Premier League Odds, Picks, Predictions: Crystal Palace vs. Wolves Betting Preview (Nov. 6)
Visionhaus/Getty Images. Pictured: Hwang-hee Chan, Rayan Ait-Nouri
Crystal Palace vs. Wolves Odds
|Crystal Palace Odds||+150|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+130/ -155)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 11 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
This time last year, Crystal Palace and Wolves were playing some of the most low-event, uninteresting soccer in the entire Premier League. They played to a 1-0 Palace win in the spring in which there were zero shots on target in the first half and just 17 shots and 1.2 xG in total.
At that time, both managers were facing sharp criticism for the fanbase for lacking direction, performance and results.
It’s a new year, both teams have new managers and have impressed in the PL thus far. At Wolves, Bruno Lage has them pressing opponents more, winning the ball back and using their talent in space to create chances. The finishing hasn’t quite been there, but the 2-1 win against Everton on Monday shows what Wolves can be and have been this season.
Palace’s revolution began with personnel, new centerbacks have helped improve the defense and young attacking talent like Connor Gallagher and Odsonne Edouard sprung them to a 2-0 upset win against Manchester City last weekend and saw them nearly beat Arsenal a week prior. New manager Patrick Vieira has made many fans in south London.
Crystal Palace Has Been Sharp Under Vieira
Crystal Palace’s improvements this season haven’t come from the attack, necessarily, although the Eagles are improved over last season’s numbers in xG per 90. Most of the improvement has come defensively, where Palace have allowed the fifth-lowest non-penalty xG per 90, the eighth fewest shots and fourth fewest big scoring chances.
Palace haven’t played an easy schedule either — they’ve already played Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City, West Ham and Chelsea. They have benefited from City playing down a man and Spurs missing multiple attackers, though.
Vieira has Palace running and pressuring the ball a ton, as no team has more attempted pressures across the pitch than Palace this season. With that being said, there’s other indicators that suggest Palace’s defense isn’t quite as good as the xG numbers indicate.
The Eagles are just 14th in passes per defensive action, 11th in box entries and 16th in crosses allowed into their penalty area. All of that suggests Palace will be more of a midtable defense.
Still significantly improved from years past, and a credit to Vieira’s management thus far, but Palace isn’t going to stay as the fifth best defense in the league by expected goals allowed.
In attack, Palace is still a lower mid table team, ranking between 13th and 17th in most attacking metrics. When you consider that Palace finished in 19th in xGF each of the past two seasons, the resurgence of Christian Benteke and emergence of Edouard are major reasons Palace has been a more efficient attacking side this year.
Facing an also overrated defense in Wolves, Palace should have its chances to grab a goal in this match, even if they’re wrongly favored against the much improved Wolves.
Just How Good Are Upstart Wolves?
Bruno Lage has made significant improvements for Wolves this year, but it’s hard to believe that this team will remain the second-best defense in the entire Premier League by expected goals allowed.
Part of the numbers are the schedule: Wolves haven’t played Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City or Arsenal yet. They played really well against Manchester United, so maybe it’s not just a product of the schedule, but given their other defensive numbers, I’d bet against Wolves maintaining an elite defense.
Wolves rank eighth in box entries allowed, fourth in shots allowed, but are middle of the pack in opponents’ touches in the penalty area. They’re certainly playing like a well above average defense, but I’m not quite buying into the numbers.
They’ve also got some regression coming at both ends of the pitch, where the attack has only scored 11 goals from 13.4 xGF, and the defense has only conceded 10 goals from 11.8 xGA. You’d expect there to be more goals in Wolves games this season based on the quality of chances conceded, and that points to their future games including marginally more goals if the performances remain static.
Betting Analysis & Pick
My projections show value on both Wolves and the over in this match. My numbers are still skeptical of both defenses maintaining the excellent start to the season that they’ve had.
My projections have Wolves as a tiny -101 favorite on the draw no bet line and given that Wolves were better last year, have better xG numbers this year and more overall squad talent, the wrong team is favored here.
Both teams to score is projected -125 in my numbers as well, with both attacks seeing solid increases when compared to last season and both defenses only marginally improving in the same 10 match sample we have of EPL data this season.
Unlike the past managers, who were much more conservative and pragmatic with their approaches, Lage and Vieira would both probably prefer this game to be more high-energy, more space for transition and more chances. It suits the personnel of both sides more now than it did last season and that’s why I’m backing both teams to score and Wolves on the draw no bet line.
Picks: Wolves — Draw No Bet (+120) | Both Teams to Score Yes (-110)