Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Wolves vs. Aston Villa (Saturday, Dec. 12)
Frank Augstein/PA Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Aston Villa standout Ollie Watkins.
- Aston Villa travels to Molineux Stadium to take on Wolverhampton in the opening match on Saturday's Premier League slate.
- Dillon Essma previews the match and shares two betting picks below.
Wolves vs. Aston Villa Odds
|Manchester United Odds||+143 [BET NOW]|
|Manchester City Odds||+210 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+220 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+106/-132) [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
Aston Villa travels to Molineux Stadium to take on the Wolverhampton Wanderers in the opening match on Saturday’s Premier League slate.
This should be a very interesting game to handicap. Wolves will be without star striker Raul Jimenez, who is recovering from a head injury. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo will want his side to bounce back from its 4-0 loss to Liverpool in their most recent fixture.
On the other side, Aston Villa is rested and should be up for this showdown. The Villans’ poor form is overblown, which has me excepting this contest to be very competitive.
Wolves currently sit in 10th place on the table, having an up-and-down start to the season.
The most significant piece of news surrounding this club as of late was the tough loss of Jiminez, whose status to return is still unknown. It sounds like Jimenez should make a full recovery, but it’s a pretty tough break for Wolves.
Historically, the club has played a pretty defensive, physical style of soccer for the first 45 minutes, then depended on Jimenez and others to be clinical in key moments. I believe that style might change a bit without the Mexican international.
It’s somewhat tough to tell for sure, because this will only be the third game without him. However, both the Arsenal and Liverpool games were far more open and attacking than what had been the norm for Nuno’s side.
You should keep a close eye on Wolves’ tactics, but I think we will see a more aggressive approach from them until Jimenez is back.
I could talk about their advanced data over their 11 matches, but that would make little sense now that they are without their best player. Instead, I’m just going to break down the Arsenal and Liverpool matches.
Wolves beat Arsenal, 2-1, and the xG reflected just that (2.01-1.12). That is a pretty elevated total xG number for a Wolves game against a non top-4 side. The 4-0 loss to Liverpool was wide open, and the Reds were lethal in the final third of the park (xG 1.59-0.36).
I expect the tactics to be similar and somewhat aggressive compared to what we are used to seeing with Wolves. It helps that Aston Villa isn’t superb defensively, so Wolves should create more chances.
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 Villans are 12th in the league, but have played two fewer games than the teams right above them. A win in this game could vault them to ninth place, still with a game in hand.
The Villans haven’t played since Nov. 30 due to Newcastle having to cancel their match from after COVID-19 issues. Neither sides are playing in Europe, but Aston Villa should be rested and ready to go. I think that is a slight advantage for them.
Aston Villa are 3-1 away from home this season. Over those four matches, the Villans generated xG of 1.63/game and conceded just 0.83 xGA/game. While Wolves are strong at the Molineux, I think Villa might be live in this tilt.
No Jimenez; Wolves playing a more open style; Villa’s away form this season; and, the extra rest are positives for Aston Villa. The only Wolves positives are they’re at Molineux, which could help deliver a bounce-back showing after a humiliating loss.
You might say Aston Villa have lost four of five coming in. However, two of the four should have been convincing wins (2.45-1.00 xG vs Southampton, 2.39-0.57 xG vs West Ham), and one other likely should have been a draw (1.77-1.50 xG vs Brighton). The other was Leeds, who just dominated the contest.
Betting Analysis & Picks
Based on the aforementioned factors and analysis, I think Aston Villa are really undervalued here and the total going over the number is good value as well.
The Villans are well rested, and Wolves have to cope with life without Jimenez.
Wolves are good at Molineux, but I will take Aston Villa on the alternative line of +0.25 at minus-129 and would sprinkle a bit on the club via a moneyline play at +210 as well.
I am also backing the total going over the number to close out my plays.
Picks: Aston Villa +0.25 (-129) | Total Over 2.5 Goals (+106)