Our soccer handicapping tipster is used to bookmakers pricing the Saints' soccer odds low, so he's been looking into the stats to find a free pick with betting value for Hull City vs. Southampton.
Southampton are still riding high in the Premier League table, second behind Chelsea with 19 points from their nine games, while Hull City sit in 10th and I'm sure they’re delighted with a haul of 11 points from nine games so far.
The Tigers have only managed one win so far this season at their home stadium. That was the last time in front of their own fans, beating Crystal Palace two goals to nil. Before that they managed draws with Stoke and West Ham but lost 4 - 2 to Manchester City. They’ve scored in every game at home so far but the Palace win was their first clean sheet of the season. The worrying thing for Hull is that they allow their opponents the most shots of any team in the Premier League with an average of 17 attempts fired in on their target. Add to that the fact they’re fourth worst team for shots on goal at home and you think eventually this will catch up with them. So far they have scored seven goals from 16 shots on target, so they are very efficient.
The soccer odds underdog, Hull City, seem to be a side who prefer to sit back and allow the opposition to attack them, I wonder if they'll give Southampton plenty of possession and try and play like the away team at home this Saturday.
The Saints' statistics away from home are the polar opposite to Hull’s home figures. Ronald Koeman’s men allow, on average, 7.5 shots per game on the road which is the best in the division. Their offensive stats are good as well, with an average of 12 shots on goal and five of them on target in every away game.
Unlike the Tigers they don't always make them count. They only scored one at Liverpool and should've got more, they did beat West Ham three goals to one, managed one against Swansea and failed to score any at White Hart Lane.
Southampton are also in good company when it comes to the types of goals they score. They've managed 14 goals from open play second only to Chelsea and are in a group also containing Manchester City, United and Arsenal. This could trouble Hull, because one of their weaknesses tends to be their over aggressive style and, although they're not at the bottom of the disciplinary table, they’re 10th, with 17 yellows and one red so far.
Southampton are the second best behaved team in the division with just 12 yellow cards. Hull may get into trouble if they turn to aggressive tactics to stop the Southampton machine in its tracks.
It's worth remembering Southampton went to stoke on Wednesday winning 3-2 in the League Cup, while their weekend opponents have had a week off and will be fresher come Saturday.
I firmly believe Southampton are the better team and in better form at the moment. I expect Steve Bruce to set his team up to frustrate Southampton. It may not completely work though, because they do give away too many chances and a striker in the form of Graziano Pelle (he has scored six goals in nine Premier League appearances) will score if given four or five chances. Some bookmakers have Pelle at odds on to score at any time, but you can get 13/8 with others.
Hull are the fifth worst team at conceding late goals in the Premier League, with 30% conceded in the last 15 minutes, Southampton tend to carry on for the full 90 minutes as evidenced by their late winner at Stoke on Wednesday.
I’m going to take Southampton to win both halves for my soccer pick. I can see them scoring one in the first half and one in the second to win the game two nil.
Free Soccer Pick: Southampton to win both halves 11/2 at Pinnacle