Using expected goals (xG) data, Infogol’s Jake Osgathorpe picks out the best bets from across the weekend’s Premier League action.
Infogol is a revolutionary football product, which harnesses Opta data to power an expected goals model. Expected Goals quantifies the quality of a scoring opportunity, allocating each chance a probability of it finding the back of the net.
The xG metric can be used to assess teams and their performances, and it also helps to give an insight into future prospects, which in turn helps with betting.
Everton vs West Brom
Everton were brilliant at Tottenham last weekend, will all three of their new additions making instant impacts in helping the Toffees control the game, and there really wasn’t a period after the goal in which they looked overly troubled.
I was impressed with them defensively more than offensively. In attack, they got in great positions regularly, with some poor decision making the only reason they didn’t add to the scoreline.
While they created plenty of opportunities (15 shots) and constantly looked a dangerous threat, their only ‘big chance’ of the game was Richarlison’s open net miss from a tight angle (39%).
Nonetheless, it was a big step in the right direction.
West Brom were poor against Leicester, looking pretty toothless after racking up just 0.5 xGF while allowing 3.0 xGA. They looked well off the standard required at this level, and more of the same would almost certainly result in another defeat.
Another defensive approach is expected from the Baggies, and while I expect Everton to win the game, I think West Brom will struggle to test Everton’s backline.
Backing BTTS ‘no’ is a value play according to the Infogol model.
Selection – Back BTTS ‘no’ @ 20/21
Southampton vs Tottenham
Southampton didn’t get off to the start of the season they would have hoped for, losing at Crystal Palace in what was an underwhelming performance given the pre-season hype.
I expect a much more dynamic performance from the Saints in this game, and a more attack-minded one at that, as they showcased down the stretch last season what they were capable of when finding their groove, averaging 1.7 xGF per game post-break.
Tottenham were exceptionally poor against Everton. The looked like they ran out of ideas after they went 1-0 down, and the lack of pressing meant it was a comfortable afternoon for Everton.
That wasn’t a surprise to me. Spurs, while finishing sixth last season, ranked 13th in our xG table, and they played like a mid-table team last weekend. They too have to be more attack-minded in their approach.
It is criminal that they have so much attacking talent being wasted at the moment. Harry Kane is living off scraps, while Heung-Min Son didn’t really factor at all in the match.
A more entertaining game is expected from both here though. Both have the capability and the quality to create plenty of chances, while both are vulnerable at the back.
BTTS is a value play that I like at the prices based on Infogol’s probabilities.
Selection – Back BTTS @ 4/5
Wolves vs Manchester City
Wolves made a dream start to the new season, going up 2-0 early against Sheffield United before cruising to a deserved success, highlighting how they shouldn’t be forgotten about in this Premier League season.
The levels of consistency they have displayed since their return to the top flight has been astounding, finishing both 18/19 and 19/20 fifth in our xG table, with an underlying process that has improved year on year.
Defensively, only Manchester City were better last season based on expected goals (1.1 xGA per game), so will continue to be tough to breach, while they have strengthened their squad ahead of this campaign.
Manchester City finished last season as the best team in the league based on expected Points (xP), xGF and xGA, but were a distant second on the actual table.
Stat-padding is a reason for this, with Pep’s City going for the throat while already cruising, but the other reason is that when they concede a chance, it more often than not is a ‘big chance’.
That is something they have to fix if they are to win the Premier League title this season.
Since Wolves came back into the league, Nuno has had Pep’s number, with the Old Gold winning two and drawing one of their four meetings, including doing the double over City last season.
Clearly they are a tough opponent for City to play, and I see no reason why anything will change this season, and the prices about Wolves avoiding defeat look insulting to me.
Wolves or draw in the double chance market is a huge value selection.
Selection – Back Wolves or Draw @ 13/8