Download the App Image

Premier League Odds, Picks, Preview: Our EPL Best Bet Featuring Brentford vs. Cristiano Ronaldo & Manchester United

Premier League Odds, Picks, Preview: Our EPL Best Bet Featuring Brentford vs. Cristiano Ronaldo & Manchester United article feature image
Credit:

Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester United teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Juan Mata.

Manchester City took another big step forward this past weekend in pursuit of its second consecutive Premier League title, picking up a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Etihad Stadium via a world-class finish from Kevin De Bruyne.

This week, we have three rescheduled matches on the midweek card, with games taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday. There are some fascinating contests on deck, led by Chelsea heading to the south coast to take on Brighton & Hove Albion.

We also have Leicester City hosting Tottenham and Brentford looking for an upset against reeling Manchester United.

With the Africa Cup of Nations in full swing, this would be an important moment to say my projections below don’t take into account suspensions or injuries, or players who are currently representing their countries in Africa. That along with the ever-changing COVID-19 news, makes it very important to stay on top of who’s in or out of the lineups before placing a bet.

If you’d like to read more about how I determine my projections, you can check it all out here.

You can use these projections to identify betting value on current lines, plus follow me in The Action Network App to see any bets I make during the week.

Premier League Projections

Best Bets

Brighton vs. Chelsea

Brighton Odds +390
Chelsea Odds -130
Draw +270
Over/Under 2.5 (+110 / -130)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch USA Network | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

If we go back to when these clubs played Dec. 29 at Stamford Bridge, Brighton was the better side for a majority of the match. The Seagulls ended the game holding 51% possession, won the expected-goals battle by a 1.1-0.9 margin and had 26 shot-creating actions, compared to only 11 for Chelsea.

This is also a Brighton team that completely dominated Crystal Palace last Friday, but got an undeserving 1-1 draw. The club held a 2.1-0.3 xG edge and finished with 64% possession.

Come for the goal, stay for the limbs! 😏 pic.twitter.com/o1nmyCMEYO

— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) December 30, 2021

That’s the biggest thing with Brighton and why they tend to play so well against the better sides. They use a slow build-up style of play from the back and they’re successful in doing so, especially against teams that press at a high rate. The Seagulls are third in the Premier League in Offensive PPDA and pressure success rate allowed.

Even against Chelsea the last time they played, the team only had a 21.6% successful pressure rate, when it usually averages a 30.9% in the category.

On the flip side, Brighton’s pressing was highly successful in the first meeting, putting up a 42.9% successful pressure rate, which is nothing new for Brighton, since its a top-five pressing team in the league.

Brighton’s defensive numbers continue to be incredibly impressive, ranking third in NPxG allowed, shots conceded per 90 minutes and big scoring chances yielded. So, I love the Seagulls at home, where they’ve been much better with a +2.2 xGDiff, compared to a -2.3 xGDiff on the road, per fbref.com

This is a terrible sandwich spot for Chelsea, who had to travel up to the northwest this past Saturday to face Manchester City. The Blues are now heading 4.5 hours to the south coast for this match, then have a London derby with Tottenham on Sunday’s slate.

I only have Chelsea projected at +115, so give me the Seagulls getting +0.5 at +115 odds via DraftKings in this matchup. 

Pick: Brighton +0.5 (+115)

The must-have app for Soccer bettors

The best soccer betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Brentford vs. Man United

Brentford Odds +390
Man United Odds -140
Draw +285
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 / -110)
Day | Time Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch Peacock Premium
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

There’s no way of sugarcoating how bad Brentford has been the past five matches. They’ve created only 2.8 xG in those games, but the good news is the Bees are pretty much fully healthy entering this contest. The biggest thing for Brentford is some of its best performances have come at home this season, as they have a +2.2 xGDiff at home versus a -5.5 xGDiff on the road. 

Manchester United really didn’t have a good performance against Aston Villa last time out. The Red Devils lost the xxG battle by a 2.1-1.0 margin. The Villans had 34 touches in the penalty area, compared to only 19 for United. And the Red Devils only had a 23.6% successful pressure rate, which is concerning.

That means manager Ralf Rangnick’s pressing style hasn’t been able to take hold and that’s even more concerning because Aston Villa is 17th in pressure success rate allowed. So, even though Brentford struggles playing through the press, they might have an easier time in this game.

There are still a lot of concerns with the United defense that hasn’t been fixed with Rangnick taking over. Sure, United is only allowing 1.12 xG per match under Rangnick in league play, but it’s not that impressive considering its opponents have been Norwich City, Newcastle United, Wolves, Burnley and Aston Villa.

You know what those five clubs have in common, though? They’re in the bottom five of the Premier League in NPxGF per 90 minutes, per fbref.com

I have this match projected closer to Pick’em, so I love the Bees getting +0.5 at +120 odds and will make them my top selection.

Pick: Brentford +0.5 (+120)

How would you rate this article?