Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City Betting Preview: Premier League League Odds, Picks, Prediction (August 15)
Getty Images. Pictured: Son Heung-min (left) and Jack Grealish.
- Manchester City kick off their Premier League title defense Sunday at Tottenham.
- The Spurs are likely to be without their star, Harry Kane, while City is down Kevin De Bruyne or Phil Foden.
- Anthony Dabbundo previews the match and gives his best bet, below.
Spurs vs. Manchester City Odds
|Manchester City Odds||-162|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-120 / -105)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Saturday afternoon via DraftKings.|
The marquee matchup of the first weekend of Premier League action is on Sunday morning as two of the “big six” face off in North London. Tottenham have a new manager in Nuno Espirito Santo following a seventh-place finish, while Manchester City are looking to defend their PL crown from last season.
With both attacks shorthanded entering this clash on Sunday, the under has value as City’s elite defense and Spurs’ pragmatic approach under their new manager suggest this total should be lined a bit lower than it is now.
Fans are back at full capacity for the first time since before the pandemic, and this fixture has a history of producing some unexpected results.
Spurs’ Attack Could Struggle Without Kane
Spurs overperformed their xG by 18 goals last season, which José Mourinho teams tend to have a history of doing. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was one of the Premier League’s top keepers and saved a bunch of goals over expected, while Harry Kane and Heung-min Son have consistently outperformed their xG numbers in attack. The result was Spurs being +5 in xGD and +23 in actual goal difference. Some regression is inevitable this season, especially if they lose Kane at the top of the line.
Kane is unlikely to start or play at all given his late return to training and subsequent quarantine period. He could come off the bench, but Spurs’ attack is significantly weaker without its do-it-all striker. Without him last year, Tottenham often lacked a plan for getting enough shots and sustaining attacks. Spurs had shutout defeats to Brighton and Chelsea without him last year.
They don’t have a backup striker at the club right now, which leaves a front three of Steven Bergwijn, Son and Lucas up top. None of them are strikers or major shot-getters against a City backline that will likely feature Ruben Dias and Nathan Aké.
Tottenham will probably buy a new striker if they sell Kane, but right now the club is stuck in the middle and could struggle to generate opportunities against Pep Guardiola’s possession dominant side.
Manchester City May Falter On Offense
I’m expecting Manchester City to be a better offensive and weaker defensive team than they were in 2020-21. City unders were ridiculously profitable for most of the 2020-21 season until the market adjusted and the defensive output fell off after they clinched the title.
Their level of defending — along with Chelsea’s — probably won’t be sustained for another full season in the PL. That being said, City don’t have Kevin De Bruyne or Phil Foden for this game. They don’t have a striker with a proven track record of goal scoring now that Sergio Aguero is gone. Raheem Sterling isn’t fully fit, and the team is likely to feature an aging Riyad Mahrez and inexperienced Ferran Torres in its front three. There aren’t a ton of shots in that team, even if new signing Jack Grealish does feature.
Betting Analysis & Pick
City have traditionally been vulnerable early in the season as Guardiola sorts out his possession structures and defensive set-up. City are a bit overvalued based on my projections, but it’s hard to get behind Tottenham without Kane on Sunday.
But with fans back at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a notoriously defensive manager in Espirito Santo at the helm and Spurs playing for the point, this game probably won’t feature wide-open attacking play.
I’m taking some under pregame and will be looking for a live under if a City goal is scored in the opening 15-20 minutes.
Pick: Under 2.5 (-105 or better)