Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Back Underdog Southampton vs. Manchester United (August 22)
Visionhaus/Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Adam Armstrong with teammate Che Adams of Southampton.
- Southampton had a rough start to the season and hopes to bounce back Sunday against Manchester United.
- While the Red Devils' odds continue to rise, Brad Cunningham is skeptical they can continue to be worth the price.
- Check out below how he plans to bet this Premier League match.
Southampton vs. Manchester United Odds
|Manchester United Odds||-175|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-140 / +115)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated Saturday via DraftKings.|
Manchester United looks for their second win to start the season when they travel to the south coast of England to take on Southampton.
Southampton had a horrible start to the season, losing 3-1 on the road at Everton after going 1-0 in the first half. Southampton is in a bit of a transition period right now, as they've sold their top striker Danny Ings to Aston Villa and one of their starting center backs, Jannik Vestergaard, to Leicester.
The Saints were one of the worst teams over the second half of last season, so there is not much hope right now, especially with Manchester United coming to town.
Manchester United got their season off to a dream start, thrashing Leeds United 5-1 at home last Sunday. The Red Devils essentially kept their entire starting XI together from last season's second place finish and have added Jadon Sancho from Dortmund and Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.
Are they the right side in this matchup? Let's take a look at both squads and find out.
Creating Scoring Chances is Key for Southampton
For the Saints, regression over the second half of last season has came in a massive way. After their 1-0 upset win over Liverpool in January, Southampton picked up 14 of a possible 63 points, the lowest point total of any team in the Premier League over that span. A lot of their issues last season came in front of net: the Saints averaged just 1.19 xG per match.
A lot of that has to do with the 4-4-2 formation they utilize. Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl's side likes to press high up the field and has morphed at times into a 4-2-2-2 formation. They weren't been able to create much out of that formation, averaging 1.06 xG per 90 minutes, which isn't surprising given the defensive nature of that formation.
That said, Southampton has brought in a replacement for Ings in the form of Adam Armstrong from Blackburn. Armstrong was one of the best strikers in the Championship last season, bagging 28 goals and carrying a 0.78 xG per 90 minute scoring rate, which was the best in the second division.
While Ings scored 12 goals last season, he didn't create a lot for Southampton. His xG per 90 minute scoring was just 0.34, which was actually lower than his fellow striker Che Adams.
Is Offensive Regression Coming for Manchester United?
Manchester United's strength last season was defense. In fact, their defense was one of the best in the Premier League over the second half of last season, allowing 0.98 xG per match since the start of 2021. Now, their defense is only going to improve with the addition Varane, of one of the best center backs in the world.
While Manchester United's 5-1 win on paper looks amazing, they actually didn't create a lot of high quality chances in the match. The Red Devils register 1.27 xG and their four goals in the second half came off of just four shots.
Not to mention, Manchester United's offense was highly overrated last season, as they scored 73 goals, but only created 63.17 expected goals, so negative regression is coming their way this season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
In my opinion, this line is starting to get out of control and purely based on price perspective. According to Sports Insights, before Man United and Southampton played their first match, United was at -120. Now they are up to -175 and climbing at most books.
Additionally, most of Southampton’s struggles last season came away from home because their xGD on the road was -13.24, but at home they had a -0.03 xGD.
So, I think steam on Man United has caused them to be over valued in this spot on the road, so I am going to back Southampton's spread of +1 at -110 (DraftKings) and would play it up to -115.
Pick: Southampton +1 (-110)