Wolverhampton, Crystal Palace have value

After a brief hiatus for World Cup qualifiers, the Premier League roars back with a full schedule of games this weekend and there are two underdogs with decent odds for value-hunters to circle.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (+205) v Aston Villa, Saturday at 10am ET

Wolves have been a pleasant surprise in their first season under Portuguese coach Bruno Lage and have an outside shot at a Europa League spot with eight games to go.

Wolverhampton’s modest success is due in large part to a stingy defence, which has the fourth-best defensive record in the Premier League this season. Underlying metrics suggest that negative regression is in the offing for Wolves, but there’s still a lot to like about this defense, particularly against an Aston Villa attack that has been fickle in Steven Gerrard’s 18-match tenure. Villa have scored 27 goals under Gerrard but their expected goals stands at just 20.3, averaging 1.13 per competition.

In short, there is very little that separates these two clubs. Both teams prefer to grind results and turn games into coin tosses, so it would be fitting for bettors to bet on the home outsider at an enticing price on Saturday morning.

Crystal Palace (+300) v Arsenal, Monday at 3pm ET

Crystal Palace were simply superb in Patrick Vieira’s first season at Selhurst Park. The Eagles were expected to be a contender for relegation early in the season, but instead Palace sit comfortably in mid-table and their underlying metrics imply they should be a few spots higher in the standings.

Eberechi Eze dribbles the ball.
Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze fends off Everton’s Seamus Coleman.
Getty Images

While Palace certainly have plenty of attacking opportunities with Wilfried Zaha, Conor Gallagher, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, it’s defense that drives the bus in south London. Palace are in the top 6 in the Premier League for Expected Goals Allowed, Shots Allowed and Big Chances.

Despite a 4-7-4 (WDL) record at Selhurst Park, the Eagles have the fourth most expected points (xPoints) at home in the Premier League this season.

Along with their domestic form, the Eagles have also shown a penchant for being giant killers. Palace have a win and a draw against Man City, a win against Tottenham and a draw against Arsenal.

Arsenal have played strong stuff since the holidays but Palace will not be an easy game for the Gunners and the Eagles have already proved to be the banana peel for many of the Premier League’s big fish this season.

3/1 odds on Palace at home are too good to pass up, and if you’re feeling gambled, a money line game with Wolves pays out 11/1. Wolverhampton, Crystal Palace have value


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