Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leeds United EPL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Seagulls Still Due for Positive Regression
CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Leandro Trossard (left center) and Danny Welbeck (right center).
- Brighton & Hove Albion looks to take a step toward Premier League safety Saturday when it goes up against Leeds United (10 a.m. ET, NBCSN).
- The Seagulls' expected-goal stats say they're one of the best in England's top flight, but their results have not followed suit.
- BJ Cunningham sees a spot for positive regression for Brighton, which he explains below and details why he's backing the hosts to take all three points.
Brighton vs. Leeds Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-114 / -109)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings|
Brighton & Hove Albion look to secure safety for next season in the Premier League when they host Leeds United.
Brighton’s season has been filled with missed chances and results they don’t deserve. However, the Seagulls are seven points above the relegation zone and could all but secure their spot in the top flight next season in this fixture.
Leeds are currently in a battle to finish in the top half of the Premier League table in their first season since promotion. Marcelo Bielsa’s side plays an incredibly exciting brand of soccer that lends itself to a ton of chances for both teams. However, they’ll need to tighten things up if they want to get a result against a disciplined side like Brighton.
The Seagulls may be the most underrated club in Premier League history. The difference between Brighton’s actual results and their expected goals/points is quite astonishing.
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.
The main reason Brighton aren’t higher in the table is because their offense has squandered a ton of high quality chances. Sometimes it’s nice to get visual of what those chances look like and this video sums it up really well.
Brighton have scored 27 goals from 45.52(xG) this season…
— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) March 10, 2021
Brighton’s expected goals record at home is astonishing, as well. The Seagulls have a +14.96 xGD at home, which is second in the Premier League to only Manchester City.
The Seagulls allow only 0.75 xG per match at the American Express Stadium, so Leeds are likely going to struggle to create a lot of chances.
Bielsa’s brand isn’t for the faint of heart. Leeds play essentially a full-court press at all times. Whenever the opposing team has the ball, the entire Leeds team presses forward in hopes of winning the ball and starting a counter attack.
It sounds great on paper, but why more teams don’t employ this style of play is it often leaves you exposed defensively. That is shown in their underlying metrics, as Leeds allows the second-most xG in the Premier League at 1.69 per match.
Bielsa’s style of play has led Leeds to a mid-table finish and everyone hailed him as a genius for having the stones to not change his philosophy. However, it has not worked on the road. Away from Elland Road, Leeds have allowed 2.08 xG per match, which is the highest rate in the Premier League.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I feel like a broken record saying Brighton are overdue for some positive regression, but they are. The Seagulls are going to have a ton of chances against Leeds’ weak defense, so I think there is some value on Brighton to take all three points at home.
Therefore I am going to back Brighton at +110, but I wouldn’t play it any lower than that number.
Pick: Brighton +110