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Watford vs. Wolves EPL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Back Hornets at Vicarage Road (Sept. 11)

Watford vs. Wolves EPL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Back Hornets at Vicarage Road (Sept. 11) article feature image

Tony Marshall/Getty Images. Pictured: Emmanuel Dennis.

  • Watford and Wolverhampton square off in Saturday's Premier League action at Vicarage Road.
  • The host Hornets, who are home underdogs, are the only club between the pair to secure any points so far this season.
  • Ian Quillen takes a deep dive into this match below and details why he's backing the hosts to improve their fortune.

Watford vs. Wolves Odds

Watford Odds+230
Wolves Odds+130
Over/Under2.5 (+155 / -125)
Day | TimeSaturday | 10 a.m. ET
How To WatchPeacock Premium
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

Watford and Wolverhampton will consider three points a realistic aim when they meet Saturday at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets are the only side between the pair to earn point so far, but have lost twice following a season-opening home victory against Aston Villa.

Despite three 1-0 losses, the analytics show Wolves have been the better club in terms of chances created and conceded in their difficult open against Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

These sides haven’t met since New Year’s Day of 2020, when Watford defeated Wolves in a 2-1 home win.

Watford Have Exceeded Low Expectations

The Hornets were many pundits’ selection to finish bottom of the table after earning a return to the Premier League last season following a one-year absence.

But they’ve given nearly as good as they’ve taken so far through three matches, earning an opportunistic win over Villa and picking up something of a moral victory in a 1-0 away loss at Tottenham Hotspur in Round Three.

They could take a hit defensively Saturday if Chilean centerback Francisco Sierralta is suspended (as expected) because of Premier League clubs’ refusal to release players for World Cup qualifiers played in the UK’s red-list countries.

On the other end, Josh King is looking for his first league goal since the 2019-2020 campaign after failing to score last season in 23 appearances (and 737 minutes) between League Championship side Bournemouth and then Everton.

King has yet to record a shot attempt in two appearances and 90 minutes for the Hornets.

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Exceptional Goalkeeping Has Frustrated Wolves

The Midlands side are the Premier League’s early leaders in the hard-luck award, having failed to earn points in three consecutive matches despite expected goals (xG) that accurately reflect the Wolves creating more chances than they’ve allowed.

Their Round Three match was the most heartbreaking. The hosts created chance after chance at the Molineaux Stadium only to succumb to Manchester United on Mason Greenwood’s 80th-minute winner.

Those calling Wolves wasteful might be doing so unfairly. In losses to Spurs and United, manager Bruno Lage’s side was held back by two of the Premier League’s three best goalkeepers — Hugo Lloris and David de Gea — in terms of actual goals conceded against the predictions of post-shot xG.

In other words, those two defeats were arguably as much about exceptional goalkeeping as poor finishing.

Raul Jimenez should be available for selection despite his failure to report to the Mexico national team duty. (The Mexican federation has dropped its appeal to FIFA for a one-match ban.)

He has yet to score after his return from a nasty facial injury that cut his 2020-2021 campaign short last fall. But it’s not for a lack of showing up in promising positions — his 0.7 xG in 270 minutes leads Wolves.

Betting Analysis & Pick

A course correction is coming for Wolverhampton sooner or later. But just because they lead opponents in xG 4.3-2.9 and Watford trail 2.6-3.5 doesn’t mean Wolves should be such strong away favorites.

For starters, home-field advantage appears to have returned with the fans this campaign. Prem sides have won 14 of 30 home matches. That’s a small sample, but in line with the 47.4% of matches won by home sides in 2018-2019, the last full season at full fan capacity.

Wolves have played twice at home while Watford have played twice away, which could also influence xG numbers.

And we haven’t really seen how Wolves perform against a lower-end Prem side content to let Wolves take the creative initiative.

It’s not unheard of for mid-table teams to find more joy against a league’s high fliers and less against those fighting to avoid relegation. (See 2020-2021 Everton, for starters.)

All that has me believing the value is with Watford here, if only slightly.

If the Hornets had demonstrated more attacking chops, I’d play them to win. Since they haven’t, I’m playing them on a spread bet at +0.5 goals and -150 odds, an implied 60% probability they earn at least a point at Vicarage Road.

Pick: Watford +0.5 (-150)

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