Premier League Odds & Picks (Sunday, July 26): Southampton vs. Sheffield United Odds
Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings
- Southampton (+116 odds) enters Sunday's Premier League match with breathing room against Sheffield United (+235). But that should not impact motivation.
- Anthony Dabbundo previews Sunday's match, including betting odds and a pick.
Southampton vs. Sheffield United Odds
|Southampton Odds||+116 [Bet Now]|
|Sheffield United Odds||+235 [Bet Now]|
|Draw||+250 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-117/-106) [Bet Now]|
|Time||Sunday, 11 a.m. ET|
League positioning and future European and relegation places may not be at stake, but Sunday’s game between Southampton and Sheffield United offers betting value as two of the Premier League’s most overachieving teams battle on the south coast.
Any hopes for European football for Sheffield United ended in the Blades’ 1-0 defeat to Everton in the midweek.
Southampton has been comfortably mid-table the entire second half of the Premier League campaign, but that hasn’t affected their performances much.
The Saints upset Manchester City, 1-0, at home. They ended Manchester United’s winning streak and outplayed the Red Devils in a 2-2 draw. They tied Brighton, 1-1, but dominated the match on expected goals. Most recently, Southampton controlled the entire match against relegation fodder Bournemouth in an eventual 2-0 win.
The turnaround that Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side have had since a 9-0 drubbing at Leicester in October is impressive. Southampton went from a low-to mid-table team to one whose performances suggest they are clearly a top-half squad and have outperformed both perennial top four contenders Tottenham and Arsenal.
The Saints are an effective pressing unit, and while Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have been the surprise story of the 2019-20 season, they have a much thinner squad and have had quite the fixture pileup, playing their 10th match since the restart on June 17.
Southampton have played two fewer matches and have looked the fresher of the teams of late. Sheffield United created very little (0.47 expected goals) against an Everton team that appears to be already preparing for holiday based on other results.
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.
It’s a common assumption that teams with nothing to play for tend to drop off at the end of the season, but that isn’t true of every team. And while it may be for Everton and Crystal Palace, Saints haven’t stopped playing high-quality football and I don’t expect them to stop on Sunday.
One reason to back Southampton in this match is the Golden Boot race: With his goal at Bournemouth on Sunday, striker Danny Ings has 21 goals and is two behind first place. He’s unlikely to catch league leader Jamie Vardy, but Ings will be pressing and searching for goals.
Because of the much shorter offseason and the new season beginning on Sept. 12, I’m expecting fewer of the teams with nothing to play for to give minimal effort in these spots. Form heading into the new season will want to be maintained, especially for a team that is sixth in the table since Nov. 13.
My numbers suggest that Southampton is undervalued in this match and should be closer to even money. I grabbed this line at the open +125, but I would play it all the way down to +105.
The Pick: Southampton ML (+112)