Saturday Premier League Odds, Picks & Predictions: Brighton vs. Aston Villa (Nov. 21)
- Brighton & Hove Albion takes on Aston Villa in Premier League action on Saturday.
- While Villa has four more wins than Brighton, other metrics point to these two teams as being closer to equals.
- Michael Leboff previews Saturday's match and gives his betting pick below.
Premier League: Brighton at Aston Villa Odds
|Brighton Odds||+215 [BET NOW]|
|Aston Villa Odds||+120 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+260 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-136/+110) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN|
For the second time this season Aston Villa went into the international break riding high off a blowout win over a member of the Big Six. The Villans took apart Arsenal, 3-0, in a ruthless victory much the same way they disposed of Liverpool, 7-2, before the October pause.
Their season may only be seven matches old, but the Villans have already proven they will be a much tougher out in 2020/21 than they were for the majority of the 2019/20 campaign.
A win as favorites over Brighton & Hove Albion could see Aston Villa leap into the top four by the time these weekend’s matches conclude. Beware, though, Brighton’s results are quite misleading.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton & Hove Albion are the clubhouse leaders in misfortune through the first two months of the season. Their 3-2 loss against Manchester United back on Sept. 26 could serve as a metaphor for the Seagulls’ campaign to date. Brighton largely outplayed United in that match and had to overcome five (5!) shots off the post to tie the game in the 94th minute. Unfortunately, United won a dubious penalty in the 99th minute to seal the victory.
In that match, Brighton attempted 11 more shots, controlled 72% of the chances and won the expected goals battle, 2.98 to 1.58. Outplaying opponents only to lose has been a common theme for the Seagulls in 2020/21.
Only five teams (Liverpool, Spurs, Leicester, Chelsea and Villa) sport a better xG/90 than Brighton this season and no team has conceded fewer expected goals and non-penalty xG (npxG) than the Seagulls (including a few clubs that have played one fewer contest this campaign).
Brighton are winless in their last six matches and just three points above the relegation zone, but by every metric — except for the one that matters — Graham Potter’s Seagulls have been one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League this season.
Aston Villa’s success is legitimate, and even though they have played only seven matches this season, the turnaround at Villa Park can be traced back to right after the hiatus in 2019/20.
At some point during the pause, Dean Smith decided to turn Villa into a defensive force and the changes implemented worked as the Villans allowed just 1.01 xG per match in their last 10 contests last season. That form has carried over into the new campaign, as Villa held their opponents to just 0.93 xG per 90 minutes through their first four contests.
It was a longshot that Villa’s defense was going to perform at that level for the entire season, so the recent dip in form in front of their own goal should not be all that worrisome, especially since the Villans have proven that they can create scoring chances. They also have some match-winning talents in Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins.
Villa could be the perfect buy-low, sell-high team in the Premier League in 2020/21. The Villans certainly have the talent and organization to pull off some memorable upsets, but they are still a work in progress and lack cover if one of the aforementioned stars are injured or off the pace in a certain match.
Brighton vs. Aston Villa Pick
Despite having a game in hand, Aston Villa have four more wins, nine more points and are 12 goals better than Brighton this season. The big picture, however, paints these two teams as near equals.
|xG Differential Per 90||0.28||0.31|
|npxG For per 90||1.26||1.58|
|npxG Against per 90||0.6||1.27|
I’ve played this Brighton team quite a bit already this season to little success, but the numbers support going back to the well. In fact, I think they are worth a flyer to make a run. If you like betting longshots, backing Brighton to finish inside the Top 6 at 50/1 (DraftKings) is definitely worth a hard look. The Premier League has the look of a wide-open competition this season, so it isn’t all that crazy to think that the Seagulls could make a charge up the table.
As for Saturday’s match, I like the price on Brighton at +190 or better. As Anthony Dabbundo pointed out in his column this week, home-field advantage hasn’t meant much in the Premier League this season and I think the margin between these two squads is razor thin.
At some point Brighton’s results will start to match their level of play, so now’s as good a time as any to buy into the Seagulls.