English Premier League Odds, Picks, Predictions: Tottenham vs. Leicester City Betting Preview (Saturday, September 17)
Michael Regan/Getty Images. Pictured: Hugo Lloris of Tottenham.
- Tottenham hosts struggling Leicester City in Saturday’s Premier League showdown.
- Tottenham are favorites entering the matchup, but analyst Anthony Dabbundo sees value in the over/under.
- Check out below where he has landed with his top selection.
Tottenham vs. Leicester City Odds
|Leicester City Odds||+550|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-174 / +142)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBC|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Leicester City has been the worst team in the Premier League based on results thus far with just one point from its first six matches. Next up for the Foxes is a road trip to Tottenham Hotspur in North London, a place they lost 3-1 in May.
Tottenham dropped its Champions League tie on the road at Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday, but Spurs remain unbeaten in the league through six matches with four wins and two draws.
Spurs haven’t been quite as good as they were last year under Antonio Conte, but they remain a top four team based on expected goals. Even though Leicester City finished the season in the top half of the table, the underlying numbers were extremely concerning in the second half of the season.
The Foxes have regressed even further this season and calls are increasing for the club to sack manager Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers did make a decision to bench striker Jamie Vardy two weeks ago against Brighton, but the Foxes still lost 5-2 and were thoroughly outplayed.
The market doesn’t love either of these teams right now, as evidenced by market movement against both in the lead up to recent games. So how should we bet the matchup? Let’s dive in.
Spurs played Leicester twice under Conte last season, and while each match had similar results, they played out in different ways. Tottenham completely dominated Leicester at the King Power and produced 3.7 xG, but needed two late goals from Steven Bergwijn deep in stoppage time to win the match. The second meeting at Spurs was a more controlled Tottenham performance where they won the xG 1.5-0.4 but elite finishing from the Spurs attack led to a 3-1 victory.
Spurs have looked much more like the second version in the league thus far this season. The attack hasn’t been nearly as good as the finishing would suggest through the beginning of the season. In two Champions League games against Marseille and Sporting, Spurs produced two total xG.
The Conte system is willing to cede possession to opponents and concede low quality chances from outside the penalty area. The goal is to defend the penalty area effectively and then breakaway on the counter with quick strike moves. Spurs rank just 10th in box entries allowed and are well below average in shots allowed.
Despite this, the Tottenham defense is third in non-penalty xG allowed per 90. They’ve allowed the second longest average shot distance in the league and are now facing an attack that has had major problems creating big scoring chances. The Foxes rank 19th in big chances created.
The biggest difference for Spurs in 2022-23 is that the biggest chances they created last year Conte have evaporated. Tottenham is 10th in big scoring chances created thus far. Without them, the attack is going to regress negatively.
It’s hard to say much nice about the Foxes after their first six matches.
I warned against trying to buy low on them due to discontent with the manager and the lack of summer signings playing a clear role in the lack of intensity and quality to begin the season. It remains to be seen if the week off from action will help the Foxes, but it does appear that the attack still has major issues.
Vardy’s shot production is through the floor and while Rodgers could opt to start Patson Daka, he’s still only at 2.2 shots per 90 in his time in the PL. Rodgers can’t start both Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho without being too open on the road at Spurs, but he doesn’t have enough attack with just Daka.
The Foxes also have gotten terrible goalkeeper play from Danny Ward. His save percentage is 42%, lowest in the Premier League. His post-shot xG numbers are -5.4, which means he’s allowed 5.4 extra goals than expected based on the shots he’s faced this season. Ward can’t possibly be this bad forever, but trying to find the right time to buy low is difficult.
Leicester teams of the past might be able to take advantage of Spurs’ willingness to let them have the ball. But this Foxes team is 17th in box entries and 18th in shots per 90. Even against Brighton with Daka and Iheanacho in the lineup, they produced six shots and trailed for most of that match.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Despite all of its problems, Leicester’s defense isn’t quite as bad as the market is suggesting here. Both attacks are a bit overvalued at the moment too when you looking at both in the bottom half of the league in creating big scoring chances.
Spurs should have more of the ball here in this matchup, but they don’t concede big scoring chances (second best in EPL) and the Foxes’ second longest average shot distance suggests they will struggle to create big chances.
It’s very difficult to bet Leicester unders because of the goalkeeper play and the set piece defense issues, but they have to improve there at some point. Similar to the Manchester United match against the Foxes, I think Spurs win this and may add them -1 if the market gets to even-money on that.
The market has steamed against Tottenham at least 15 cents and as many as 40 cents in the last four matches, so if you do like Spurs, it may be worth waiting before betting them here.
Otherwise, I’ll be holding my nose against the recent history of the Foxes terrible defending and playing under three goals at -115 or better.
The Pick: Under 3 (-115 or better)