Aston Villa vs. Leeds United Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions for EPL (Friday, Oct. 23)
Catherine Ivill/POOL/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Rodrigo (left) and Liam Cooper (right).
Aston Villa vs. Leeds United Odds
|Aston Villa Odds||+125 [BET NOW]|
|Leeds United Odds||+215 [BET NOW]|
|Draw Odds||+250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+114/-137) [BET NOW]|
|Time||3 p.m. ET|
Just as everyone expected, Aston Villa is the only remaining team in Europe’s top five leagues with a 100% winning record.
The Villans enter their home matchup with Leeds United second in the Premier League behind Everton, with the Blues having played one more match. A point would be enough for Villa to go on top of the league entering the weekend.
Leeds United, meanwhile, have had their defensive issues put on display early in the season. Those woes will be put to the test against a Villa side that put seven goals past Liverpool earlier in the season.
Let’s break down where the betting value lies:
The early surprise package of the Premier League, Aston Villa’s four wins are not to be scoffed at. In three of their four victories, the Villans have allowed less than 1.0 xG to their opponents (Sheffield United, Fulham and Leicester City). The lone match where they didn’t was a remarkable 7-2 victory over Liverpool.
While the majority of Villa’s big signings were in attack and midfield, Dean Smith’s defense has been the most impressive part of the team. Villa’s 6.79 xG is ninth in the league, while their 3.71 xGA is the Premier League’s lowest. In a season where goals are flying in all over the place, Aston Villa is thriving defensively.
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.
Villa’s biggest signing at the back was goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who thrived toward the end of the season with Arsenal after an injury to Bernd Leno. The central-defensive pairing of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa is clearly thriving, as well, after allowing 67 league goals last season, second-highest to Norwich City.
Jack Grealish is Villa’s key cog in attack and has registered three goals and three assists through four games. Coming through midfield, Ross Barkley and John McGinn (four assists already this season) give Villa an extra dynamic in attack that they did not have last season. Striker Ollie Watkins was brought in from Brentford, as well, to provide stability in the center of attack.
Smith’s men followed their five-goal win over Liverpool with Barkley scoring a stoppage-time winner against Leicester last weekend.
Leeds United put the Premier League on notice when they went to Anfield and gave the champions, Liverpool, all they could handle in a 4-3 defeat. The Peacocks followed that with a pair of victories before a draw with Manchester City and late defeat to Wolves last weekend.
Despite scoring just two goals in their past three games, Leeds have registered a very solid 5.12 xG, including 2.57 in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City. They are eighth in xG, just ahead of Villa, but their 8.28 xGA is fourth-highest in the league.
There have been more than 3.0 xG combined between Leeds and their opposition in four of their first five league games this season. The defeat against Wolves last week was the only one not to reach that threshold, and Leeds created 1.08 xG to Wolves’ 0.62.
Leeds are creating chances, which was to be expected entering the season, but they aren’t putting them away yet. Striker Patrick Bamford has three goals but just 1.57 xG, while record-signing Rodrigo has netted once in 240 league minutes. The Spaniard was brought in from Valencia to provide more of a finishing touch to the side’s attacking flair, and the goals may start flowing when he takes over from Bamford’s more workmanlike approach as the central striker.
Leeds have suffered an injury blow, losing England international midfielder Kalvin Phillips to a shoulder injury. Phillips is generally the holding midfielder in front of Leeds’ defense, so it will be interesting to see how manager Marcelo Bielsa adjusts his tactics.
Aston Villa-Leeds United pick
Given the teams’ runs of form, Villa is rightfully favored in this match. For a team with a flawless points total to begin the season, Villa is only +125 to take all three points.
While Villa’s defense has thrived this season with the addition of Martinez in net, Mings and Konsa are unlikely to keep up this run of form. That pairing led Villa to a wretched defensive record last season, and Martinez isn’t likely to have single handedly turned Smith’s team into a defensive juggernaut.
I like Leeds to bring Villa’s magical start to an end, and I think Bielsa’s dynamic attack nets more than once at Villa Park. Leeds is +215 to win, and their team total of 1.5 is +148. At the rate they’re creating chances, goals are going to come for Leeds. I don’t think it’s crazy to parlay the two together, given Leeds’ defense has conceded a goal in four of their first five games.
That parlay puts you at +681, which is great value.
The PICK: Leeds United parlay: +215 moneyline | +148 over 1.5 goals