Premier League Odds, Picks, Predictions | Nottingham Forest vs Brentford Preview
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Nottingham Forest vs Brentford Odds
|Nottingham Forest Odds
|Over / Under
+110 / -138
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Both Nottingham Forest and Brentford will be looking to shake off some recent disappointments when they meet on Sunday at the City ground.
Forest suffered a 2-0 defeat last time out at Manchester City that was frustrating in at least one sense. The Tricky Trees played the entire second half up a man following Rodri's dismissal but were unable to truly find a way back into the game in their third away loss already this season against one of last year's top four.
Brentford's run of results may be more genuinely troubling, with only one league win and three consecutive defeats in all competitions. The worst of those probably was a 3-1 home league loss to an admittedly improved-looking Everton, while their mid-week 1-0 home loss to Arsenal will be viewed more as a good effort coming up short.
Brentford took four points out of six from these teams' league meetings a year ago, most recently earning a 2-1 home win back in late April.
Here is my Nottingham Forest vs Brentford pick.
Forest survived their first Premier League season in more than two decades primarily on the strength of their home form. It might ultimately turn out that way again in their second in 2023-2024, but it's hard to know given how much of the early season the Trees have spent traveling.
They are one of six PL sides to play four of their first six away in the league, and the only one of those to play last year's top three finishers among those away games. In that context, their haul of three points from four away matches — those points coming in a smash-and-grab victory at Chelsea a few weeks back — is sort of impressive, as is their relatively modest xG deficit of -3.1 xG from those matches.
And most likely, Brentford will pose a different kind of challenge from what Forest faced in their two home matches against newly promoted sides Sheffield United and Burnley, who were both content to give the burden of creating the game to the hosts.
Unlike last season when Forest were ravaged by injuries, manager Steve Cooper has nearly a full squad to select from on Sunday.
Brentford had weathered the long-term suspension of striker Ivan Toney quite well for a while, but maybe the absence of a player who scored 20 Premier League goals last season is finally showing itself.
The Bees have scored only once in their last three matches in all competitions and only five times in six games since August 26. And while Brentford still boast a +3.3 xG difference so far, you can attribute half of that margin to earning three penalties so far this season while conceding only one.
Their worst performance this season probably came against Everton, who are more content to play a lower block than many in the Premier League and try to do their damage on the counter. That left manager Thomas Frank's men looking a bit lost at times, but it could also be informative for preparations for Forest, who are also among the PL teams that sit deep more often.
Of late, the Bees are dealing with more than just Toney's absence. Kevin Schade (hip) is the most recent loss, having been a late scratch in last weekend's loss to Everton.
This moneyline makes sense when you look at the raw numbers, with Forest's -3.1 xGDiff and Brentford's +3.3xGDiff counteracting Forest's home-field advantage. But when you adjust for strength of schedule and penalties awarded and conceded, it's clear Forest should probably be at least slight favorites here rather than slight underdogs.
Given respect for Brentford's recent pedigree — which is probably what is propping the Bees up as slight favorites — and their propensity to play for draws, I'll take Forest on a draw no bet line at even money or better. If you can't find that price, the slightly riskier moneyline play is the way to go.
There may also be value on the total above 2.5 at better than even money, though my confidence there isn't as high. I imagine oddsmakers are leaning toward the under based on the small sample of Forest's two home games this season against newly promoted opposition, who were keen to keep those games tight. I don't expect this one to play out similarly.