Premier League Odds, Picks, Predictions, Best Bets: Crystal Palace vs. Leeds United EPL Betting Preview (April 25)
Lindsey Parnaby/PA Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Leeds United standouts Kalvin Phillips, left, and Jack Harrison celebrate a goal.
Crystal Palace vs. Leeds Odds
|Crystal Palace Odds||+105|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-120 / -100)|
|Day | Time||Monday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Leeds United’s recent winning form has given it enough room from the Premier League relegation zone, with the club sitting four points above 18th-place Everton in the drop zone.
American manager Jesse Marsch has managed the Peacocks to three wins, two defeats and a draw in his six matches in charge, but Monday’s showdown with Crystal Palace will be one of the more difficult ones since he’s taken over.
The road trip to Selhurst Park has been one of the tougher fixtures, because of the Eagles’ home form. Outside of the league’s top-seven sides, no team has a better expected-goals difference or point return in front of their home fans.
When it comes to the relegation odds, Leeds sits at +333 as of this writing. That puts the club in a better position than Everton (-110) and Burnley (+175), according to the BetMGM numbers. So, a win would vault the Peacocks to 36 points, which has been enough to stay up in six of the last seven EPL seasons.
Although Leeds defense has improved considerably under Marsch, the numbers are less than impressive overall and I’m expecting goals for “Monday Night Football” in this matchup.
Crystal Palace Struggling Against Lesser Foes
Crystal Palace doesn’t just have the EPL’s seventh-best xG difference at home. The club also has the biggest difference between home and away underlying performances in the English top flight. Palace’s main problem has been creating chances on the road, as it ranks 19th in shots attempted this season.
The Eagles rely heavily on transition opportunities to create big scoring chances, and that projects pretty well against this opponent. Leeds wants to make it an up-tempo game, with pressing from the front to force high turnovers. Crystal Palace doesn’t create a big volume of shots, but Leeds’ defense also concedes a lot of shots.
Teams have had success defending in low blocks against Palace, and that’s why it has underperformed when facing sides below it in the table. Yet, that’s not really how Leeds look to defend on a game-to-game basis.
Even though Palace lost its last two league games away to Leicester City and Newcastle, we’ve seen how dominant it can be at home in its 3-0 drubbing of Arsenal. The Eagles’ form game-to-game hasn’t remained consistent, but they’ve consistently overachieved — especially in attack — at Selhurst Park with 25 goals on 23.8 xG in 16 matches.
Leeds Inching Closer to EPL Safety
Leeds ranks fourth highest in high turnovers created, and while the press has changed quite a bit since Marsch took over, it’s still in its DNA overall. The biggest advantage the Peacocks have is health, where they finally have had time off to rest, recover and get healthy. The EPL’s most injury ravaged team has had its numbers deflated because of these issues, but has clearly started to play better with Marsch in and players reaching fitness.
The key return of Kalvin Phillips has bolstered the midfield and pressing ability. The team still concedes big chances, but has a better shot at retaining possession and control the game flow via its star midfielder.
The Peacocks have the most shots from direct attacks and the fifth-fastest attacking speed in the EPL, which hasn’t changed under Marsch. His tactics are known for the ability to strike quickly against opponents and that’s one area where Palace has been vulnerable.
Leeds’ main issues stem from overcommitting numbers forward, but the team has struggled to defend set pieces. The Peacocks rank last in goals conceded from set pieces and fourth to last in xG yielded off them. The market tends to not correct and miss on teams who are dominant or poor on set pieces, as clubs continue trying to find edges or get exploited on them on the margins.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Totals have come down quite a bit since Marsch took over, as it was pretty rare you’d see a 2.5 total toward the end of the Marcelo Bielsa era without a lot of juice on the over. Leeds has still conceded at least one xG in four of five matches despite that and Palace will be the best attack it has faced.
My projection for this match has 2.85 goals, which even adjusting for the improved defense, doesn’t get me down toward the 2.5 number set by oddsmakers. Palace has been more dangerous at home and I expect this game to feature pretty open attacking play..
The Eagles have improved at playing through pressure relative to years past and the Peacocks are still prone to conceding big scoring chances. The total likely comes down to whether Palace converts its big chances that it’ll inevitably have. While that’s been a problem, some positive regression to the finishing mean there could help push this over the total.
That said, I’ll back the total clearing 2.5 goals at -120 odds or better. I do fully expect a back-and-forth affair.
Pick: Total Over 2.5 Goals (-120 or better)