Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Aston Villa Best Bets
Wolverhampton Wanderers (9-11-7, 34 points, 12th place) vs. Aston Villa (12-10-3, 39 points, 9th place)
When: Saturday, March 6, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Villa Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Point Spread: Wolves +0.5/Aston Villa -0.5 (MyBookie)
Moneyline: Wolves +230/Aston Villa +125/Draw +230
Total: Over 2.5 (+110)/Under 2.5 (-150)
Last Time Out:
Wolves lost 4-1 to Manchester City; Aston Villa lost 1-0 to Sheffield United.
Aston Villa defeated Wolves 1-0 on Dec. 12, 2020 at Molineux in Wolverhampton.
About the Matchup:
The West Midlands’ two Premier League clubs do battle in this encounter, as Wolves travels 16 miles to face off with Villa. Both teams find themselves in pretty good shape for this point in the season, as Villa has already bettered last year’s record and Wolves hasn’t lost in any of its past six matches. As such, both teams still have realistic hopes of catching up to the top seven and possibly stealing a place in the Europa League.
However, if you’re expecting that to mean a wide-open match, you might want to think again. These are both defensive-minded clubs, and the fact that they won’t have to worry about relegation doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten how they got to this point in the season. Does either have enough to break through and claim a precious victory?
Wolves are learning the hard way that unless you’re one of the Big Seven, it’s darn hard to break into the top half of the Premier League and stay there. Wolves haven’t fallen completely off the map the way Sheffield United has, but Wolverhampton clearly isn’t the same team that was challenging for a Europa League spot last year and came up a point short of winning one.
What hasn’t changed is the rock-solid defense that got Wolves into the top half of the table in the first place. It’s the defense that has Wolves back in contention for a top-half finish, as they went unbeaten in February by picking up three wins and two draws. But that record is a little less impressive than it sounds, because except for a win at collapsing Southampton, none of the wins came away from home. In fact, Wolves haven’t managed to win away from home since right after Thanksgiving, when they managed to beat Arsenal by a 2-1 count in London.
The road struggles continued into March, as Wolves eventually cracked under the weight of Manchester City’s attack. When you’re as defensive-minded as Wolves is, everything has to go right, and when it doesn’t happen, the results can be as ugly as the final 10 minutes of that loss proved to be.
Scouting Aston Villa:
Things are a lot rosier for Dean Smith this season, as the Lions aren’t going to need any kind whistles to stay up this time around. After avoiding relegation by a single point last year, Villa has made the most of its second chance in the Premier League, putting itself in striking distance of earning a Europa League spot by finishing seventh or better. With Chelsea and Liverpool both having played more games than Villa, there’s a real chance that the Lions could find their way into European competition for the first time since 2011.
Getting there will require Villa to steel its mindset, though, as the Lions have really struggled at keeping a positive mentality when they concede a goal. In Villa’s past 11 matches, the Lions have conceded six times and lost all six, even when they scored first at Burnley. When they don’t concede, they obviously haven’t lost, but they’ve emerged victorious in four out of five. Villa’s attack would be greatly helped by the return of captain and assist leader Jack Grealish, who’s been out for the past two weeks with a lower-leg injury. Grealish again wasn’t on the pitch against Sheffield, and the Lions’ attack continued to remain adrift, as Villa took 16 shots against the Blades but couldn’t cash in on anything.
Dan’s Best Bets:
You might think the best bet on the board is the under, given these teams’ lack of offense, but it’s not. The best bet on the board is actually either team to win by exactly one goal at +125, because a one-goal win is exactly what’s happened in all four meetings between these teams since Villa returned to the Premier League in 2019. When something happens that many times consecutively, it’s worth the gamble that it occurs again.
As for the under, it’s still a very good bet, but I think we can do better. I think Aston Villa is the sharper team right now, and taking the Lions to win and under 2.5 goals at +340 is a very appealing number for me. I’m not going to bother with taking Villa to win to nil at +250, because I don’t see Villa scoring three in this match (it hasn’t happened since Dec. 26), so there’s little worry about winning that bet without winning the under 2.5 goal bet.
Finally, I’d back Villa to find the first goal of the match in the first half and back them to lead at halftime for +185. Because I’m expecting a low-scoring affair, I’m banking on a first-half marker being the only one, which means this would be a better payout than simply backing Villa to score first in the first half at +150.
Dan’s Score Prediction:
Three of Villa’s past seven matches have ended in a 1-0 scoreline in their favor (with a fourth going in the other direction), and given Wolves’ struggles on offense, I think there’s an excellent chance that we see the same scoreline again. Plus, Villa should be very motivated to get a result here, given that it had no business losing to Sheffield with how it dominated that match.
Aston Villa defeated Wolves by a 1-0 margin back in December, and I’ll take the Lions to do it again on their home ground, this time for a +650 payout.
Get $60 of FREE member picks & predictions
(NO commitments. NO Credit Card. NO Salesman.)