Premier League Odds, Picks & Previews: Our 4 Best Bets, Including Arsenal vs Chelsea

Premier League Odds, Picks & Previews: Our 4 Best Bets, Including Arsenal vs Chelsea article feature image

Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Oleksandr Zinchenko.

gid-193316Manchester City now have a stranglehold on the Premier League title race, but there is still plenty left to play with the top four race and relegation battle heating up as we reach the stretch run of the season.

BJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo are here to take you through the upcoming matches and offer up their best bets on the slate.

Cunningham and Dabbundo, who are part of the Wondergoal podcast crew, will be guiding you on the weekend Premier League fixtures and delivering their favorite picks along the way. They'll also provide their individual model projections for the games.

If you'd like to see picks from Cunningham and Dabbundo during the season for all UCL action and all five European leagues, follow them in the Action Network App.

Cunningham's Model Projections

Dabbundo's Model Projections

Brighton vs Wolves

Brighton Odds-200
Wolves Odds+550
Over/Under2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | TimeSaturday | 10 a.m. ET
How To WatchPeacock
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: Roberto De Zerbi has turned Brighton into an offensive force. Since he took over on October 1st, Brighton are averaging 2.01 xG per 90 minutes, which is the fourth-most in the Premier League during that time.

His style of play is uber-aggressive. De Zerbi demands Brighton play out of the back and when they do they bait their opponent into pressing them high, creating space in the middle. You'll also see them play the ball out to their wingers Kaoru Mitoma and Solly March, who are two of the best ball carriers in the Premier League.

Brighton are top four in the Premier League in shots per 90 minutes, box entries, final third entries and progressive passes + dribbles. This is one of the best offenses in England and they're a good defensive team as well. Brighton counter-press just as well as some of the elites in the Premier League like Manchester City and Arsenal, allowing them to sustain 90 minutes of pressure. That is huge in this match up because teams in the bottom half of the table that have given Brighton trouble are direct counterattacking teams, unlike Wolves

Under Julen Lopetegui, Wolves are a possession based build up style team, trying to play though the middle of the pitch and then eventually out wide so they can swing in crosses to the box. Wolves are averaging the most touches per 90 minutes in their own penalty box and final third of anyone in the Premier League, which just shows they want to play out of the back.

Brighton are preventing the fewest crosses into their penalty area of anyone in the Premier League, so this is a nightmare matchup for Wolves.

I have Brighton's spread projected at -1.55, so I like the value on Brighton -1 at -121.

Pick: Brighton -1 (-121)

Man United vs Aston Villa

Man United Odds-138
Aston Villa Odds+360
Over/Under2.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | TimeSunday |9 a.m. ET
How To WatchPeacock
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: Aston Villa’s defense has quietly trended in the right direction under Unai Emery in the last month. The Villans still have their defensive issues in transition and struggle with high turnovers at times, but the rest of the profile has improved under Emery. Villa have conceded just 3.8 xGA in the last five matches in the Premier League, and that includes a matchup with Newcastle that looked like a bad matchup on paper for them. 

The Villans' attack is still overvalued in my view, and the matchup with Fulham on Tuesday did nothing to change my opinion of that. Despite having most of the possession, Aston Villa were not able to keep that possession in dangerous areas or sustain any real consistent threat on the Fulham goal. Villa finished the match with roughly 1 xG and ultimately scored on a set piece, but it was the defense that powered them to the 1-0 victory.

Manchester United present more problems in attack than Fulham did, but this total is still too high. The first meeting between the two sides finished with just 1.1 total xG, and Villa’s more passive defensive approach prevented United from getting any real transition opportunities. 

United’s defensive injuries have certainly led to them conceding more chances in general, but I’d still bet the under 3 at -130 or better. 

Pick: Under 3 (-130 or better)

Bournemouth vs Leeds United

Bournemouth Odds+155
Leeds United Odds+170
Over/Under2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | TimeSunday |9 a.m. ET
How To WatchPeacock
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: Leeds United have embraced a more defensive approach and tactic out of possession under new manager Javi Gracia, but it has not resulted in improved performance of the defense. Leeds are a much better side when pressing from the front and defending from there than they are sitting deep and relying on the talent of their back four to shine through. 

Once you factor in the injury to Tyler Adams in the defensive midfield, Leeds’ defense has been quite poor in the last month. The Peacocks have conceded at least 1.7 xG in seven of the last eight matches. That includes 1.7 to Fulham without Aleksandar Mitrovic, 2.1 to a struggling Leicester attack and 3.0 to Crystal Palace. 

Leeds have gotten healthier in the attack of late as Rodrigo, Patrick Bamford, Luis Sinisterra and Jack Harrison have returned from injury. The underlying process stats of this unit have been solidly average most of the season too, and Bournemouth are still a bottom five defense in the league despite their improved form of late. The Peacocks are still 10th in shots, 11th in non-penalty xG per match and 10th in box entries.

Given the direction these two attacks and defenses are trending, the market is too low with this total at 2.5. I project 2.81 goals and would bet o2.5 at -130 or better. 

Over 2.5 (-130 or better)

Arsenal vs Chelsea

Arsenal Odds-150
Chelsea Odds+400
Over/Under2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | TimeTuesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To WatchPeacock
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: Maybe Lampard doesn’t have what it takes to be manager, because he’s reverted Chelsea back to his 4-5-1 passive press out of possession, which is the same structure that Ralph Ragnick was playing at Manchester United last season. Lampard has also brought Chelsea out in four different formations in his four matches in charge, so this is truly a team without an identity or structure.

Chelsea have quit, plain and simple. They’re just waiting for the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino. Chelsea are now looking to offload 11 players this summer after spending an outrageous amount of money during the January transfer window, so there is a real lame duck feel around Stamford Bridge right now.

I understand Arsenal have been on a poor run at the moment, but they should be able to dismantle Chelsea in every aspect of the pitch.

To beat Arsenal you have to disrupt their build up play and force high turnovers. If Chelsea were under Graham Potter, I'd give them a puncher's chance because Potter's Chelsea were No. 1 in the Premier League in PPDA at 8.4.

If Arsenal are able to build out of the back without much resistance and sustain pressure on Chelsea for a majority of the match, this one should go very similarly to the previous meeting at Stamford Bridge, where Arsenal created 2.1 xG to Chelsea's 0.3 xG and won the match 1-0.

I have Arsenal projected at -169, so I like the value on the Gunners at -141.

Pick:Arsenal ML (-141)

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