Saturday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Manchester City vs. West Ham United (Feb. 27)
ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Walker.
Manchester City vs. West Ham Odds
|Manchester City Odds||-420|
|West Ham Odds||+1100|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday evening and via DraftKings.|
The Premier League weekend gets underway with a top-four clash — yes, Manchester City vs. West Ham really is a top-four clash!
Man City is no surprise, but who expected West Ham to be residing in a Champions League spot right now, two-thirds of the way through the season?
Here’s a closer look at the two clubs, followed by a prediction.
Manchester City have now won a staggering 19 matches in a row in all competitions after their 2-0 Champions League victory over Borussia Monchengladbach in Budapest on Wednesday. That was preceded by a 1-0 Premier League win at Arsenal last Sunday.
Man City are 10 points clear of Manchester United with 13 games left to play, and appear likely to cruise to a third Premier League title in the past four years.
What’s particularly remarkable about this current run by Pep Guardiola’s side is the way they are going about it. Man City aren’t blowing people away. In fact, Manchester United have scored more goals — 53, compared to Man City’s 50.
But Man City have conceded only 15 goals in 25 league matches — 10 fewer than Chelsea, who are next-closest on the list. That includes giving up just two goals in their past 10 league games — a Mohamed Salah penalty kick against Liverpool, and a Richarlison-deflected goal against Everton.
West Ham have 45 points — 14 points behind Manchester City (and four behind Manchester United and Leicester City), but two ahead of fifth-place Chelsea and five ahead of sixth-place Liverpool. They have seven wins, one draw and just one defeat in their past nine league matches, and are coming off back-to-back victories over Tottenham (2-1) last Sunday and Sheffield United (3-0) the week before.
With 39 goals scored, West Ham are the seventh-best team in the league offensively. And with 29 goals conceded, they are also the seventh-best team in the league defensively.
If you look at the underlying numbers, West Ham have 33.9 xG (expected goals) scored according to FBRef.com, and 28.7 xG conceded. So they’ve overachieved a bit offensively, and are right about where they should be defensively. In terms of xG differential, their mark of +5.2 ranks them eighth in the league.
Long story short, West Ham probably won’t finish in the top four — especially with Chelsea surging since replacing Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel. But they’re still having a very good season.
Betting Analysis & Picks
The very lopsided odds reflect Manchester City’s brilliance of late. It’s kind of depressing to see a top-four club be this heavy an underdog, but it’s warranted.
Man City are barely even conceding chances right now, let alone goals. If you remove the Salah and Richarlison scores — both fluky in their own way — Man City have conceded 3.3 xG total in the past 10 league matches. That’s 0.33 xG per game. And they gave up just three shots, and 0.3 xG, against Gladbach on Wednesday.
I took Manchester City “to win to nil” on Wednesday, and I think that’s a good play again here at +100.
If you’re looking for a little more upside, I also like the total under 2.5 at +160. A Man City clean sheet seems practically a given these days. And they only scored two goals against Gladbach and one against Arsenal. Plus, these teams played a relatively quiet 1-1 draw back in October, with just 1.6 xG total in the match (1.1 of it created by Man City).
West Ham have conceded just two goals in their past four matches combined, and have conceded more than two goals only once in their past 11 matches — three to Liverpool on Jan. 31. They’re no slouches, and their primary focus will be containing the league leaders. Let’s hope Man City, coming off two away games in a row, take the lead on Saturday and then take it easy.
Pick: Manchester City to win to nil — Yes (+100); total under 2.5 (+160)