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Manchester City vs. Tottenham Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Can Spurs Keep It Close Against EPL Giants? (Feb. 19)

Manchester City vs. Tottenham Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Can Spurs Keep It Close Against EPL Giants? (Feb. 19) article feature image
Credit:

Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Harry Kane.

  • Manchester City welcomes Tottenham to Etihad Stadium on Saturday for the weekend's featured Premier League match.
  • The powerful Cityzens, who have all but locked up the league title, could further hurt Spurs' chances of a top-four finish with another win.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup below and details why he thinks Tottenham is a live underdog.

Man City vs. Spurs Odds

Man City Odds -380
Spurs Odds +1100
Draw +500
Over/Under 2.5 (-175 / +140)
Day | Time Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
How To Watch NBC | fuboTV | Peacock Premium
Odds updated via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

A lot has changed for Tottenham and Manchester City since Spurs pulled off a stunning 1-0 upset at home on the opening weekend of the Premier League season. At that time, Nuno Espirito Santo was Spurs manager, and Harry Kane seemed destined for a transfer to the Cityzens.

City looked beatable that day, and Liverpool and Chelsea looked to jump on the chance to wrestle the Premier League crown back from the team that has won three of the last four titles.

Since then, Spurs have fired Espirito Santo, Kane has remained with the club and City has claimed a vice grip on the league’s title race.

Tottenham has improved under Antonio Conte, but three straight league losses will likely become four on Saturday when Spurs visit Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Tottenham has a history of causing issues for Manchester City, including the 2019 Champions League quarterfinal, a 2-0 win at Spurs in 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic and this season’s victory.

If Spurs can counterattack their way through City’s elite defense and potentially catch City in a flat spot after a dominant midweek road trip in the Champions League, then Tottenham could be worth backing in the marquee matchup of the EPL weekend.

Can Juggernaut Man City Keep Rolling Along?

As dominant as Manchester City’s defense has been this season, they have been a bit fortunate with opponents finishing poorly against them as well. Only 14 goals conceded from 18 expected goals is moderate over performance, and you’d expect those numbers to converge at some point as the season progresses.

Only Leicester City (2.4 xG) has created more than Spurs (1.3 xG) did against this City defense in a PL game all year. Leicester’s quick-strike attack isn’t all that different when playing without the ball than Spurs’ is, as Tottenham and Leicester both look to spring the ball quickly over the top after winning the ball in the midfield.

Tottenham’s biggest issues have come from defending crosses this season, especially at the far post recently since Emerson Royal has struggled defensively at right wingback and Eric Dier has been out of the lineup. For all of its strengths, aerial duals and crosses are not how City generates most of its chances.

The Cityzens play without a true recognized striker and are just 10th in the Premier League in crosses into the penalty area.

So, while Spurs could concede from that off a set piece or dead ball situation, no one in the City attacking group is really a threat through the air.

Have Spurs Been Bad or Simply Unlucky?

There are a few reasons to buy low on Spurs in this match.

For starters, Tottenham has been really unlucky and has positive regression coming in a big way. In the last 700 minutes of soccer, Spurs have a +0.52 xG difference per 90 but a -0.39 actual goal difference per 90.

That’s a full goal per match swinging against them based on finishing variance and the uncharacteristically poor finishing from Kane and Son Heung-min and some goalkeeping errors from Hugo Lloris. All three are typically among the best in the world at finishing and shot-stopping. They’re why Spurs have marginally outperformed their xG numbers for the last three-to-four seasons.

The finishing slump of Spurs two best shot getters won’t last forever, and Conte seemed to realize the two-man midfield wasn’t enough to compete and was getting exposed tactically after the first 30 minutes against Wolves.

I expect Spurs to come out in more of a 3-5-2 in this match, adding another player to match City in the center of the park and gain more of a foothold. Tottenham should be able to spring counterattacks into the channels in behind once João Cancelo occupies the center of the pitch spaces in possession.

Defensively, the back three of Conte also matches up well with the striker-less approach from the Cityzens because highly aggressive center back Cristian Romero can step up and occupy more aggressive spaces without fear of vacating the striker in behind.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Spurs’ recent poor form has inflated this number to the point where Spurs +1.5 is plus-money odds, and my projections suggest that it shouldn’t be. Tottenham has a history of success in this fixture, is in a good buy-low spot off of three straight losses and has been more unlucky than bad during this recent run.

Tottenham has to make some tweaks to its midfield formation and hope that City is a bit flat to have a chance to get a result here. But Spurs are more than capable of scoring at least one goal on the road and limiting a City attack that prior to Wednesday’s thrashing of Sporting Lisbon, wasn’t in that great of form.

Manchester City had produced less than two expected goals in 5-of-6 Premier League matches entering this one on Saturday. The most common final in my projections is a one-goal victory for City and I can’t get to Spurs being bigger underdogs than that.

I’m holding my nose and banking on an all-in effort from Spurs at City.

Pick: Tottenham +1.5 (+105)

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