Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Aston Villa vs. Southampton (Sunday, Nov. 1)
Robin Jones/Getty Images. Pictured: Danny Ings.
- Following its first loss of the season, Aston Villa hosts Southampton.
- The Saints are notoriously strong away from home, with Danny Ings leading the way.
- Here’s why Southampton is a good bet to take all three points back south.
Aston Villa vs. Southampton Odds
|Aston Villa Odds||+148 [BET NOW]|
|Southampton Odds||+175 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+260 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+125/-155) [BET NOW]|
|Time||7 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
Few teams started better than Aston Villa in the Premier League, especially considering their 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool prior to the international break. As Southampton travels to Villa Park on Sunday, the Saints could move into the top four, albeit maybe only for a few hours, with a win.
Let’s break this one down.
Aston Villa was dealt a heat check in its last game against Leeds United in the Premier League. After winning four straight games to start the season, the Villans lost 3-0 last Friday. Despite the loss, they’ve had an impressive start to the PL season, ranking fifth in non-penalty expected goal difference (NPxGD) through five games. Villa was one of the worst defensive teams in the entire PL last season, but they have the second best defensive record, according to xG, since the 2020-21 campaign began.
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 Lions are pressing more than usual this year, and with the excellent play of forward Ollie Watkins linking up with creator Jack Grealish, Villa have improved at both ends of the pitch. Watkins is the forward Villa desperately needed, and he’s averaging 0.6 xG/90 since joining the club from Brentford.
However, there are flashing red signs of regression for Villa. I’m much more likely to buy into a 38-game sample than a four-game sample that saw Villa beat Sheffield United and Leicester with less than 1.00 xG in either match. Two big wins against Liverpool and Fulham appear to be really juicing this line toward Villa. They rank third in goals per shot at 0.17. That, historically, tends to regress. It’s a level of unsustainable finishing that will come to an end.
I lost money betting on Southampton early in the season when the Saints just weren’t quite on with their pressing system early in the season. They lost to Crystal Palace on opening day and were steamrolled by Spurs the following week. I thought for a split second that something might actually be wrong with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, especially given how high I was on Southampton. It turns out that Southampton’s pressing unit just needed some time to get into their rhythm and find their fitness.
Since then, Saints have won three of four. The one match they didn’t win was a dramatic 3-3 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They kept clean sheets in their three victories this season while ranking fourth in passes per defensive action, a metric that measures ball pressure.
Danny Ings has continued his fine form for Southampton up top, but he has more help in the goal department this year from fellow striker Che Adams. Adams underperformed in finishing in 2019-20, but he’s underperforming again so far in 2020. But the two play well off each other.
The Southampton numbers aren’t that impressive, but they’re about in line with last season. They’re good enough to finish near the top half of the table, well above relegation, but not good enough to challenge for top six.
The wrong team is favored in this match. Southampton is the better team, I’m not too worried about being on the road, given how profitable away teams have been in the league thus far. I’ll take the Saints to get all three points in this match, and will play the tw0-way line down to -115.
Pick: Southampton PK (+105)