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Everton vs. Leeds United Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Target Over/Under Between Strugglers (Feb. 12)

Everton vs. Leeds United Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Target Over/Under Between Strugglers (Feb. 12) article feature image
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Mike Hewitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Leeds United teammates Lewis Bate, left, Jack Harrison and Daniel James, right, celebrate a goal.

  • Premier League clubs trying avoid a visit to the relegation zone battle Saturday when Everton hosts Leeds United at Goodison Park.
  • The host Toffees are slight +135 ML favorites against the +200 ML Peacocks, but neither side has been great of late.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the match below and delivers a ripe selection at plus odds tied to the total.

Everton vs. Leeds Odds

Everton Odds +120
Leeds Odds +200
Draw +270
Over/Under 2.5 (-160 / +115)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Everton could find itself in the relegation places if it can’t get a result in Saturday’s Premier League match against Leeds United at Goodison Park.

New Toffees manager Frank Lampard started his tenure much as former leader Rafa Benitez left it, overseeing a dismal 3-1 league loss Tuesday at fellow relegation contender Newcastle United. That kept the club in 16th place and just two points clear of safety entering the weekend fixtures.

Leeds is in a slightly more comfortable position, one place and four points above Everton as it makes the trip west. The Peacocks’ 3-3 midweek draw at Aston Villa felt like a victory after rallying from two goals down through Daniel James’ brace and Diego Llorente’s equalizer.

These teams provided plenty of entertainment earlier in the season when Everton battled twice from a goal down to earn a 2-2 draw at Elland Road.

Injuries Causing Issues for Lampard, Everton

There have been rumblings among those more skeptical of Lampard’s hire that he lacks the experience and reputation for sound defense necessary for a relegation brawl.

However, Tuesday’s loss is an unfair prism through which to judge his skills, since injuries made the decisions for him. Attacker Demarai Gray exited after 25 minutes and centerback Yerry Mina followed in 37th minute. That left Lampard with only one substitution to deploy after halftime.

Although Everton took the lead moments after Mina’s exit, Newcastle gave its back line fits from the moment he left. Similarly, winter signing Dele Alli looked rusty on debut, but he hasn’t played many minutes recently and was thrust into action unexpectedly early as Gray’s replacement.

That said, Lampard has dangerously little margin for error now. And while he has far more fan support than Benitez enjoyed due to the latter’s history with Liverpool, that could change quickly.

From an expected-goals perspective, Lampard’s EPL debut was Everton’s second-worst performance of the season. The Magpies would up leading by a 2.3-0.6 margin in the advanced metric.

The only wider margin came away to Chelsea, when a Toffees side ravaged by COVID-19 parked the bus and stole a point through Jarrad Branthwaite’s set-piece equalizer.

James Delivering for Leeds in Bamford’s Absence

Without experienced, like-for-like options to deputize for the injured Patrick Bamford, manager Marcelo Bielsa has recently turned to natural winger James at center and shown patience doing so.

James has created 1.7 xG in a three-match league stretch getting the start in the No. 9 role. And following two scoreless performances, he regressed to the mean in a good way with his first-half brace at Villa Park. James has now generated nearly half of his 3.7 xG this league campaign during those 250 minutes in the attacking position.

Bielsa’s men are in their best away form of the season, with Wednesday’s draw following a 3-2 win at West Ham back in mid-January. Yet, their lack of consistency away might explain why Everton is a solid favorite despite its woeful recent form.

Leeds has only won twice in 11 away trips. The Peacocks’ xGDiff per 90 minutes is 0.62 lower away than home, which is the seventh worst in the English top flight.

Betting Analysis & Pick

There were slight signs of an Everton resurgence prior to its fourth consecutive league loss at Newcastle.

I still think that’s a possibility, but between their defensive injuries (Mina and Mason Holgate) and the adjustment to Lampard, I don’t feel comfortable backing them now. And certainly not as favorites.

That said, this is still a Toffees squad deeper on paper and with a day’s more rest than the Peacocks. So I’m not sure there’s value on the visitors either.

Here’s what we do know: The strength of these teams is going forward. And teams that play Leeds’ 90-minutes-of-Hell pressing approach tend to play even more wide-open matches away. Teams like Everton that have serious defensive issues and feel more pressure to take initiative at home follow a similar trend.

If you take Everton’s 10 home fixtures and Leeds’ 11 away outings, teams have combined for 2.96 xG per game. The actual total has gone over 2.5 goals in 13 of those 21 matches, and cleared 3.5 in 10 of 21 contests.

The latter trend is a rate of 47.6%, which suggests pretty strong value against the market. It also makes sense with two bottom-half clubs, who when things get loose can see things get very loose.

So, I like playing an alternative total clearing 3.5 goals at ripe +155 odds with an implied 39.2% probability.

Pick: Total Over 3.5 Goals (+155)

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