Saturday English Championship Betting Odds, Preview & Picks: Brentford vs. Swansea (May 29)
Alex Pantling/Getty Images. Pictured: Ivan Toney.
Brentford vs. Swansea Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+150 / -190)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings|
The highest stakes match in all of football takes place on Saturday. No, it’s not in the Champions League or World Cup — it’s in the second division of English soccer.
Now, by high stakes, I mean from a financial perspective. With the amount of money that Premier League TV rights garner, the difference between being promoted and staying in the second division is worth around $200 million.
At the end of every season, the top two teams in the table gain automatic promotion to the Premier League. To decide the third and final promotion spot, the third- through sixth-place teams have a playoff.
How it works is the third- and sixth-place and the fourth- and fifth-place teams each play over two legs, and the winners on aggregate of each of those matches go to Wembley Stadium to play a winner-take-all match to decide which team gets promoted and which stays in the second division.
And the final two teams standing are third-seed Brentford — which tasted heartbreak last season, losing in this match to Fulham — and Swansea, a Premier League mainstay from 2011-18.
Brentford Looks to Overcome Heartbreak
Brentford may have missed out on one of the two automatic promotion spots, but based on expected goals, the Bees were the best team in the Championship this season. Brentford has the best expected goal differential at +34.8, which is 10.3 xG higher than first-place Norwich City.
One of the reasons for that is because of Brentford’s offense, which scores goals in bunches at 1.66 xG per match. Striker Ivan Toney has been thrashing opposing defenses all season long. He broke the Championship scoring record this season, bagging 32 goals with a 0.61 xG per 90-minute scoring rate.
Brentford drew with Swansea, 1-1, in both meetings this season but completely dominated both matches, out-creating Swansea 3.93 xG to 1.35 xG.
Brentford also boasts the best defensive record in the Championship, allowing only 0.90 xG per match. Its defense showed up over the two legs with Bournemouth in the playoff, holding the Cherries to a total of 1.48 expected goals.
Can Swansea’s Defense Propel It To Victory?
Swansea may have made it to the playoff final, but the Swans are wildly overrated. It only has a 4.50 expected goal differential, which is the 10th-best in the Championship.
The reason Swansea is here, though, is because of its defense. It has the fifth-best defensive record in the league, allowing only 1.06 expected goals per match. Its defense was pretty stout against Barnsley over the two legs, holding it to 1.80 total expected goals.
However, Swansea’s offense has really struggled to create chances this season. It averages only 1.16 xG per match, which is 13th in the Championship.
Despite scoring two goals over the two legs against Barnsley, the Swans created a total of only 0.62 expected goals. They’ll be in big trouble if they repeat that type of offensive performance on Saturday.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Brentford is the big favorite to achieve promotion here, and the current line reflects that.
However, I have a hard time seeing how Swansea is going to put the ball in the back of the net against Brentord’s defense, so I think there’s some value on its team total of under 0.5 goals at +106 (DraftKings).
Pick: Swansea Team Total Under 0.5 goals (+106)
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