Leicester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Sunday Premier League Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Preview (May 23)
Paul Childs – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Harry Kane.
- Leicester City and Tottenham both suffered midweek losses to dampen their chances at qualifying for Champions and Europe League, respectively.
- The Foxes and Spurs have struggled to put chances away, particularly with Jamie Vardy missing much of the later part of the season for the home side and Tottenham under roster turmoil.
- Anthony Dabbundo explains below why he is banking on the offensive drought continuing.
Leicester City vs. Spurs Odds
|Leicester City Odds||-106|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-186 / +150)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated Saturday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Tottenham and Leicester both lost in the midweek, damaging their chances of reaching the top six and top four, respectively. Both teams need a win and help in this match if Spurs want to make the Europa League or Leicester want to make the Champions League.
Those are the stakes as Spurs visit Leicester to conclude the Premier League season on Sunday at the King Power Stadium. The market is clearly factoring in Spurs not playing for much in this game, with the Foxes being overvalued in the moneyline and the total being inflated. Teams tend to drop off in performance with nothing on the line — especially defensively — but this might be priced in a bit too much heading into Sunday’s match.
Both teams’ weaknesses were exposed in the midweek, with Leicester unable to keep the ball against Chelsea for long enough to sustain attacks and Spurs being unable to progress the ball through the midfield against Aston Villa while being carved open in transition defense.
Leicester City Struggle To Finish Chances
To the average fan, this will be seen as a second consecutive collapse out of the top four when the Foxes likely miss out on the CL after being in the top four most of the season. The reality is that this is just regression to the mean. The four best teams based on xG and other underlying metrics are the current top four, and Leicester’s penalty luck, finishing regression and a few puzzling performances all culminated in this result of a likely fifth-place finish.
The Newcastle loss could be seen as a choke or collapse, but the reality is that Chelsea showed on Tuesday why they are a much better outfit, especially in the second half of the campaign.
Leicester’s underlying numbers have been better than Spurs for much of the season, but not as much as the current number indicates. I’m skeptical of their ability to consistently create chances against Spurs, given how much they struggled to do so twice against Chelsea and once against United’s B-team.
Jamie Vardy has been missing for most of the second half of the campaign and appears to be finally showing some age decline. Kelechi Iheanacho has been excellent up top, but they’ve often lacked any supplemental production from other players in the attack.
One interesting trend is that since April 1, no team in the PL has a higher pressing rate than the Foxes. They’ve allowed 7.8 passes per defensive action, ahead of City, Leeds and Liverpool. This could cause problems for Tottenham’s ball progression, which struggled mightily when Leeds pressed them high and Villa contested the midfield in similar ways.
Spurs Lack Ability To Progress Ball Forward
Ryan Mason frustrated a lot of Tottenham fans — many inside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time since before the pandemic — with his decision to start Harry Winks over Tanguy Ndombele and Gio Lo Celso in the midfield on Wednesday. The result was entirely predictable. Spurs couldn’t break through Villa’s press, couldn’t progress the ball into dangerous areas and were pressed into two or three crucial mistakes.
Winks has proven for multiple years that he’s not great at ball progression and retention. Throw in the ongoing Harry Kane saga at Spurs, and it becomes increasingly perilous for Tottenham to end the season. He completed just 11 passes vs. Villa and wasn’t too active in underlying metrics either.
Tottenham showed a glimpse of their former selves on their first goal against Villa when they won the ball high and scored. But otherwise, the pressing was ineffective and has mostly been that way since Mason took over (Sheffield excluded).
If Kane isn’t engaged, attacking becomes nearly impossible for this Tottenham team. There aren’t enough midfield creators or ball progressers, and one of the best strikers in the league has one eye on the offseason and upcoming Euros.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Even though my projections show value on Spurs, I can’t play on them given all the turmoil and team selection issues at the club. I will however play an under because Leicester’s attack hasn’t been consistent enough in recent weeks and Spurs may not have a fully motivated Kane leading the line.
Leicester will be needing goals to erase a goal difference edge, but I don’t see Spurs creating enough chances for more than three goals to be scored in this match. They created next to nothing against Villa and Leeds when those sides pressed them, so Leicester’s press should keep Spurs out of rhythm all match.
Pick: Under 3 (-110 or better)
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