EPL Soccer: Sunderland vs. Aston Villa Odds, Preview & Picks

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 3:50 PM GMT

Both Sunderland and Aston Villa need a win Saturday in this English Premier League Week 29 fixture and recent games in this series have seen very little scoring. Does this trend mean taking the Under 2 or Under 2½ is a good bet?

Odds Overview
Sunderland vs. Aston Villa, Saturday 15:00 (NBC Sports Live Extra, (USA); 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT): Two teams trying to stay out of the English Premier League’s Relegation Zone meet in Week 29 action at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on Saturday when 17th-place Aston Villa (6-7-15 Away, 15 GF-38 GA) meets 16th-place Sunderland (4-14-10, 23 GF-39 GA) in a meeting between the league’s worst two scoring clubs.
Soccer Odds makers have made host Aston Villa +125 favorites with visitors Sunderland +240 underdogs and the Draw priced at +250 (bet365) in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace for this game. The Total Goals will likely be set at 2 in most places, but a safer route (if available) is to seek out a 2½ (Under -187, Over +140; bet365) and play the Under as this series has trended very strongly that direction in recent years. The Both Teams To Score odds here have the Yes priced at -140 with the No set at +110 (Ladbrokes). Poof.


Some random props for this game: First Goalscorer: Jermain Defoe +550, Christian Benteke +550 (Coral); Correct Score: Sunderland 1-0 +525, Aston Villa 1-0 +750, 1-1 +525, 0-0 +550 (Coral); and, Draw No Bet: Sunderland -166, Aston Villa +120 (Bwin).

 

Aston Villa FC
Aston Villa (3-2-9, 4 GF-20 GA) has scored 4 goals in in 14 road games. Can I go now? Four goals in 14 road games! Mercy. Send a doctor or a tire pump or some Viagra or something, kinfolk. Gosh. The Claret and Blue have let Paul Lambert take over for Tim Sherwood to try to keep the Lions up in England’s top flight of football, and it just may work. Gabriel Agbonlahor (4 goals, +200, Anytime Goalscorer, Sky Bet), Christian Benteke (3 goals, +187) and Austrian Andreas Weimann (3 goals, +275) are the only Aston Villa players with 3 or more goals, and with Spring just around the corner, that ain’t good, Melvin. By contrast, in one just one lazy afternoon—Sunday—Barcelona’s Lionel Messi score three times against visiting Rayo Vallecano in Spanish La Liga play. And didn’t sweat. Something has been wrong offensively with this Villa club all season and it hasn’t come close to getting fixed, putting tons of pressure on the club’s defense and American GK Brad Guzan. Scott Sinclair (1 goal, +400) and other players really need to help more, but the attacking midfield and strikers for the Claret and Blue have been MIA so far this season, and could be the reason this team sees The Trap Door come May. Thanks guys. And, quite obviously, Aston Villa’s 15 goals this season is easily the lowest tally in the league, with the second-closest team having scored 8 more goals than Aston Villa. And that also extremely anemic team is...

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Sunderland AFC
Sunderland (2-7-5 Home, 12 GF-18 GA) is still tied for the least wins in the EPL (4) and Manager Gus Poyet and his 16th-place Black Cats are extremely lucky that there are teams like Aston Villa (25 points), QPR (22), Burnley (22) and Leicester City (18) in this league right now, because otherwise, the Black Cats would be stuck up in a tree. Sunderland is led by Steven Fletcher (4 goals, +137 Anytime Goalscorer, Sky Bet), Sebastian Larsson (3 goals, +450), Connor Wickham (3 goals, +150), central midfielder Jordi Gómez (2 goals, +360) and addition Jermain Defoe (2 goals, +125), so, at least on a computer screen and in this Anytime Goalscorer marketplace, Sunderland appears to have more potential scorers than Villa does here, including Danny Graham (+200) and U-21 Duncan Watmore (+275).  In their last game—in Premier League Week 28 action—Sunderland and GK Costel Pantilimon tied at Hull City 1-1 to earn a valuable point. With both teams so constantly scuffling to score goals, look for this one to potentially evolve slowly with that first, if it comes, goal probably being the difference at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.

 

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
Sometimes the trends (Science) overpower the feel (Art) for a game when trying to make a soccer pick (or picks), and this is one of those series. In the last 11 meetings between these two clubs, 9 of the games have seen less than 2½ goals (0-0, 1-0, 0-0, 6-1, 1-0, 0-0, 2-2, 1-0, 1-0, 1-1, 2-0) be scored, with just 1 measly goal being scored in the last 270+ minutes. The Weather Channel forecast for Sunderland on Saturday is Mostly Cloudy, High of 47 ° F and 65% Humidity, so, weather shouldn’t be too much of a factor. As far as the series goes, Aston Villa is 72-43-50 (268 GF-239 GA) versus Sunderland overall and 47-18-14 (149 GF-93) here in the friendly confines of the Stadium of Light. When these two met earlier this season in Week 19 at Villa Park, the game ended in a 0-0 draw, of course, while in this fixture last season here at the Stadium of Light, Villa found a way to get a 1-0 win with that only goal in the L3 games between these two.


Here, it seems it could very well end 1-1 with both sides so desperate, and another 0-0 wouldn’t really surprise anyone either with these two sloths. And, as talked about, seeking a 2½ and playing the game Under seems wise with this 9-2 trend of extremely low-scoring games. 16 goals in 11 games only type low-scoring, or an average of 1.45 gpg. That’s Lobster Low and impossible to ignore. And toss out those aforementioned 6-1 and 2-2 scorelines in the only two high-scoring meetings in the L11 in this Not High-Profile series, and it’s 5 goals scored in 9 games and an average of a microscopic 0.56 gpg average. Worth knowing.


Prediction: Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 1
EPL Picks: Draw +250 (bet365), Under 2½ -187 (Sky Bet)

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