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Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Watford vs. Crystal Palace EPL Betting Preview (Feb. 23)

Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Watford vs. Crystal Palace EPL Betting Preview (Feb. 23) article feature image
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Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Patrick Vieira of Crystal Palace.

  • Watford welcomes Crystal Palace to Vicarage Road for Wednesday's Premier League meeting.
  • The visiting Eagles are slight +125 ML favorites against the struggling Hornets.
  • Brett Pund breaks down the game below and details why he's expecting the defenses to steal the spotlight.

Watford vs. Crystal Palace Odds

Watford Odds +230
Crystal Palace Odds +125
Draw +225
Over/Under 2.5 (+105 / -145)
Day | Time Wednesday | 2:30 p.m. ET
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Odds updated as of Wednesday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Watford welcomes Crystal Palace to Vicarage Road on Wednesday for a very important Premier League match at the bottom of the table.

The Hornets secured their first victory under their new manager over the weekend at Aston Villa. However, they still find themselves in the relegation zone in 18th. Meanwhile, the Eagles are winless in their last six EPL contests, dropping to 13th in the table with 26 points.

Watford has won four of the last six games against Palace across all competitions, which should set up a feisty, vital game for both sides.

Latest Watford Match Personal for Hodgson

Manager Roy Hodgson will be looking forward to this game, as he was fired by Palace in his previous stint as a manager in the English top flight. He has brought with him a lot of similarities from that job with him to Watford, which includes an old-school 4-4-2 formation and low-scoring games.

Since he became the boss, the Hornets have held opponents to an average of 1.05 expected goals per match, according to fbref.com, which is a major improvement from the 1.91 xGA average before he was hired.

Offensively, striker Emmanuel Dennis leads the team with nine goals and five assists, and he’ll be flying high after scoring the winner at the weekend.

Struggling Crystal Palace Hoping to Right Ship

It has been a real struggle of late for manager Patrick Vieira and Crystal Palace. However, the advanced metrics do show there might be some positive regression coming for the club.

If you were to rank all EPL teams on expected goals difference, the Eagles would be in the top half of the table in eight at -0.5 this season.

The issues have come away from home, though, where Palace has only one win in 12 road games to go along with a -8.1 xG difference overall.

With three different players scoring six or more league goals this season, the attacking pieces are there for Vieira, but the Eagles have to start stringing together results to avoid dropping into the relegation battle.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Oddsmakers at BetMGM is not quite buying into the host following the win this past weekend, listing Crystal Palace as the +125 favorite on the moneyline.

And while I do lean toward Watford if I was picking a side, I believe the total is the best value on the board. That said, my best bet is for the total to fall under 2.5 goals at -145 odds. If your book offers other totals like two or 2.25 on the Asian Handicap at a better price, I like those options as well.

Hodgson has turned the Hornets into a very pragmatic side that has struggled to create many chances. In his four games in charge, Watford has averaged just 0.73 xG per match to go along with a combined xG average of 1.78 in those contests. The same bet would have also cashed in all games as manager.

The visitors have also had some lower-scoring games recently, with four of their last five matches going under this same total. The combined xG average during that stretch was 2.36 goals. However, if you remove the Liverpool game (3.9 combined xG), the average would drop to 1.98 overall.

This is the same Crystal Palace team that has had issues creating chances on the road, averaging just 0.83 xG away from home in the English top flight.

I don’t like laying a number this big, but this price is much shorter than it should be for a game that is more likely to finish 0-0 as opposed to 3-3 in my opinion.

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-145)

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