Saturday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Crystal Palace vs. Wolves (Jan. 30)

Saturday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Crystal Palace vs. Wolves (Jan. 30) article feature image
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Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images. Pictured: Wolves standout Willian José.

Crystal Palace vs. Wolves Odds

Crystal Palace Odds +195
Wolves Odds +160
Draw +205
Over/Under 2.5 (+155/-200) 
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Premier League teams with one combined win in their last 14 matches will face off Saturday in South London when Wolves visits Crystal Palace.

Both teams have been sliding down the table and sit relatively safe in the bottom half. Despite their similar positions in the standings, though, Wolves is the better team based on underlying numbers and is undervalued in this spot.

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Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace’s attack is in shambles, registering less than 1.0 xG in each of its last seven matches. The Eagles did manage one win in that stretch, a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United that was defined more by moments of individual brilliance and bad goalkeeper play than it was good attacking plays.

Crystal Palace has the fourth-lowest expected goals for in the league, sitting barely above Newcastle United and Burnley from being in 19th place. Its xG over-performance and good start to the season are the only reasons the Eagles are not in the heart of a relegation battle.

Palace picked up 10 points from its first five matches and has amassed 12 in the last 14. The Eagles rank fifth-lowest in shots per match, fifth-lowest in xG/shot. Despite featuring Wilfried Zaha, whose xG + xA numbers are up, the attack around him has dropped off.

The clubs is a dismal attacking side and it’s very hard to see how they break through this Wolves defense without a fluke goal or moment of individual brilliance from Wilfried Zaha.

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Wolves

I was skeptical of Wolves’ ability to maintain its defensive fortitude this season, as they did little to improve the team from last year and the aging Joao Moutinho’s numbers have regressed in the midfield in both recoveries and pressures. The center midfielders and center backs haven’t performed up to par, while the defense has fallen off as a result.

However, they’re way too cheap here. Wolves’ attacking numbers might be down considerably, but they’re significantly less bad than Crystal Palace. The injury to Raul Jimenez crushed this team’s counterattacking ability, as it now tends to play with just three wide players across the front line.

Wolves end up having no one to find in the box, which is why they lead the league in shots taken from outside the penalty area.

The addition of Willian José from Real Sociedad is reason for real optimism about Wolves going forward. While youngster Fabian Silva has been alright with 0.39 xG/90, José can absolutely play in the Jimenez role.

He was averaging 0.56 xG/90 at Real Sociedad and managed 0.46 xG/90 last year in 22 starts. That’s a good piece of business for Wolves and could help rescue their attacking numbers from about 13th best in the league back to around ninth or 10th,  which is where they were last season.

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Betting Analysis & Picks

Despite Wolves’ issues defensively, Crystal Palace is about the least suited team to exploit those issues. The possession-averse Eagles have produced three goals in six meetings with Wolves since they returned to the top flight, and no goals in the last three outings.

While Wolves’ attack has been mediocre, Crystal Palace has been terrible.

I don’t trust Wolves enough to hit the moneyline here, especially on such a low total. However, my projections make them much more likely to win this than lose it. That said,  I will back them on the Draw No Bet number instead.

Pick: Wolves — Draw No Bet (-125 or better)

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