English Championship Odds & Picks For Norwich City vs. Brentford on Wednesday
Stephen Pond/Getty Images. Pictured: Norwich City star Emi Buendia.
- The top two teams in the English Championship meet Wednesday in a game that will go a long way in deciding automatic promotion to the Premier League.
- Norwich City sits seven points clear of Brentford with 13 matches to play, and three points in this game would be massive for either side.
- Matt Trebby breaks down who will have an edge at Carrow Road below.
Norwich City vs. Brentford Odds
|Norwich City Odds||+120|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-115 / -115)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 12:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds as of Tuesday afternoon via BetMGM.|
A showdown atop the Championship is the appetizer for the rest of Europe on Wednesday, as Norwich City hosts Brentford in a top-two clash.
While the Canaries are looking to regain their Premier League status, Brentford hopes to secure automatic promotion after a late-season collapse last year that ultimately saw it lose to Fulham in the playoff final.
On the other side, Brentford has picked up right where they left off despite losing playmakers Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins.
Let’s dig in to see where there’s betting value.
While the Canaries failed miserably last season in England’s top flight, chances are they’re going to get another crack at the cherry next season. They currently lead the Championship by seven points over Brentford, plus they sit 10 points clear of Watford in third place. That means automatic promotion is all but certain, barring a drastic shift in form.
Norwich City lost two key players from last season’s team, both on defense: left back Jamal Lewis (Newcastle United) and center back Ben Godfrey (Everton). Remaining are the two stars of the Norwich squad: striker Teemu Pukki and Argentine playmaker Emi Buendia.
After scoring 11 goals in the Premier League last season, Pukki has netted 17 in 28 appearances in the Championship thus far. In his last five seasons (two with Brondby in the Danish Superliga and three with Norwich City, two of which were in the Championship and one in the Premier League), Pukki has scored a combined 94 times. He’s, quite simply, a professional goalscorer.
Buendia is who makes the Canaries tick, though. He has nine goals and nine assists through 26 appearances in the league, and was linked with a move to Arsenal in January because of his fine form.
The fact that Buendia thrived last season in the Premier League also helped create the links. According to FBref.com, Buendia ranked seventh last season in the EPL with 138 Shot-Creating Actions.
While the 26 goals scored in 38 games certainly didn’t help its relegation cause last season, the biggest issue was conceding 75 goals. Norwich City’s defense appears to be much more sound this season, having allowed just 25 goals in 33 Championship fixtures.
The Canaries appear to be fortunate to have conceded just 25 goals, though. Their expected goals against, according to infogol.net, is 37.5. Their expected goal difference of 13.4 ranks fourth in the league.
Norwich City won’t care much about that at the moment, though. The Canaries are likely heading back up, and a win here would be a huge boost in cementing that achievement.
Kudos to manager Thomas Frank’s side, though, because it hasn’t missed a beat since last season.
Brentford, which scored a league-high 80 goals in the Championship a season ago, has 61 goals through 33 games this campaign. Losing Benrahma and Watkins was unfortunate, but a new signing has kept Brentford’s attack firing on all cylinders.
After scoring 24 goals in League One last season for Peterborough United, Ivan Toney has 24 already this season in the Championship after just 32 appearances, ironically how many games he played last year.
Toney has nine assists to go with his 24 goals. He leads the Championship in goals by five over second place, and his 33 goals plus assists is 11 more than the closest challengers.
Brentford leads the Championship with a 22.1 xGD, according to infogol.net, and is just three points clear of third-place Watford. A win over Norwich City, especially away from home, would be a massive boost toward sealing automatic promotion and not having to worry about that silly playoff.
Betting Analysis & Picks
Norwich City took control of the Championship title race thanks to Brentford losing three consecutive games between Feb. 14-20, although Frank’s team has bounced back and won two straight since those defeats. Meanwhile, the Canaries have won five in a row.
This should be a fantastic game, with both teams featuring strong attacking firepower.
While advanced metrics say Brentford has been the more dynamic team this season, Norwich City has kept getting results and has enough quality going forward that gives me confidence. The Canaries have won seven of their last nine home games (the other two were draws) and have just one home loss on the season, which came against Derby County way back on Oct. 3.
Also, I trust Norwich City’s defense more at the moment. The Canaries have allowed two goals in their last five matches and four in their past eight games. Norwich City also leads the Championship in passes completed, which means it’s likely to dictate pace and control the game.
As long as you’re getting plus money, back Norwich City to continue its stellar season and further cement its place in the Premier League next season.
Pick: Norwich City (+120)