Sunday Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: West Bromwich Albion vs. Leicester City (Sept. 13)
Plumb Images/Leicester City FC for Getty Images. Pictured: Leicester City star Jamie Vardy.
- Leicester City narrowly missed out on a spot in the Premier League's top four last season but are poised to challenge for European soccer in its last campaign.
- BJ Cunningham tells us why the Foxes' price is way too low at newly promoted West Brom heading into Sunday's match.
Premier League Odds: West Brom at Leicester City
|West Brom odds||+235 [BET NOW]|
|Leicester City odds||+123 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+230 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+114/-141) [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 a.m. ET|
After a two-year stint in the Championship, West Browmich Albion is back in the Premier League. The club gained automatic promotion by finishing second last season in the second-tier league, which was just two points ahead of Brentford and Fulham.
Leicester City narrowly missed out on Champions League football after losing to Manchester United on the final day of the season. The Foxes will be competing for a place in European football again this season, bringing back pretty much all of the their starting XI lineup.
West Bromwich Albion
For the last decade, the Magpies have been known for the defense. However the reason they were promoted this time around was due to their offense. West Brom averaged 1.64 xG per match, which was a drastic increase from their 2018/19 xG average of 1.31 per match. The Magpies added three wingers, costing them a combined $24 million during the transfer window, with the hope they can continue that scoring rate at this elite level.
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.
The Magpies were solid defensively as well, allowing just 1.14 xG per match. West Brom felt that area of the club was strong enough to perform at the Premier League level, which resulted in it making no defensive moves in the heading into the campaign.
Based on historical averages, newly-promoted teams have not fared well defensively in their first season. In fact, teams’ expected goals allowed per match go up 60% when transitioning from the Championship to Premier League. Without any defensive upgrades, it’s hard to imagine West Brom will be as dominant defensively.
The Foxes, who fell just short of a Champions League spot as mentioned above, are poised to compete for a Top 6 spot again. Leicester sold star left back Ben Chilwell to Chelsea, but was able to replace him with Atalanta defender Timothy Castagne.
Leicester and its fifth-place finish were driven by its offense, which averaged 1.61 xG per match. The Foxes bring back all of their attackers — including Jamie Vardy — who won the league’s Golden Boot last season after bagging 23 goals.
Brenden 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 found a lot of success last season with that approach, boasting a +9.96 xGD, when playing out of that 4-1-4-1 formation. Leicester should be able to create a ton of high-quality chances against a team that will likely be in the relegation fight all season long.
Projections and Pick
I think the price on Leicester is way too low, especially since its playing a newly promoted club. They should have no trouble creating plenty of chances against West Brom and should dominate the expected goals battle. I have Leicester projected at -146, so I am going to back them at -105 (DraftKings) and would play it up to -122.
The Bet: Leicester -105 (play up to -122)