West Bromwich Albion vs. Aston Villa Sunday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: (Dec. 20)
Adam Fradgley – AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Allardyce, center, arrives at the West Bromwich Albion grounds.
- Aston Villa visits struggling West Bromwich Albion in Premier League action Sunday at The Hawthorns.
- Can new manager Sam Allardyce get a result on debut with the Baggies?
- Anthony Dabbundo doesn't think so and explains why below.
West Brom vs. Aston Villa Odds
|West Brom Odds||+275 [BET NOW]|
|Aston Villa Odds||-106 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+275 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-132/+106) [BET NOW]|
|Time||2:15 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBCSN | fuboTV|
West Bromwich Albion has a new manager following its 1-1 draw with Manchester City, as it sits in 19th place on the table and have been one of the league’s two worst teams based on overall performances.
The Baggies get back at it Sunday when they host Aston Villa in the West Midlands Derby. It’s the first match for Sam Allardyce, who has taken the club’s reigns during its tumultuous season.
It’s odd the Baggies chose the day after their best result of the season to sack manager Slaven Bilic. However, it was definitely not the wrong decision. Their expected goals numbers were some of the worst of any promoted team in recent memory.
West Brom faded late in games under Bilic, appearing to wear down and tire out on a consistent basis. This has been an issue with some of Bilic’s teams throughout his career, though.
The Baggies had produced only 7.56 xG in 13 PL matches, and allowed 26.53 xGA. Those numbers are currently the worst in the 20-team league. They ranked 19th in entries into the penalty area; 19th in keeping opponents out of their own penalty area; and, struggled in every phase of the game.
That led to the hiring of Allardyce. He’s a legendary manager of lower table teams, known for his ability to rescue top-flight teams and keep them out of the Championship. He’s managed various clubs, helping save Sunderland and Crystal Palace from relegation in the last decade.
According to a study on freesupertips.com, new managers typically get a bump of about 3.34 points per five matches on average upon arrival.
The Villans’ recent run of finishing has been poor, with their results absolutely not matching their performances. They played Burnley to a scoreless draw last out, but won the xG battle by a 1.81-0.32 margin and hit the post twice. Poor finishing stopped what should have been an easy win for them.
Aston Villa had losses to Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United in games where it won the expected goals battle. Its front attacking trio of Jack Grealish, Ollie Watkins and Anwar El Ghazi is the most underappreciated in the league, with its defense being much improved from last season.
The Villans are playing like a team that should be in the top seven on the table. They rank fifth in xG difference per 90 minutes and have been about as good as Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City in the metric.
Yet, because of finishing issues — which almost always regress to the mean — they look worse than they are in overall performance.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I’ve boosted West Brom in my ratings and expect Allardyce to get a reaction out of his men, especially early on in the tenure. However, that appears to be priced into the line and I still show value on Aston Villa to get all three points in this showdown.
That said, I project it Aston Villa on the moneyline at minus-140 odds and will happily take it to win at almost an even number. Even though Allardyce is a well-respected manager, there’s a clear lack of good attacking talent in this team to compete long term in the league.
If this game is still tied going into the second half, I’ll be looking to play Aston Villa at a better live price, as West Brom has been incredibly bad in the second halves of games. Per Understat, the Baggies are -2.19 xG difference per 90 minutes in second halves of matches this season.
Pick: Aston Villa ML (-106)