Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest Odds, Predictions, Picks | Premier League Match Preview

Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest Odds, Predictions, Picks | Premier League Match Preview article feature image

(Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images) Pictured: Chris Wood.

Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest Odds

Sunday, Apr. 7
1 p.m. ET
USA Network
Tottenham Odds-250
Nottingham Forest Odds+550
Over / Under
 +110o / -140u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Nottingham Forest picked up three critical points at home against Fulham in the midweek, and it will look to create more distance between itself and the relegation places by sneaking a result at Spurs on Sunday. Luton Town lost at Arsenal on Wednesday, which leaves the Trees three points ahead of Luton and seven goals ahead on goal difference. 

The Trees have a positive expected goal difference since Nuno Espírito Santo became manager, and they’ve done that by improving their defensive metrics. Tottenham has improved its overall numbers since getting most of its squad back from injury, but the structural deficiencies defensively always leave them vulnerable to conceding goals at the other end of the pitch.

Spurs remain a huge favorite to finish in the top five, which is likely to result in Champions League football next season in North London. They're about a toss-up to overtake Villa for fourth, which would guarantee a Champions League spot. Despite Spurs clear talent edge, Forest's improved metrics under Espírito Santo have them undervalued headed into this match.


We saw West Ham have success defending Tottenham by sitting very deep and being extremely passive out of possession. Spurs created just 1.2 xG and settled for a 1-1 draw in their midweek matchup Tuesday. I think Tottenham’s attack has benefitted more than most from just how open the league is this year, and there are still some vulnerabilities when facing more low defensive blocks. 

The Hammers beat Spurs 2-1 in the first meeting between the two clubs and largely slowed Spurs' attack down using the same tactics in the first meeting. Crystal Palace used this approach and pitched two first-half shutouts on Spurs. Tottenham eventually broke through in both matches to beat Palace twice, but the most passive defensive sides by passes per defensive action have slowed Spurs down considerably.

Most teams have gained an edge on Nottingham Forest by using set pieces to score goals. Spurs are a below-average attack this season in dead ball situations, ranking 11th in xG per set piece. The best credit you can give Spurs is to their ability to adjust tactically after halftime.

Tottenham has scored 22 first-half goals this season in 30 matches. It has scored 17 in the first 15 minutes of the second half alone, and 43 in the second half in total. Ange Postecoglou has excelled at making tactical tweaks, and few teams switch into gear better than Tottenham. When they're going good, few are better. But the defense has struggled enough to make them an always vulnerable favorite.

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Nottingham Forest

Forest is conceding just 1.27 xGA per match since Espírito Santo took over as manager, and it is playing some of the lowest event matches in the entire league. The attack has struggled to consistently create chances, but playing a defense as open as Tottenham structurally will inevitably give them a handful of looks in transition. 

The biggest issue Forest has had this year is defensive set pieces and shot stopping. Matz Sels has average shot-stopping numbers since moving to the club from Strasbourg in January, and they’ve run badly from set pieces, conceding 19 goals from about 11 xGA.

No goal is a better example of Forest's poor defending, but also bad luck on set pieces, than Fulham's late consolation goal Tuesday. A flicked on header that was extremely improbable found the back corner of the net. Forest don't win the first ball enough, but the odds of that goal being scored were still extremely low. 

Nottingham has seen its attack be considerably better when both Anthony Elanga and Morgan Gibbs-White share the pitch. Because Forest has low possession rates, it has to excel in transition and the fitness of Gibbs-White and Elanga are key for that. Gibbs-White is averaging 0.45 xG + xA per 90, while Elanga has surpassed 0.53 xG + xA per 90. Combine that with the hot finishing run of Chris Wood and Forest looks dangerous on the break here.

Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest


It wasn’t that long ago that Forest was lined +1.5 on the spread at Liverpool. Now, they’re +1.5 at Spurs, who are far from elite in the Premier League. Given Spurs offensive struggles against passive low blocks and their defense's propensity to always leave the door open late, I'm betting Forest on the spread in both the first half and the full game. 

Forest is playing close to league-average soccer in the last three months. This price reflects a worse version of Forest and gives a bit too much respect to Spurs.

Pick: Nottingham Forest First Half +0.5 (-120) and Full Game +1.5 (-125)

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