Thursday, December 7

Leeds vs. Aston Villa EPL Betting Preview

Leeds vs. Aston Villa Odds

Leeds odds +170
Aston Villa Odds +145
drawing +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-155 / +110)
Day | Time Thursday | 2:45 p.m. ET
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Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

In an important midweek Premier League tie, Leeds United plays host to Aston Villa on Thursday at Elland Road.

Manager Steven Gerrard and the visiting Villans enter the fixture having won two games in a row, firmly establishing themselves as a mid-table team. In contrast, the Peacocks have lost five matches on the bounce and only scored in one of those fixtures.

The host’s combined goal differential across those games? That would be 18-2. And that’s a staggering margin for any squad to undergo over a five-game period. So, if Leeds wants to avoid the relegation zone, it’ll have to start changing its form now.

That said, will the Peacocks be able to get a result in a crucial time?

Leeds Flirting With Danger Zone

I’m not ready to say Leeds is a main player to find itself relegated at the end of the year (the club is currently +170 to finish in the bottom three), but it’s getting darn close to that spot.

After five consecutive losses that included some horrendous performances, the Peacocks are now in a precarious position. They sit in 16th place, but have played as many or more games than each of the teams below them and Burnley (with a game in hand) is just two points back.

A loss, a point in two games for Everton and a win for Burnley would instantly put the Peacocks in the relegation zone fighting an uphill battle, making this game a downright gargantuan one.

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Leeds has had some horrific score lines, but the performances haven’t always been as bad as the results would indicate of late. Against Leicester City, Leeds actually controlled the run of play, amassing a 2.14-0.36 expected-goals edge, but conversion killed the side.

In a 4-0 defeat to Tottenham, Leeds was actually within a goal in terms of xG, and the match versus Manchester United was the same case. There’s no question this team has been poor, but the results are still a bit harsh of late.

Aston Villa Easing Toward Finish Line

With 11 games remaining on the EPL season, the job is essentially done for Gerrard, who was brought in to help turn the tide of the Villa campaign. He’s done that in emphatic fashion, with the Villans now as safe as could be in the league with no other competitions remaining on the slate.

There’s no threat of relegation, and the identity of this team is unrecognizable from the one that struggled in the first two months of the season prior to Gerrard’s arrival.

A telling stat is the fact the Villans have lost just one game by two goals or more since his arrival, and hasn’t lost a single game by two goals or more in the new year. In fact, Villa has turned itself into a team no one wants to face in the league, which is a testament to the progress the team has made.

There isn’t much pressure on Villa entering this fixture, but I’m certain that won’t stop Gerrard and his team from coming into this game prepared and ready to fight.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Aston Villa is a hot side, while Leeds is trending in the complete opposite direction. However, I’m still inclined to side with the Peacocks here.

They come into this match with the stakes far higher, as there are virtually nothing of true significance on the Villa end of things. And throughout the year, Leeds has been more efficient at Elland Road than Villa has on the road.

With a 0.18 xG per game margin average at home against Villa’s -0.5 xG/game margin away from home this season, getting Leeds in an underdog role is very enticing, especially considering how much it has underperformed against its expected results over the past few games .

That said, I’m backing Leeds to earn a result in a pivotal moment via the Draw No Bet wager at -105 odds on DraftKings as my top pick. And priced as an underdog, this is an easy choice for me to make.

Pick: Leeds — Draw No Bet (-105)

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