West Ham United vs. Wolverhampton Wolves Betting Preview: Prop Market Has Value in Premier League Fixture (Saturday, October 1)
Naomi Baker/Getty. Pictured: Jacob Ramsey.
- West Ham United and Wolverhampton will face off in a match between two teams looking to right the ship.
- West Ham is favored to beat Wolves on Saturday, but a game prop may have more value than either side.
- Anthony Dabbundo previews how to bet the match below.
West Ham vs. Wolves Odds
|West Ham Odds||-110|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+120 / -145)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
The two worst attacking units in the Premier League will face off against one another on Saturday as Wolves visit West Ham at the Olympic Stadium in East London.
Both teams finished in the top half of the table last season but have scored just three goals each through seven league matches.
Wolves are a more defensive team by nature, but Wolves and West Ham have conceded seven and nine goals respectively and have underlying numbers that suggest neither will get into the top half of the table this season.
Despite the early-season struggles going forward for both clubs, the market has gotten too low on the total here and I’m targeting a prop that suggests the game will be more open than odds suggest.
West Ham Out-Performing Defensive Metrics
West Ham’s defense is also performing better than their numbers. The Hammers rank third in non-penalty xG allowed, but nothing in the rest of their statistical defensive profile suggests that is sustainable.
For example, West Ham are 13th in box entries allowed and eighth in big scoring chances. So, they’re allowing teams into their box and those teams aren’t capitalizing on opportunities presented to them.
The Hammers were one of the most efficient teams in the league at finishing chances and this season they have been the third least efficient. I do actually now expect some positive regression for this attack that is averaging about one expected goal (xG) per match.
Facing a Wolves defense that is willing to get into a back-and-forth transition game with their improved midfield, there could be plenty of shots from direct attacks in this game.
The Hammers have also maintained their quality on set pieces in attack. They rank sixth in xG created off set pieces, per The Analyst. West Ham have produced 2.59 xG and scored just once. The goals from set plays are coming.
Wolves A Unique Defensive Side
Wolves’ defense has run right in line with its xG allowed after a historic over performance in 2021-22. Jose Sá has been a slightly above average but not elite shot stopper. Wolves have conceded more than 2.5 xGA from set plays but have allowed just one goal from those chances.
The Wolves midfield doesn’t do much ball-stopping either (11th in progressive passes allowed) and the defense will be without center back Nathan Collins after he was sent off against Manchester City.
Wolves have had much more of the ball this season and have generally played slower, but as the away team, I’m expecting a more direct approach. The midfield and attack have done a decent job of getting the ball into the penalty area, but they have struggled once they get there.
The defense also allows opponents into the area at the sixth-highest rate in the league. Neither midfield is preventing box entries and both attacks are due to turn more final third possession and chances into shots and goals.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This is a good buy-low on two attacks that are vastly underperforming. Wolves and West Ham have combined for more than 12.5 xG between them this season, but have produced just six combined actual goals.
Finishing variance points toward both of these attacks breaking out of their slumps and there is pressure on both managers after a lackluster beginning to the season.
I expected regression for both clubs and both have certainly struggled to begin the new year, but it’s a good spot to back a more open game. Both games between these teams finished 1-0 last year, but were much more open than those scores indicate. Each had at least 2.7 xG.
I bet both teams to score and would bet at -110 or better. I project this game a bit closer to a tossup than the market and show a bit of value on the over too, so I’m choosing to attack BTTS instead.
The Pick: Both Teams to Score Yes (-106)