Brentford vs. Fulham Betting Odds
|Brentford odds||+105 [BET NOW]|
|Fulham odds||+285 [BET NOW]|
|Draw odds||+220 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+118/-148) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. ET|
The highest stakes match in all of football takes place Tuesday afternoon. No, it’s not in the Champions League or World Cup, it’s in the second division of English soccer. Now, by high stakes I mean for a financial perspective. With the amount of money that Premier League TV rights garner, the difference between being promoted and staying in the second division is worth $217 million dollars.
At the end of every season the top two teams in the table gain automatic promotion to the Premier League. To decide the third and final promotion spot, the third- through sixth-place teams have a playoff.
How it works is the third- and sixth-place and the fourth- and fifth-place teams each play over two legs and the winner on aggregate of each of those goes to Wembley Stadium to play in a winner-take-all match to decide which team gets promoted and which stays in the second division.
And wouldn’t you know it, we have a West London Derby between Brentford and Fulham to decide promotion.
Brentford had an automatic promotion in the palms of its hands, but stumbled down the stretch losing to bottom of the table Stoke City and Barnsley, which allowed West Brom to jump ahead and secure automatic promotion. It’s the second best team in the Championship in terms of expected goals for, against, and goal differential.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
The defense, though, is where it had the most success, allowing only 0.88 xG per match.
Before the two unexpected losses, Brentford was on an absolute tear winning eight straight matches. In those eight matches, it outscored its opponents on average by 0.98 xG per match (1.55 xGF, 0.57 xGA). In fact, one of those wins was a 2-0 victory at Fulham, where the Bees deserved all three points as they won the expected goals battle 1.31 to 0.60.
Brentford are lead by its front man Ollie Watkins, who has bagged 26 goals for the season. But perhaps its most important player is right-winger Said Benrahma, who has 17 goals and nine assists on the season. The two of them have benefited greatly from playing out of a 4-3-3 this season as opposed to the 4-2-3-1 they played out of for most of last season.
I think Tuesday will be Brentford’s day, as it is the more deserving of the two sides.
The Cottagers have an opportunity to get back to the Premier League after spending only one season in the Championship. They’ve been good offensively this season, scoring 1.43 xG per match, but they’ve been a bit fortunate defensively. Fulham on average concedes 1.04 goals per game, but its expected goals per match is all the way up at 1.30.
Fulham has one of the most prolific goal scorers in the Championship in Alexsander Mitrovic. His 26 goals has him tied with Brentford’s Ollie Watkins for the Golden Boot. Outside of Mitrovic, Fulham doesn’t really have another goal-scoring threat.
With a defense that is due for some negative regression, I think Fulham will struggle to slow down Brentford’s main two goal-scoring threats.
Projections and Pick
Based on my projections, I will be betting Brentford at +105 and I would bet it all the way down to -103.
Pick: Brentford +105 [Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]