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Tottenham vs Brentford Odds, Pick: Low-Event Game Gives Value to Under

Tottenham vs Brentford Odds, Pick: Low-Event Game Gives Value to Under article feature image

Marc Atkins/Getty. Pictured: Richarlison.

Tottenham vs Brentford Odds

Sat, May 20
7:30 a.m. ET
USA Network

Tottenham Odds


Brentford Odds

Over/Under2.5 (-138 / +110)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-150 / +120)
Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Brentford lost striker Ivan Toney for the rest of the season — and most of next season — after the English star was suspended for violating the FA’s gambling policy. The Bees have two more matches to go in yet another wildly successful campaign under head coach Thomas Frank. They travel across London to take on rival Tottenham to kickoff match week 37 in the Premier League, the penultimate weekend of the season. Spurs enter this match in seventh, tied on points with Aston Villa and in desperate need of points if they want to play in Europe at all next season.

The Bees aren’t technically out of the race for Europe — two wins in the final two matches and losses from Villa and Spurs next week could see them finish seventh. Still, the Bees have secured a top half finish, a massive achievement for a club with one of the lowest operating budgets in the top division.

They may not have Toney anymore, but the Bees’ offensive system and defensive out of possession set up will still make them difficult to beat once again on Saturday.

Can Tottenham Break Down a Sturdy Defense?

Tottenham’s progressive passing quality is limited in the midfield when Oliver Skipp and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg are the midfield two in the back three system. That was on full display against Aston Villa on Saturday last week, as Spurs didn’t attempt a shot in the first half and couldn’t time up a run to get Heung-min Son in behind the Villa high defensive line while keeping him onside.

Spurs ended the match with 1.4 xG per FBref’s numbers, but 0.76 of that came from the Harry Kane penalty. Spurs only managed five shots in total in the match, and three of them came after the 89th minute (including the penalty). Skipp played 60 minutes as the starter and didn’t complete a single pass into the Aston Villa penalty area, nor did he complete a carry into the box. His replacement, Yves Bissouma, had one of each and also added three passes into the final third in 30 minutes.

Tottenham clearly played better once Bissouma came in for Skipp, but even Bissouma is limited from a progressive passing perspective. Each time it looked as though Spurs sprung Son or Kane in behind, the offside flag went up. Brentford will play considerably deeper defensively and aren’t going to do nearly as much to build out from the back.

The lack of midfield passing quality is a major reason why Spurs have struggled as a possession side all season long. They’ve had more giveaways in build up leading to opposition goals than every other team in the Premier League and then rank just eighth in progressive passes and dribbles per 90. Brentford aren’t going to press high much — the Bees are eighth in PPDA and have the fewest high turnovers — but they’ll also defend the penalty area as well as any team and make Tottenham shoot from distance.

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Brentford Comfortable With Clogging The Middle

Brentford have one of the lowest possession rates in the league and that puts possession-averse Tottenham in a tactically uncomfortable position. When these two sides met on Boxing Day, Spurs had major issues trying to progress the ball through midfield. It wasn’t until they went down 2-0 and went to a more direct approach that they were able to consistently threaten with chances on the Brentford goal.

The Bees also typically enjoy a set piece advantage against most of their opponents, but that’s not really the case. Both Tottenham and Brentford rank in the top five in set piece efficiency at both ends of the pitch, which almost cancels one another in a way. Brentford usually overcome their lack of good shot production by generating big scoring chances, often through set pieces.

As much as Tottenham’s defense has struggled at times and gotten the field tilted on them by superior and equal sides, Brentford aren’t really capable of doing that. Spurs’ defense is first in xG per set piece allowed and third in big scoring chances conceded.

The result is a bit of a tactical stalemate without a ton of big scoring chances at either end, which would favor a more low scoring match environment.

Tottenham vs Brentford Pick

Goalkeeping and shot stopping has been a real issue for Spurs this season, as neither Hugo Lloris or Fraser Forster have been even average at keeping balls out of the Spurs net. That skill is a bit less important against a Brentford side that is still bottom three in the league in shots faced. The Bees aren’t the type of team to pepper the goal with shot attempts.

Both Tottenham and Brentford concede the longest average shot distance in the league, on average. It’s a tactical skill of both defensive set ups to play this way, and it sets up well for a low scoring affair when they do meet. My projections are right around 2.5 goals for the match, but Brentford’s attack also needs to be downgraded without Toney. I’d bet under 2.5 at anything plus money.

Pick: Under 2.5 (+100 or better)

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