Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: Southampton vs. Crystal Palace (Saturday, Sept. 12)
Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Wilfried Zaha
Premier League Odds: Crystal Palace at Southampton
|Crystal Palace odds||+230 [BET NOW]|
|Southampton odds||+132 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+225 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+120/-152) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 10 a.m. ET|
The Premier League’s offseason was much shorter this summer, after the three-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic led to a short sprint to the finish with nine matches in a six-week period in June and July.
The last PL season ended on July 26, meaning that we can draw even more information about how teams ended the previous campaign to project how they may look in 2020/21.
The season will begin with matches being played behind closed doors, as no fans will be present at any games. Sportsbooks have largely adjusted their numbers to match the limited yet still existent home-field advantage that comes with an empty stadium.
I wrote in our Premier League preview about why I am so low on the Eagles this upcoming season. After posting 31 total goals and 34 xG in the 2019-20 season, I have my doubts about Palace’s ability to generate much of anything against quality opposition.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Palace last seven of their last eight matches and scored only three total goals in that span. While an expected dropoff is reasonable once the Eagles guaranteed safety from relegation, Palace’s underlying numbers weren’t particularly good before the layoff, and they fell off a cliff after it.
Only Brighton and relegated Norwich had worse non-penalty xG numbers than Crystal Palace since the PL restart and only the Canaries created fewer chances than Palace. Roy Hodgson’s side was able to comfortably stay in the league, but without their excellent defense, they’d have been into the relegation scrap.
After a slow start to the 2020 season, there may be no more underrated team in the PL than Southampton. Even though they finished 11th, the Saints were eighth in non-penalty xG difference, according to Understat.
Despite the excellent season from striker Danny Ings, Southampton actually under-performed its xGF numbers, scoring 51 goals from 56.5 xG, which was sixth-highest in the PL.
Ings grabbed 22 goals on 15 xG in 2019-20, so while he may be primed for some individual regression, he still put up an impressive 0.5 xG/90 minutes.
Ings’ emergence turns Southampton from a comfortably mid-table team into one who could compete for European places if things break right for them. Their underlying numbers and progression under manager Ralph Hassenhuttl suggest they were outperforming Tottenham and Arsenal down the stretch last season.
I make Southampton +115 in this match, so anything +125 or better is worth a look in this match. The market opened this line at +150 and it’s dropped considerably from there.
Southampton’s pressing midfield should control the majority of this match against Palace’s aging midfield. While Palace could be dangerous on the counter, the Eagles over-reliance on Wilfried Zaha leads me to think that the Saints will be able to neutralize his ability off the wing and secure all three points on opening day.
The Bet: Southampton +125 or better