Sunday Premier League Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Preview: West Ham United vs. Southampton (May 23)
Molly Darlington – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Michail Antonio of West Ham United celebrates with team mate Jesse Lingard.
- West Ham hosts Southampton on the final day of the Premier League season in need of just one point to ensure a spot in next season's Europa League.
- Southampton doesn't have much to play for following a terrible finish to a season in which they had a terrific start.
- The Saints have the worst goalkeeper play in the league, and Anthony Dabbundo expects the Hammers to convert several times.
West Ham vs. Southampton Odds
|West Ham Odds||-140|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-157 / +125)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated Saturday morning via DraftKings.|
West Ham need one point to secure the Europa League in the Hammers’ first full season under David Moyes. They just gave Moyes a three-year extension and he is likely to be in the running for manager of the year in the English top flight.
They’ll host Southampton on Sunday to conclude the season, and the Saints don’t have much on the line for this matchup. It’s been a disappointing year for the Saints, who have struggled with injuries and an ineffective press in the era of COVID-19 condensed schedules.
Despite the inflated totals across the league on Sunday, my projections don’t show this one as nearly inflated as it should be, and this matchup of contrasting styles has a chance to produce plenty of chances and goals.
West Ham Need Point to Clinch Europe League Berth
The surprise team of the PL season has been West Ham, in their first full year under manager David Moyes. The Champions League proved too big of a hurdle for them to reach, but the Europa League spot is theirs if they grab a point on Sunday.
Michail Antonio’s production up top has been underrated all year for the Hammers, as he leads the PL in non-penalty xG per 90. No team has taken more shots from inside the opponents’ six-yard box than WHU.
Both of these teams have been elite on set pieces: West Ham because of its size in the box on corners and free kicks, and Southampton because of James Ward-Prowse, who’s been the best free kick taker in the league this season.
West Ham have stumbled defensively down the stretch run, conceding 9.5 xG in their last six matches. The defensive regression didn’t really stop with the return of Declan Rice either, as West Brom created multiple good chances against them in the midweek.
The Hammers do have one injury concern, as first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is questionable to play on Sunday. He’s been one of the league’s better keepers and his backup, Darren Randolph, hasn’t played much at all and is also coming off an injury.
Southampton Are a Defensive Liability
Southampton’s fall down the league table after an excellent start to the season can be boiled down to two things: injuries and issues maintaining their pressing intensity. That’s been evident for them down the stretch run of the campaign.
Saints have allowed at least one xG and one goal in each of their last 10 PL matches. They haven’t kept a clean sheet since a 2-0 win against lowly Sheffield United on March 6. They’ve had the worst goalkeeper play in the league, whether it’s Alex McCarthy or Fraser Forster.
While the defense has been flat out bad, the offense has been unlucky not to produce more than it has in the second half of the season. Saints were held scoreless by Leeds and Liverpool but created more than enough to deserve a goal in those games. Only Spurs have held them below one xG in their last 12 matches.
Simply put, the offense is ticking up, the defense is ticking down and there’s an explosion of goals coming to Southampton games. The frenetic pace in their games can lead to sloppy play with few chances, but in this environment, it’s ripe for both teams creating plenty of chances.
Betting Analysis & Pick
More than any other game this weekend in the PL, this one has the potential for some weird score lines. Southampton are no stranger to scoring or allowing crooked numbers. If their press forces mistakes from West Ham, they could turn that into quick strike chances and goals. If the press is a step off the pace, the Hammers could hang three or four on the Saints in this matchup. West Ham have torn apart plenty of mid-table defenses and lower this year, and Southampton could be next.
19 of the last 20 years, the final match week has featured more goals than the average of the first 37. This matchup has plenty of potential intrigue and should see at least three goals unless chance finishing goes awry.
Pick: Over 2.75 (-125 or better)