based on advanced metrics I believe Brighton and the total staying under 2.5 goals could be worthwhile plays.

Picks: Brighton ML (+130) | Total Under 2.5 Goals (-130)

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