Brentford vs. Watford Premier League Odds, Picks, Predictions: How To Back the Hornets (Dec. 10)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images. Pictured: Watford standout João Pedro.
- Brentford hosts Watford in a battle of struggling Premier League clubs in Friday's matinee.
- The Bees and Hornets find themselves in the bottom half of the table after earning just two wins combined in their last 14 matches.
- Avery Zimmerman breaks down the contest below and details why he's backing Watford to get a result.
Brentford vs. Watford Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
In the appetizer to the upcoming weekend of Premier League action, Brentford will host to Watford in a crucial Friday showdown.
Neither club is lighting the EPL on fire at the moment, with Brentford sitting in 13th place after winning just one match in its last eight league outings. On the other side, Watford is just outside of the relegation zone in 17th place with just a single victory in its last six games.
As the English top flight heads into a congested winter period that will have the Hornets playing five matches before the end of the year and the Bees competing in six contests, this is an important opportunity for each club to find its footing.
Here’s how I’m evaluating the matchup.
Brentford Enters Match Off Big Disappointment
When the Bees took the pitch this past Sunday, they almost secured a massive three-point performance at Elland Road, but shoddy set-piece defending resulted in a 95th-minute equalizer for Leeds United.
The win wouldn’t have been crucial just because any road triumph for a non-top six side is huge, but because Brentford had amassed just four points out of the 21 available in its prior seven league games.
Brentford has scored 19 goals and conceded 21 thus far, and those totals are probably a touch kind on the club. The Bees are generating only 1.13 expected goals per game and giving up 1.5 xGA/outing, so a goal differential of about -5 would be expected rather than the -2 that Brentford holds.
The Bees slot in the middle of the pack in Premier League conversion rate, aiding their results with an 8.3% conversion rate. It won’t help on the weekend that striker Ivan Toney remains out due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, as well as Sergi Canos, who can play an attacking role at times.
Watford Heading for Long Relegation Battle
Despite a late November win against Manchester United, Watford finds itself in 17th place and just a spot out of the relegation zone. The Hornets are currently on 13 points, but all three teams in the 18 to 20 positions are on 10 points. Barring a great or even solid run of form over the next couple of months, Watford will be grinding until the end of the season.
The Hornets represent a team that’s on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to luck from where Brentford is at the moment. Watford’s -9 goal differential is four worse than it’s expected to be based on xG numbers, and the club’s fans would likely blame luck partly for the team’s position.
A 2-1 loss to Chelsea a week ago featured an xG edge to the Hornets, as did a 4-2 loss to Leicester City a few days prior. While it’s natural to expect this type of misfortune to reverse its course over time, teams can also make their own luck, and Watford’s sloppy play hasn’t allowed the team to do that.
Ismaila Sarr, Ben Foster, Francisco Sierralta and Nicolas Nkoulou headline a lengthy list of missing players for Watford, but winger Ken Sema could return after dealing with a knee injury.
Betting Analysis & Pick
When looking at the numbers behind each team’s performances, I’m far more inclined to lean toward Watford than I am Brentford, and home/away splits further reflect that position.
Watford has actually generated more scoring chances on the road than Brentford has at home, with a 1.31 xG/away number versus Brentford’s 1.27 xG/home average. Though Brentford has only conceded 1.44 xGA/home to Watford’s 1.68 xGA/away, pricing Watford as such a heavy underdog seems harsh.
The one thing that scares me in backing Watford here is its numerous injuries, but that hasn’t stopped the Hornets from competing well in recent weeks, so I’m comfortable backing them.
Look for Watford to get a key result as we head into a dense Premier League period.
Pick: Watford +0.5 (-130)