Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Tottenham vs. Fulham (Wednesday, Dec. 30)
Julian Finney/Getty Images. Pictured: Harry Kane.
Wednesday’s match between Tottenham and Fulham has been postponed due to a rise in COVID cases at Fulham.
Tottenham vs. Fulham Odds
|Tottenham Odds||-230 [BET NOW]|
|Fulham Odds||+650 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+360 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-115/-108) [BET NOW]|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||NBCSN|
It is surprising to say it, but Fulham is the team in better form entering this London derby against Tottenham.
Spurs can’t seem to win a game, and everyone has fallen out of love with manager Jose Mourinho’s style. Tottenham get Fulham at home in a congested group of games in what is a must win to get back in the title race.
Just a few weeks ago, Tottenham were atop the Premier League table, and everyone was apologizing for ever doubting Mourinho’s return to glory.
Now, everyone hates him again and think Spurs aren’t in the title race. Feels like all is right in the world.
You aren’t supposed to like it, but Mourinho’s style is supposed to get results. Spurs are winless in their last four Premier League games, which have resulted in two draws and two losses.
The two losses were to high-quality sides (Liverpool and Leicester City) and the two draws were against frustrating sides (Crystal Palace and Wolves). The draws were warranted, and you could argue Spurs should have taken a point away at Anfield with the expected goals (xG) total coming in at 1.52-1.22 (according to Understat) in their favor.
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.
All four of these matches were unique. The only truly poor performance was against Leicester, who also just played really well and won the xG battle over Spurs, 1.75-0.95. The last 15 minutes of the Palace and Wolves matches will frustrate Spurs fans, as they easily could have won each game.
The issue with Mourinho ball is the margins are thin, but they’ll turn it around.
From an advanced metric perspective, Tottenham rank fifth in non-penalty expected goal difference (NPxGD) in the English top flight at +5.47. Interestingly enough, there is a large gap between them and the top four. Spurs trail Aston Villa by (rubs eyes) 5.7.
Tottenham have the fourth-best defense in the league (0.98 NPxGA/game). The reason they are trailing the top clubs is the attack, only generating 1.34 NPxG/game.
I will say this is by design for Mourinho’s tactics: He doesn’t want 70% possession or to attack too aggressively. That would leave his less-than-ideal center-back pairing out to dry. The Wolves game is a great example. We saw an explosive Spurs attack to start and they went up, 1-0. Then they basically protected their lead, which is classic Jose.
It is disappointing, though, because Tottenham have the players to generate far more than 1.34 NPxG/game. Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Tanguy Ndombele will continue to be the keys to a top-four finish for Spurs.
Fulham are in a nice run of form recently, even though their last four games have all been draws.
I do think it is progress relative to what we saw from them early in the season. Fulham are 18th and just two points behind Brighton with a game in hand on the Seagulls.
I said a few weeks ago that Fulham may have a chance to escape relegation. However, they will need to pick up some wins soon. The four draws were against Liverpool, Brighton, Newcastle and Southampton.
From an xG perspective, the Cottagers could have beaten both Brighton (1.00-0.46) and Southampton (0.78-0.12). The Newcastle numbers look even, but a lot of that is due to a red card being given to center back Joachim Andersen in the 62nd minute. Fulham also could have won if not for an iffy penalty decision going against them.
All in all, I think Fulham are on the rise.
The season-long advanced metrics back up that theory. It’s not super rosy, but also not as dire as expected. Through 15 games, Fulham’s NPxGD ranks 15th at -5.51. This is strong in relation to the other two teams in the relegation zone — West Brom at -20.33 and Sheffield United’s -11.78.
Fulham’s chance creation is still not where they’d like it, but they have improved defensively. I will give manager Scott Parker credit on that one.
If one of their attackers can find some form, I think Fulham could potentially be a bet on side against the mid-table. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ademola Lookman are Fulham’s best attackers with a combined xG and xA total of 10.9 through 15 games. Those numbers have only translated to two goals and two assists for each, though.
Following this game, Fulham have matches against Burnley, Brighton and West Brom among their next five in the league. The other two are home to Chelsea and Manchester United. This could be a good point for the Cottagers to get some momentum going entering an important run of fixtures.
I think this is a Spurs win, but my favorite play is the under.
Like I said, Tottenham have a top-notch defense and will definitely expect to keep a clean sheet against Fulham, who are still not creating enough chances but have improved defensively.
On top of that, and most importantly, this will be Tottenham’s third game in the past week. Six of seven games played on either Monday or Tuesday saw fewer than 2.5 goals scored, which is significant.
Bet the under.
Pick: Under 2.5 (-107)