Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: Arsenal vs. Southampton (Thursday, June 25)
Laurence Griffiths, Getty Images. Pictured: Matteo Guendouzi
Arsenal at Southampton Odds, Pick
|Arsenal odds||+160 (BET NOW)|
|Southampton odds||+160 (BET NOW)|
|Draw odds||+240 (BET NOW)|
|Time||Thursday, 1 p.m. ET|
Two matches and two defeats since the Premier League restart has left Arsenal stuck on 40 points, 10th in the table and even on goal differential. The once perennial top-four finishers have fallen from that position and now couldn’t be more average this season.
The Gunners hit the road to play at Southampton on Thursday desperate for three points to push back into contention for a Europa League place next season. This line suggests that Arsenal are a slightly better team than the Saints, with some minor home-field adjustment making the line dead even.
However, based on Arsenal’s road form this season, poor showings of late and Southampton’s much improved play, the Saints should be the favorite and are underpriced in this matchup.
The Gunners have two road wins this year, a 1-0 win at Newcastle on opening day and a 3-1 win at West Ham in December. Arsenal’s totaled two wins, eight draws and five defeats away from The Emirates this year. Their poor form (0.93 points per match) is the reason Unai Emery was sacked and Mikel Arteta was hired.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
A look at the underlying metrics all suggest that Arsenal are not in fact an average team, but a below-average one. Arsenal have generated 37.7 xG this year and conceded 45.2 xG, ranking 13th in the Premier League, and worse than Southampton’s nearly dead even xG difference per 90 (-0.01).
These are two teams headed in opposite directions as evidenced by Southampton’s 3-0 thrashing of Norwich last Friday and Arsenal’s late collapse and 2-1 loss to Brighton on Saturday. The Gunners have major question marks both in defense and through the midfield.
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Goalkeeper Bernd Leno will miss the rest of the season after a knee injury and while Sokratis may return at center back, it’s unlikely that defensive midfielder Granit Xhaka will start.
Up top, 19-year-old phenom Gabriel Martinelli is out for an extended period after a Monday training injury. With chances at Europe teetering a way and a crucial FA Cup tie coming on Sunday against Sheffield, this is a bad spot for a sputtering Arsenal side.
This matchup also presents an excellent live-betting opportunity. Looking at Arsenal’s minute splits this season, the Gunners are much better in the opening 30 minutes of games than they are late.
Arsenal’s xG by minute in 2019-20:
- 1-30: +2.93
- 31-60: -3.28
- 61-90: -6.06
If Arsenal does score early, they haven’t shown an ability to maintain a lead. When leading by one goal this year, Arsenal have scored to go up two five times, but conceded an equalizer nine times.
I’ll be looking to put more down on Southampton on the draw no bet, or live bet a draw, if Arsenal leads heading into the second half. Southampton are also a marginally better second half team than first half team according to xG.