Premier League Odds, Picks & Predictions: Leicester City vs. Aston Villa (Sunday, Oct. 18)

Credit:

Catherine Ivill/Pool/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Leicester City star Jamie Vardy.

  • Leicester City and Aston Villa are set to battle in an intriguing Premier League match.
  • BJ Cunningham tells us why he thinks the Foxes can pick up all three points.
  • Check out Cunningham's full betting preview with updated odds below.

Leicester City vs. Aston Villa Odds

Leicester City odds +110 [BET NOW]
Aston Villa odds +240 [BET NOW]
Draw +260 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 2.5 (-159/+128) [BET NOW]
Time Sunday, 2:15 p.m. ET
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Sunday’s final Premier League match is an unexpected early top-four clash after Aston Villa hung seven goals on defending champion Liverpool.

The Villans are now in second place, which is a far cry from battling to avoid relegation like they were at the end of last season. Leicester started the season in thrilling fashion by winning their first three matches, including a 5-2 win at Manchester City. The Foxes came back down to earth in their last match, a 3-0 home defeat to West Ham.

This is the match that will tell us which team is for real and which team is a pretender.

Leicester City

The Foxes fell just short of a Champions League spot last season and are poised to compete for a top-six spot again. Leicester sold star left back Ben Chilwell to Chelsea, but was able to replace him with former Atalanta defender Timothy Castagne.

Leicester’s fifth-place finish was driven by its offense, which averaged 1.61 xG per match. The Foxes continued that impressive offensive record so far this season, averaging 1.82 xG per match. They brought back all of their attackers — including Jamie Vardy — who won the league’s Golden Boot last season after bagging 23 goals. They should be set up to be a top six offense in the Premier League this year.

Brendan Rodgers’ men usually play out of a 4-1-4-1 formation, which is uncommon in modern-day football. The formation’s success is reliant on passing triangles forming around the pitch, especially out wide. When working effectively, the five-man front can overwhelm the opponent’s back line, creating a lot of 5-on-4 situations.

The Foxes have found a lot of success with that approach, boasting a +9.96 xGD last year and a +3.10 xGD this year, when playing out of that 4-1-4-1 formation. Leicester should be able to create a decent amount of high-quality chances against an overrated Villa defense.

Aston Villa

The Villans have improved drastically since the restart last season, posting a +2.96 xGD compared to a -26.66 xGD before the hiatus. They provided the biggest eye-opener of the Premier League season two weeks ago, destroying Liverpool 7-2 at home. Even though that looks like a dominant offensive performance, Aston Villa posted just half that amount in expected goals (3.36).

Aston Villa barely survived relegation last season and much of that was due to how poorly they played away from home. The Villans were second-to-last in xGD with a -18.8 xGD on the road during the 2019-20 season. Their main issue was their defense, which allowed 1.99 xG per match.

Aston Villa made a few key additions to their offense in the transfer window, bringing in Ollie Watkins (Brentford), Bertrand Traore (Lyon) and Ross Barkley (Chelsea). Watkins has been the biggest addition, as the leading goal-scorer from Championship last season already has three goals this season.

Although Aston Villa made those moves in the transfer market, they still have their same back four from last season. I think they’ll have a tough time stopping Leicester’s high-powered attack.

Projections and Pick

I think this line is major overreaction to Aston Villa’s 7-2 win over Liverpool. Leicester is still a top-six team in England and I think they should be way bigger favorites against a team that needed a lot of help to stay up last season.

I have Leicester projected at -179, so I think there is tons of value on the Foxes to get all three points at home.

The Pick: Leicester City +104

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