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Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Burnley (Monday, Dec. 21)

Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Burnley (Monday, Dec. 21) article feature image

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Wolves at Burnley Odds

Wolves Odds +132 [BET NOW]
Burnley Odds +245 [BET NOW]
Draw +205 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 2.5 (+160/-200) [BET NOW]
Time Monday, 12:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday at 10 a.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

If you’re someone who can find the charm in a 0-0 draw, boy, is this the matchup for you.

At first blush, you’d think that Wolverhampton and Burnley have very little in common.

Wolverhampton is owned by a Chinese billionaire, run by super-agent Jorge Mendes (in fact there’s so much Portuguese influence at Wolves that their Wikipedia page once jokingly read, “Wolverhampton Wanderers are a Portuguese football team based in the West Midlands of England.”) and has spent a ton of money on transfers over the past five years. 

While Wolves are sort of a poster child for the “modern” Premier League, Burnley is the opposite. The Clarets are owned by a British businessman, run on a shoestring budget and have never spent more than £17 million on a transfer.

And yet, somehow these two clubs have become a sort of franken-twins.

Even their managers are kind of similar. Nuno Espirito Santo and Sean Dyche may have grown up in two completely different cultures, but somehow both bald, goatee’d managers have become known for similar strengths. Both Nuno and Dyche are respected for their ability to get the most out of their squads and for putting an emphasis on being tough to beat, rather than hard to stop.

Monday’s match will not be a ratings bonanza, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to bet. In fact, having action on a match in which neither side is expected to do much can be a thrill as long as you temper your expectations.

You’re not betting on Atalanta vs. Bayern Munich; you’re betting on two clubs with 19 total goals from 25 combined matches. In fact, if you took Burnley’s six goals and combined them with Wolverhampton’s 13 tallies, they would rank 11th in the Premier League in scoring.

The underlying data doesn’t pull any punches, either. Burnley ranks second-worst in the Premier League with an average of 0.79 expected goals per 90 minutes (npxG/90), while Wolves are third-to-last at 0.96.

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.

Burnley enters into this match in decent form, relatively speaking. The Clarets bookended a win over Arsenal with draws against Everton and Aston Villa to start a climb out of the relegation zone. The Clarets were lucky to get a result from any of those matches, but they did what they had to do — which is basically Burnley’s motto under Dyche.

Perhaps most worrying for Burnley, which is in 18th place on 10 points but has two games in hand on most of the Premier League, is that its defense is giving up too many scoring chances. The Clarets rank 17th in non-penalty expected goals against per 90 (npxGA/90), 17th in shots on target allowed per 90 and 16th in average shot distance allowed.

The good news is that Wolverhampton’s offense isn’t the type to run rampant over the opposition. Wolves have scored five goals and created 5.76 xG in their last six matches. Part of that has to do with the injury to talismanic striker Raul Jimenez, but we’re almost halfway through the season, so it’s hard to expect that Wolves will all of a sudden develop into a side that generates a ton of scoring chances.

Wolves vs. Burnley Best Bet

I think this is a good opportunity to back Burnley in a game that should suit the Clarets’ style.

On paper, Wolves are the better team and have more game-winning talent, but I think the betting market has overreacted to their lucky 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday. Chelsea won the xG battle, 1.57 to 0.68, in that match, but Wolverhampton defended well and took its chances better.

That type of counter-attacking football won’t work against a Burnley side that will sit back and look to turn this game into a rock fight. Burnley’s defense may be struggling, but Wolverhampton’s offensive numbers aren’t a cause for concern.

Most people wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to bet Burnley, but I think you’re getting a good number to fade an overrated Wolverhampton side on Monday.

Update (Monday, 10 a.m. ET): The price on Burnley has shortened overnight as the Clarets have taken some money but I still think there’s value in this number. I’d play Burnley at +235 or better.

The Bet: Burnley +235 or better

[Bet the Wolves-Burnley match now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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