Arsenal vs. Southampton Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Time to Fade the Saints (Wednesday, Dec. 16)
Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
- Arsenal's season has hit the skids over the past two months and the heat has been turned up on manager Mikel Arteta. Is now the right time to buy low on the Gunners?
- Conversely, Southampton have been in great form this season and manager Ralph Hassenhuttl is being tabbed as a potential replacement for Arteta at the Emirates.
- Southampton, however, has been overperforming based on its underlying metrics, and this might be the time to jump off:
Arsenal vs. Southampton Odds
|Arsenal Odds||+123 [BET NOW]|
|Southampton Odds||+220 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-130/+105) [BET NOW]|
|Time||1:00 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.|
Arsenal looks to snap one of the worst runs of form in the club’s history at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday when they face Southampton.
Arsenal, the club many once thought was part of the top six, is now in a relegation battle. The Gunners are in 15th and showing no signs of life. Arsenal has never been relegated from the first division of English soccer. I’m talking over a century of the club being in existence.
This is quite literally rock bottom for the Gunners, as they only have one point from their last four matches and have lost four straight matches at home.
Southampton are on the completely different end of the spectrum, because the Saints are enjoying one of the best starts in the club’s history. They are currently in fourth and have won five of their last seven matches. A win on Wednesday would see them stay inside the top four or possibly even move up in the table.
Problems for Arsenal exist at both ends of the pitch. Going forward, they are desperately struggling to create high quality chances. The Gunners are averaging only 1.16 expected goals for (xGF) per game, which is in the bottom six of the Premier League.
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.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal’s main goal-scoring threat over the last two seasons, is averaging an abysmal 0.19 xG per 90 minutes. The Gunners are going to need someone to step up if they are going to salvage this season.
Defensively, Arsenal hasn’t been terrible, allowing 1.23 xG per match, but the bad news is midfielder Thomas Partey is going to miss this match due to injury. Southampton are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league, so Arsenal’s defense better be up to the task.
Bottom line for Arsenal is very simple: They need to play better. This isn’t a situation where they have a bad manager or a lot of injuries. The players flat out need to play better if Arsenal is going to finish in the top half of the table.
The Saints have been fantastic since this season, grabbing 23 of a possible 36 points.
However, expected goals tells a different story. Southampton may have a +7 goal differential, but their expected goal differential (xGD) is actually -1.60, which is 12th and worse than Arsenal’s xGD.
The main reason for the big discrepancy is due to their incredible good fortune in front of goal. The Saints only have 14.55 xGF on the season, while their actual goal count is 24. Safe to say that negative regression is coming at some point for Southampton, because they simply cannot keep scoring at this rate with so few high-quality scoring chances.
For the Saints to win this match and stay in the top four, they will need to continue taking advantage of their few chances, or else Arsenal’s season could get steered in the right direction.
Projections and Pick
Call me crazy, but I think Arsenal’s bad run of form ends on Wednesday. Southampton cannot continue to get this lucky going forward and should have some difficulty creating chances on Arsenal’s defense.
Even though I have Arsenal projected +128, I think Southampton’s good fortune ends at the Emirates on Wednesday, so I’ll take the Gunners at +123.
Pick: Arsenal +123