Premier League Odds, Picks, Predictions: Aston Villa vs. Burnley Betting Preview (Dec. 18)
Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Aston Villa standout Ollie Watkins.
Editor’s note: This match has been postponed due to Aston Villa dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. Check out our European Soccer COVID-19 tracker for more details and the latest updates.
|Aston Villa Odds||-140|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+105 / -130)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Aston Villa hosts Burnley in Premier League action Saturday in a match between teams both on a solid run of form.
The Villains have won four out of their last six games under the direction of new manager Steven Gerrard to move all the way up to 10th in the table. Meanwhile, the Clarets have only lost once over the same span, but it hasn’t been enough to move them out of the relegation zone.
These two teams don’t have the best attacking numbers on the season, which is why I think this will make it a cagey, competitive fixture.
Aston Villa Finding New Life With Gerrard
Life under Gerrard is off to a flying start for the Villans, who have picked up wins over Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Norwich City to go with losses to Manchester City and Liverpool.
We now have some data to pull since Gerrard took over, which hasn’t shown as much positivity as the results have looked on paper. If you look at the advanced metrics in the six games, Villa has posted a -0.5 expected-goals difference on an average of one xG per match, according to fbref.com.
Although the Villans have scored in every game, but one for a total of nine goals, the numbers above suggest there could be some attacking regression coming their way.
Rested Burnley Stuck in Relegation Battle
After having its midweek game postponed due to COVID-19 issues with Watford, Burnley enters the game with a little more rest between the teams.
Manager Sean Dyche will have his toughest task yet in helping the Clarets avoid relegation, with his side ranking toward the bottom of the EPL in many statistical categories.
Offensively, Burnley is 19th in xG (15.1), 18th in shots per match (10.87) and tied for 17th in goals scored (14) this season. It doesn’t help that leading scorer Maxwel Cornet missed the last match due to injury.
Things don’t get too much better defensively, where Dyche’s team is in the bottom six of the league in non-penalty xG allowed per match (1.48) and opponents’ shots per game (16.80) this season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Looking at the odds at DraftKings, the hosts are listed as the favorite at -140 odds on the moneyline to go with a total of 2.5 goals. While I do think the price is too big on Villa, I’m not running to the window to play Burnley on the road.
My attention is on the total in this game, where I’ll be taking the under 2.5 goals at -130 as my best bet.
I broke down the bad attacking numbers that both teams possess, but you can also look at the combined xG in their recent matches to also point you in the direction to the under on the total.
In the six games Gerrard has been in charge of the Villans, their fixtures have a combined xG average of 2.08. In contrast over the same span for the Clarets, their games finished with an average of 2.27 combined xG and the total went under 2.5 goals in four of those matches.
One thing that does worry me is how Villa has struggled to defend set pieces this season, giving up seven goals. However, none of those have come since Gerrard became manager.
I’m going to bank on there not being too many chances created in this match, which should give us a great shot at cashing this under in this spot.
Pick: Total Goals Under 2.5 (-130)