Leicester City vs. West Bromwich Albion Odds, Picks & Predictions: How To Bet Thursday’s Premier League Match
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images. Pictured: Callum Robinson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
- West Brom is all but certainly going to be relegated from the Premier League after its first season back in the top division.
- Still, that hasn't stopped them from dramatically improving since the hiring of manager Sam Allardyce.
- Our analyst Anthony Dabbundo makes the case for backing them against Leicester City on Thursday.
Leicester City vs. West Brom Odds
|Leicester City Odds||-180|
|West Brom Odds||+510|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Day | Time||Thursday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated Wednesday afternoon via DraftKings.|
West Brom is all but certainly going to be relegated from the Premier League after its first season back in the top division, but that hasn’t stopped them from dramatically improving since the hiring of manager Sam Allardyce.
At the other end of the table, Leicester City has fallen off a bit in recent weeks and is now fighting for a spot in the top four and a place in next year’s Champions League. That turns this match into a must-win for the Foxes. They’ve lost their last two league matches and seen their top-four odds fall to 68%, per FiveThirtyEight.
WBA enters this match nine points from safety with just seven matches to play, a nearly insurmountable deficit to try to make up. But their improved performances of late create value on them in this matchup.
It’s been really difficult to gauge how good Leicester City is this season because injuries and penalties have skewed their season-long numbers significantly. Early in the year, the Foxes benefitted from an unusual and unsustainable number of penalties that masked over very mediocre underlying numbers. They survived an extensive period of injuries, too, and it appeared their performances were improving once those players came back.
But they really haven’t improved and haven’t gotten much production out of their attacking players. The emergence of Kelechi Iheanacho has saved their attacking output, but James Maddison and Jamie Vardy have underperformed in the second half of the season. Harvey Barnes is out for the year.
Leicester are eighth in the league in non-penalty xG difference since Dec. 23. In their last 10 games, they rank seventh in NPxGD. Simply put, this Leicester team has been efficient at getting results from lackluster performances all year and it’s why they rank third in the league despite these underlying numbers.
In terms of shots, LCFC is the ninth-best attack and fifth-best defense, and their numbers are average in both ends in terms of quality of shot allowed. There’s nothing all that impressive about this Foxes team right now, and the number is showing too much disrespect to West Brom.
Since Big Sam was hired in late December, West Brom hasn’t been the worst team in the league. They haven’t even been in relegation form. The Baggies struggled when he was first hired but they are much better than the “one of the worst teams in league history” pace they had set in the first half of the year.
WBA is the 17th-best team in non-penalty expected goal difference in their last 17 matches, which is about -0.55 xGD per 90. In the opening 14 matches, West Brom was -1.32 xGD per 90, by far worst in the league. Allardyce has mostly improved the defense, but the attack has improved too. They showed their ability to play direct, effective attacking football in their stunning upset of Chelsea.
The emergence of Mbaye Diagne as a striker and Matheus Pereira as a creative midfielder has unlocked this West Brom attack and enabled them to get a few high quality chances per game. Diagne and Pereira are combining for 0.57 and 0.42 xG + xA per 90 this year, which is solid attacking numbers for an otherwise bad team.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This line isn’t showing enough respect to a recently improved West Brom side that has now beaten Brighton, Chelsea and Southampton in recent weeks. WBA also played even with Everton and Newcastle. While I’d normally look to sell high on a run of good form, Allardyce has a proven track record of improving teams and it appears he has done so again.
Playing against an overrated Leicester side here has the Foxes ripe for a potential upset. I’ll take the goal and sprinkle half of a unit on the money line as well.
Pick: West Brom +1 (-120 or better) and West Brom money line (+460 or better)