West Ham vs Southampton Odds, Pick: Saints to Shine Away From Home (Apr. 2)
Andrew Matthews/Getty. Pictured: Che Adams.
West Ham vs Southampton Odds
West Ham Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+106 / -130)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(+105 / -136)|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
West Ham United and Southampton will be looking for a win that could be crucial to their Premier League survival chances when they meet on Sunday at the London Stadium.
The Hammers entered the weekend in 18th place and in the relegation places, but with one or two matches fewer played than every other team in the bottom nine. That includes Southampton, who entered the weekend in last on 23 points and 28 matches played – two more than the Hammers’ 26.
But all of those bottom nine clubs should feel concerned. Only four points separate the Saints from 12th-placed Crystal Palace.
Both teams drew at home in their last league games. Southampton tied 3-3 with Tottenham Hotspur on March 18 and West Ham drew 1-1 to Aston Villa on March 12. These teams also drew each other 1-1 at the St. Mary’s last October.
West Ham Under-Performing Mightily
Of all the teams in this relegation scrap, the Irons are the one you could most easily say aren’t “supposed” to be there.
Entering the weekend, West Ham were the only team outside the top eight to have created more expected goals (xG) than they’d allowed. Their +2.1 xGDiff is light years better than their goal difference of -10. The -12.1 goal deficit between those two figures is among the largest in the league, along with Southampton (-12.3) and Nottingham Forest (-12.2).
But that qualitative superiority has shown through in the Hammers’ home form, particularly when playing against those other sides they’re dueling against in the relegation trenches.
West Ham have posted a 4-2-0 mark (W-L-D) so far against those sides. All four of their wins came by multiple goals, including a 4-0 romp past Nottingham Forest back on Feb. 25.
The Hammers have also performed far more in line with their xG totals at the London Stadium, posting a +4.6 xG difference and +3 goal difference.
Southampton Playing Out a Unique Season
By contrast, the Saints have been an oddity in the form of an EPL team with twice as many away wins (four) as at home (two). Even so, their overall away record of 4-9-1 is not much above what you’d expect from a team in their position.
But Southampton have also clearly improved under Ruben Selles, the club’s third manager of the season, who has been in charge over the last six matches following the sacking of Nathan Jones.
The Saints have earned two wins and two draws in that stretch. And while they’ve posted a -0.5 xGDiff per 90 minutes under Selles, that may reflect a more pragmatic approach combined with a more difficult run of games that included four sides in the top half.
There’s also been a clear focus on making games less open, even if the 3-3 draw with Spurs was an exception. Even figuring in that result, the Saints have seen only 1.83 goals per game scored in their new managers’ tenure, compared to 2.64 across the first 22 games of the campaign.
West Ham vs Southampton Pick
It’s an odd thing to say of a relegation six-pointer, but this game is a bit of strength against strength.
The Hammers are far better at home and the Saints more formidable on their travels. And they’ve both seen improvements in recent form.
Given all that, I think the price for West Ham is just too high here, even if they’ve beaten other relegation battlers at home more often than not.
When you take a look at those West Ham wins, they all came against opponents who were in awful form at the time. That doesn’t describe Southampton under Selles.
I’m backing the visitors to take a point or more at +116 odds and an implied 46.3% probability. The thinking is that Southampton’s unusually strong away form makes this essentially a game between even teams.
Even with the Premier League home win rate near a record high at 47%, that means a few points of EV on the Saints.
Pick: Southampton +0.5 (+116 via BetRivers)
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