Saturday Premier League Odds, Picks & Predictions: Arsenal vs. West Ham United (Sept. 19)
Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
- Two EPL teams moving in opposite directions meet Saturday as Arsenal hosts West Ham.
- The Gunners have been favored between -175 to -200 from open, and while Michael Leboff thinks this line is high this early in the season, he still sees value on an Arsenal win.
- Leboff provides his full betting analysis and pick for Arsenal vs. West Ham below.
Premier League: Arsenal vs. West Ham Odds
|West Ham Odds||+460 [BET NOW]|
|Arsenal Odds||-175 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+320 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-159/+128) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 3 p.m. ET|
This one could get ugly.
Arsenal and West Ham United are going in opposite directions. The Gunners are bouncing under new manager Mikel Arteta and have their sights set on some big things in 2020-21.
The same can’t be said of West Ham, who will likely just be happy to avoid relegation following a sour 2019-20 campaign and a tumultuous offseason.
Arsenal are -200 favorites to take all three points at home and it’s hard to argue against the heavy odds.
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.
It does feel like Arsenal are taking an honest to god step forward under Arteta.
Over the past two months the Gunners have wins over Liverpool (twice), Manchester City and Chelsea and have won the FA Cup and the Community Shield. You can argue that the latter is a nothing more than a glorified friendly, but what you can’t argue, especially after Arsenal’s 3-0 thumping of Fulham last weekend, is the Gunners are turning heads for the right reasons for the first time in a while.
It was only Fulham, but Arsenal couldn’t have got off to a better start in 2020-21. The Gunners won the expected goals battle, 2.16 to 0.13, controlled 95% of the chances and didn’t allow a single pass (excluding crosses) within 20 yards of their own goal.
Performances like that are expected from Arsenal against cannon-fodder like Fulham, but the fact that it came only a few weeks after a terrific finish to Project Restart has buoyed everybody’s spirits at The Emirates.
West Ham United
Prior to the season there was plenty of talk about Crystal Palace being the “early fade” team this season. It was a fair assessment since Palace overachieved compared to their underlying metrics, but I had my eye on another team, as well.
West Ham United was not that bad during Project Restart. The Hammers needed to get results to avoid being pulled into a relegation fight and they were able to accomplish that feat with a 3-3-3 finish that included a win over Chelsea and a draw against Manchester United.
West Ham’s underlying metrics were roughly on par with their actual results but it took a Herculean effort from converted striker Michail Antonio to push the Hammers through June and July.
Instead of building on that modest finish, West Ham have more or less signaled that they are happy with the status quo and even sold off promising youngster Grady Diangana in an “it’s just business” move. It’s a dangerous way of thinking for a team that lacks depth and high-end talent.
It’s important not to overreact to one game, but West Ham’s curtain-raising loss to Newcastle did nothing to quell my suspicion that the Hammers are going to be worse than projected in the early part of 2020-21. Prior to the season, West Ham were +400 (20% implied probability) to be relegated at DraftKings. The Hammers now sit at +200 (33.3%), which ties them with Aston Villa as the third-most likely team to go down.
Arsenal vs. West Ham Betting Pick
When you convert these odds to implied probability you get:
- Arsenal: 63.6%
- West Ham: 15.6%
- Draw: 20.7%
This game feels like a mismatch and I’m finding it hard to find anything that puts me off that path. Arsenal’s defense is its biggest flaw, but West Ham are not the type of team that can exploit that, and David Moyes certainly isn’t the type of manager to tell his team to go for it.
Moyes’ teams play a pragmatic, defense-first style, but the Hammers still managed to concede the fifth-most goals and expected goals in the Premier League since the Scot took over on Jan. 1.
Arsenal’s high-pressing style and their attacking talent should lead to plenty of scoring chances on Saturday and I don’t think West Ham will be able to answer back.
I think the -200 moneyline on Arsenal is a bit too expensive, especially this early in the season, but I’m not done fading West Ham. I think the Gunners win this game by more than one goal more often than not and would play Arsenal -1 up to -130.
The Bet: Arsenal -1 (-122)