Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Wolves vs. Southampton Betting Preview (Jan. 15)
Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images. Pictured: Raul Jimenez.
Wolves vs. Southampton Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+140 / -170)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
You might as well call Saturday’s Premier League match between Wolves and Southampton the “Mid-Table Obscurity Bowl since it pits the eighth-placed hosts against the 11th-placed Saints at the Molineux Stadium.
A win for Wolverhampton could see it go level on points with seventh-placed Manchester United, which plays later in the day against Aston Villa. On the other side, the Saints could move into 10th with one point from the fixture.
Although Wolves won the reverse meeting, 1-0, back on Sept. 26, it was Southampton who finished ahead in the battle of expected goals by a 1.2-1.0 margin. In fact, the road team in this matchup has won two consecutive matches and is unbeaten in the last six meetings across all competitions.
The historical edge belongs to Wolves, who have only suffered one outright defeat against Southampton in their last seven league meetings.
Wolverhampton Attack Needs To Step Up
Since dropping all six possible points against Liverpool and Manchester City, Wolves have earned points in their last three EPL games, beating Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United, and earning a point against Chelsea.
The added good news for potential Wolves backers is that it has proved very capable of dispatching bottom-half sides. Entering this fixture, Wolves’ 5-2-3 formation has had the xG edge in three of four home matches against sides currently sitting between 11th-20th in the table.
And although Wolves continue to struggle offensively — they’re fourth-worst in total xG — the defense has continued to produce good performances. Wolves have conceded the third-fewest home goals and kept three of their last four home opponents under 1.00 xG overall.
Meanwhile, manager Bruno Lage’s team’s underlying metrics tell a good story as well. Wolves rank out fourth in the Premier League in both shots on target per 90 minutes and shot-creating actions allowed per 90 minutes. Plus, they possess the best goal-creating actions against record per 90, per fbref.com.
All that said, the Wolves attack has continued to turn in subpar performances as of late. In their last seven matches, they’ve scored just two goals and have only produced one output of more than 1.00 xG in those fixtures. Additionally, Wolves have produced 0.3 or fewer xG in four of their last seven.
They also rank 11th in big scoring chances and 19th in shots on target per 90 minutes, per FotMob.
Finally, bettors should be aware that Wolves will enter this match without both their best attacker and a key defensive piece. Hwang Hee-chan, who leads Wolves in total xG this season, will miss out due to injury, while Romain Saiss is at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Luck Might Run Out Soon for Southampton
Although Southampton’s last few fixtures have finished quite positively, the club needed some good fortune to get the positive results.
The Saints are unbeaten in their last four EPL fixtures (two wins; two draws), but has lost the xG battle in three of those. Additionally, Southampton is due for quite a bit of negative offensive regression. Manager Ralph Hassenhuttl’s squad has scored 10 goals in that span on just on only 3.93 xG, per Understat.
Plus, that trend continues to materialize itself based on Southampton’s recent road fixtures. In their last five road matches, the Saints have scored six goals on 4.7 xG while allowing 13 goals on 7.4, per fbref.com. Additionally, Southampton holds the seventh-worst road xG difference in the league and has only won three of 10 road fixtures in the xG category.
Most concerning for Saints backers will be the fact those three road xG edges came against Norwich City, Newcastle United and Watford, who are three of the bottom four Premier League teams.
All that said, there are positives to associate with Southampton. It ranks ninth in total xG and shot-creating actions while sitting eighth in total penalty area touches, per fbref.com. However, the Saints simultaneously have produced the fifth-fewest big scoring chances and sit 11th in xG per 90 minutes.
Lastly, Southampton has struggled mightily this season against the current top eight. In nine matches against those clubs, the Saints are 1-4-4 (W-L-D) and have registered the xG advantage in just two of those games.
Given those trends and Southampton’s poor historical record against Wolves — 1-4-2 (W-L-D) in its last seven EPL meetings — all three points appear to be an uphill climb for the Saints.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The first place I normally look with Wolves matches is to the total given they can’t score but defend quite well.
However, I see no value on the totals board to get involved. That said, where I am willing to get involved is in the prop market.
Although Wolves tend to play quite well defensively against Southampton, both teams have scored at an above-average rate in this fixture. Since Wolves were promoted to the top flight, the “Yes” side of Both Teams to Score (BTTS) has cashed in all but two of these sides’ seven head-to-head meetings.
Plus, both outfits have achieved at least 0.8 xG in six of those seven matchups, and Southampton matches have hit the BTTS prop at a 60% rate this season.
Although it’s not my most confident selection across the betting board, I’m willing to bet this since you can grab the wager at plus money.
Pick: Both Teams to Score — Yes (+100)