Sunday Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction for Southampton vs. Wolves: Expect Offenses to Find Goals in Showdown (Sept. 26)
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images. Pictured: Wolves standout Adama Traore.
Southampton vs. Wolves Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+105 / -130)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Saturday was one of the wildest days of the Premier League season. Burnley had a last-second winner ruled out by VAR against Leicester City; West Ham United beat Leeds United in stoppage time; and, Liverpool tied Brentford in a 3-3 thriller.
All eyes will be on Sunday’s latest North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, but don’t overlook the other EPL match between Southampton and Wolves.
Wolverhampton were often viewed as a boring, pragmatic team under former manager Nuno Espirito Santo, but they’ve been anything but in five league matches under new leader Bruno Lage. The story of their season has been poor finishing in front of goal with two goals from seven expected goals.
Some have claimed this is bad finishing, but it’s really just variance. Wolves will score goals in bunches if they keep creating chances and Southampton’s high-pressing structure is a good setup for them to break through it, get into space and exploit the opponents.
Both offenses have achieved their underlying numbers through five matches and the value in betting this match tactically and statistically lands on both teams to score.
Southampton Delivering Against Big-Name Clubs
Southampton pulled off an impressive performance in their 0-0 draw at Manchester City last weekend. Entering the latest fixtures, the Saints are the only team outside the big six to take any points off the top four of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool. Southampton tied both Manchester United and Manchester City in their only two games against big-six sides.
The Saints are still looking for their first win of the campaign, as the draws have piled up against mediocre opposition, but they’ve been a bit unlucky in front of goal in recent weeks. The club has only scored two goals in its last three games, despite generating 4.8 xG in those fixtures.
The Saints defense has also been much shakier than their last two clean sheets would suggest. Southampton has allowed the fifth-most crosses into the penalty area, an issue going against a Wolves attack that likes to progress the ball through the wide areas and cross into the penalty area.
Despite pressing a lot, the Saints are in the lower half of the table in pressure success rate, and Wolves are third lowest in allowing opponents to pressure them.
Wolves Due for More Goals
Some in the analytics community are calling Wolves the Brighton & Hove Albion of this season. While the Seagulls are running hot and efficiently converting chances, Wolves are not. However, the reason Brighton became such a meme is because of just how rare it is for a team to run that cold in front of goal.
Wolves had most of the same players last season that ran very close to their xG numbers. The goals will come for them. They’re third in pressing success rate and in the top three in preventing opponents from successfully pressing them. That bodes really well for a matchup with Southampton.
The Saints have played the tougher schedule through five matches, so that has to be factored into their numbers. However, Wolves have Adama Traoré, who often acts as a one-man press break with his dribbling and take-on ability on the wing and through the middle of the pitch.
Southampton likes to make games chaotic with a lot of changing possession and that might suit Wolves’ attack. It also might expose some cracks in a Wolves defense that has looked vulnerable when not defending deep as they used to do under Espirito Santo in years past.
Brentford and Spurs especially looked potent on the counterattack when Wolves tried to take control of the game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This matchup features teams overdue for some positive offensive regression. Wolves have had a lot of success against teams that try to apply pressure and force mistakes, and Southampton presses as much as any team in the league.
Once teams break through the Saints’ press, their defense has looked vulnerable. Wolves are one of the best in open space and transition, and will be able to produce chances. They have just two goals from seven xG and that will regress toward the mean over time.
My projections have both teams to score at -135 odds, so anything at -125 or better is good when it comes to this selection.
Pick: Both Teams to Score — Yes (-125)