Premier League Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction: Offensive Fireworks Expected Between Leicester City & Leeds in EPL Clash
George Wood/Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Jesse Marsch of Leeds United.
- Leicester City welcomes Leeds United to King Power Stadium for Saturday's Premier League match.
- The Peacocks will have American manager Jesse Marsch leading the club in his first game at the helm.
- Nick Hennion breaks down the meeting below and explains why he's expecting plenty of goals in this contest.
Leicester vs. Leeds Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-185 / +130)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Leeds United plays its first Premier League fixture under new manager Jesse Marsch when it travels to the Midlands on Saturday to face an improving Leicester City.
The Peacocks have failed to win in six consecutive league matches, finding themselves only two points clear of the relegation zone. On the flip side, the Foxes sit in EPL purgatory approximately equidistant from the bottom as they are from the European spots.
The reverse fixture at Elland Road saw these clubs play to a deserved 1-1 draw, as both created north of one expected goal in the meeting. As for the fixtures last season, each side picked up a victory.
Recent Results Unkind for Leicester City
Even though Leicester City enters this game with a 1-1-1 record in its last three EPL fixtures, the underlying metrics suggest some bad luck came its way.
The Foxes have won three in a row and four of their last five EPL fixtures on xG and have seemingly found good offensive rhythm. Set aside a visit to Anfield and bettors will find manager Brendan Rodgers’ side is creating 1.7 xG goals per 90 minutes in its last four outings, per fbref.com.
Additionally, even though some defensive players are still suffering from some injuries, Rodgers has received some reinforcements in attack. James Maddison and Jamie Vardy came on as substitutes in the midweek game against Burnley, with each scoring goals to help Leicester claim all three points. It marked the Foxes’ first victory since a Dec. 28 win.
The other good news for Leicester? It has dominated the Leeds defense historically. In the last three meetings, it has never generated fewer than 1.1 expected goals and has created at least 1.5 xG in two of those fixtures.
Further, Leicester has done very well against the bottom half and should rate itself highly to walk away with points in this game. In nine such fixtures, Leicester have only dropped all three points once and are unbeaten at the King Power Stadium, with two wins and a draw.
The Foxes are also posting above-average offensive metrics in that fixture set, creating 1.75 xG/90 minutes in those nine matches and north of 2.4 xG/90 minutes at home, according to fbref.com.
That said, Leicester’s defense remains prone to conceding opportunities. In those same nine matches, the club’s defense has kept only a single clean sheet and allowed all nine opponents to create at least 0.75 xG as well.
March Hoping to Give Leeds Crucial Boost
While bettors don’t know how Marsch’s tactics will translate to the English top flight, it’s safe to say the task ahead of him is huge.
The aforementioned run of negative results for Leeds hasn’t been pretty, as its defense has crumbled with each subsequent fixture. Even though the match list wasn’t forgiving — three of Leeds’ last six opponents were Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham — it was still conceding north of 2.5 xG per 90 minutes and almost 1.7 xG/90 minutes in three games against Newcastle United, Everton and Aston Villa.
Additionally, the Peacocks haven’t played well away from home this campaign. As of this writing, it owns the second-worst road xGDiff in the league and is creating only 1.05 xG per 90 minutes.
If there’s a silver lining for Leeds, it’s that the underlying metrics suggest it hasn’t been as bad as its record shows. The Peacocks are due for some positive defensive regression (35 road goals against on 29 xGA) and have picked up a result in four of five road contests against the bottom half.
Positive regression could be on the way based on those five games as well, with Leeds owning a -2 goal differential on a -0.8 xGDiff in that set of matches.
However, if Leeds hopes to earn a result against Leicester, it will need to correct its defensive problems against a normally powerful attack.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Sometimes the obvious answer is the correct one and for this fixture I’m expecting goals.
I don’t expect Marsch will correct Leeds’ defensive issues overnight, but he will likely try to emphasize its strength in attack. However, given Leicester’s record at home against the bottom half, I anticipate we’ll see the hosts contribute at least two goals to the scoresheet.
That said, Leicester has also conceded at least once in three consecutive matches against Leeds, who create approximately 1.5 xG per 90 minutes against its host. Given Rodgers is still playing with a makeshift defense, expect the Peacocks to contribute goals away from home as well.
The last three matches between these sides have averaged a combined 3.5 xG, so I’m happy to back the total clearing three goals on the Asian Handicap as my top pick. I consider to be a pretty good discount at -120 via DraftKings and would play it up to -130 odds.
Pick: Total Over 3 Goals (-120)