Sunday Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: West Ham United vs. Leeds United EPL Betting Preview
Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Bamford.
- West Ham United welcomes Leeds United to London Stadium for Sunday’s Premier League match.
- The Hammers are heavy -165 moneyline favorites, but the Peacocks could be up for a fight.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the contest below and details why he’s backing Leeds.
West Ham vs. Leeds Odds
|West Ham Odds||-165|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-160 / +130)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
West Ham United played one of two midweek make-up matches and now have to play a third game in seven days as the Hammers host Leeds United on Sunday at the London Stadium.
The Hammers defeated Leeds, 2-0, at home last Sunday in the third round of the FA Cup, then beat Norwich City at home in the EPL on Wednesday by the same scoreline. The consecutive wins mark four in a row for manager David Moyes’ side in all competitions as the Hammers look to put their recent blip in form behind them in mid-December.
Leeds has been hit hard by injuries throughout the month of December and had to play with reserves, youth players on the bench and short-handed lineups. The Peacocks finished the month with three multiple-goal defeats and a draw with Brentford in December, but the team is starting to get healthier now.
I’m looking to buy low on Leeds — a team that has some attacking regression coming and isn’t nearly as bad as the table position suggests due to injuries.
Leeds was the better side for large stretches of the first meeting and are undervalued to keep this match competitive in an immediate revenge spot.
West Ham Finishing Could Regress
The squad depth of West Ham might be the only thing holding them back from being true top-four favorites. Injuries to the backline have made the defense worse, and it’s difficult for the Hammers to cope when both Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek aren’t starting in the central midfield.
Now the Hammers’ relatively thin squad has to play three games in seven days, and they didn’t really rotate much in either match. Fatigue could be an issue going up against a team like Leeds that ranks second in passes per defensive action, first in total pressures and seventh in defensive ball recoveries.
West Ham’s defense has also fallen off considerably since the early portion of the season, too. The Irons aren’t preventing opponents from entering their penalty area like they were earlier in the year. They’ve fallen to 14th in box entries allowed per 90, 16th in crosses allowed into the box and are below average in shots allowed and big scoring chances allowed.
For a team that has now scored 39 goals from 31 expected goals, the attack is impressive and a clear top-seven attack in the league, but don’t be surprised if you see them miss some chances and regress a bit in finishing as they are unlikely to finish 25% above expected in the long term.
Bamford, Key Players Back for Leeds
It’s been a nightmarish second season in the Premier League for manager Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds. Teams have clearly made some adjustments to playing against the constant high pressing and exposed some weaknesses in the defense. However, the club has been really unlucky with both injuries and finishing chances.
The Peacocks are running cold at both ends of the pitch, averaging 1.06 non-penalty xGF per 90 minutes, but scoring just 0.8 non-penalty goals per 90 minutes.
Defensively, the Peacocks have had the third worst overall shot-stopping in goal all year, despite Illan Meslier being one of the better shot stoppers in the league last season. Meslier’s true shot-stopping quality is probably somewhere in the average range, and he’s not likely to continue to be one of the worst in the league at keeping shots out of the Leeds goal.
Despite all of the injuries, Leeds are getting some key players back in this match that should help them at both ends of the pitch. Patrick Bamford is likely to start up top, Junior Firpo should return from a knock he sustained last week and Pascal Struijk and Rodrigo are both probable to return for this clash.
Leeds are still a few players from being fully fit or even close to it at this point, but the Peacocks won’t be stuck playing a ton of backups and youth players to the point where the market wasn’t able to really price in the drop-off.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The first time these two teams met at Elland Road, Leeds were clearly the better side in the opening 45 minutes, grabbed an early goal and controlled the match for large stretches.
West Ham played better in the second half and stole the game with a fortunate own goal and 90th-minute winner by Michail Antonio, but the final scoreline was quite harsh on Leeds.
The Peacocks are shorthanded still and will be for most of the year, but they have enough fit first XI players to make this a good buy-low spot on them, given the positive regression coming for Leeds.
Throw in the revenge spot and a potential fatigue situation for a thin West Ham lineup and the Peacocks shouldn’t be catching a full goal even on the road.
I’d play Leeds +1 at -130 or better.
Pick: Leeds +1 (-125)