Saturday Premier League Odds, Picks & Prediction: Leeds United vs. Wolves Betting Preview
Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images. Pictured: Leeds United and U.S. international Tyler Adams.
Leeds vs. Wolves Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-105 / -130)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated as of Saturday morning via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
The Premier League is back with its first full Saturday card, with “America’s” team — Leeds United — beginning its season at home against Wolverhampton.
Led by American manager Jesse Marsch and new midfielders Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams, the Peacocks look to improve on last season when they survived relegation on the final day of the campaign.
Wolves finished in the top half of the table, but underlying performances and true talent isn’t really close to that level. Now with Raúl Jiménez out injured, there’s a lot of questions as to where the attack and goals will come for manager Bruno Lage’s side.
Leeds had more injuries than any team in the EPL last season and was stuck playing academy players and shortened benches. The Peacocks weren’t as good from two seasons back when they finished with a -5.4 xG difference. However, they also aren’t as bad as last season’s -23 xG difference, which was 17th in the league.
The club has had a lot of turnover, losing Raphinha to Barcelona and Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City. That hurts its ball progression and midfield ball winning, but Leeds was active in replacing them. Leeds added Luis Sinisterra, who’s tricky winger with lots of potential. Marsch has a clear style predicated around a defensive press, quick-strike attacking when the ball is won.
I like the fit of Sinisterra and Patrick Bamford, plus Adams and Aaronson will provide plenty of effort, ball winning and pressing alongside new add Marc Roca in the midfield.
By The Numbers
- -7.5 — Goalkeeper Illan Meslier was well above average in his first season, but underperformed his post-shot xG by 7.5 goals for the worst in the league.
- 6.2 — Patrick Bamford only played this many 90-minute games after scoring 17 goals in his first year with Leeds in the English top flight.
If you follow my detailed analysis, then you know about Wolves’ defensive numbers. Goalkeeper Jose Sá is coming off one of the best seasons of shot-stopping in league history, but that’s unlikely to continue. History suggests he’ll perform more like an average net-minder, which leaves behind a Wolverhampton team that collapsed toward the end of lats campaign.
The market is still showing Wolves a decent bit of respect, but if the late-season defense shows up or it just runs cold, the side is in major relegation trouble. After February, Wolves were 18th in xG for and 19th in xGDiff overall.
Wolverhampton played at a relegation level in the second half of the season, and when trailing last season, it still wasn’t able to generate much attacking punch. Wolves were a bottom-five offense in negative game states as well.
By The Numbers
- +9.2 — Sá over-performed his expected shot-stopping numbers by 9.2 goals last year, more than anyone else in the EPL by more than a goal.
- +8.1 — The goalkeeper only explains roughly half the variance for Wolves. The rest was opponents’ missing easy chances and shooting poorly against them.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Leeds struggled to play through pressure toward the end of the season under Marsch, but Wolverhampton isn’t a side that’s going to push up the pitch and disrupt their passing patterns. Wolves don’t do a ton of contesting the midfield and set up in a pretty direct countering profile.
The problem for them is that without Jiménez, there’s no real player for their playmakers like Pedro Neto to target up the pitch.
Bamford scored 17 goals two seasons ago and his absence for almost all of last campaign is a major reason why the Peacocks struggled to create chances. There’s a lot more talent in this Leeds side than there is for Wolves.
Leeds is rated as the better team in my numbers, plus it’s playing at Elland Road, so I’m backing the host at +125 odds or better.
The Pick: Leeds ML (+125 or better)