Fulham vs Brentford Odds
Fulham and Brentford look to build on positive opening weekend results when they meet on Saturday in match day 2 at Craven Cottage.
The Cottagers survived a dangerous-looking Everton squad at Goodison Park last weekend, earning a 1-0 win of the smash-and-grab variety on Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s second-half strike.
Brentford earned a credible 2-2 draw against London neighbors Tottenham Hotspur, with all the scoring coming during a manic first half.
These sides split the season series last year, with both teams winning at home by a 3-2 score. Let’s get into the first iteration of Fulham vs Brentford in this campaign.
Fulham may have earned a second victory in as many trips to Goodison Park to open their season, but the substance of the performance was far from convincing.
With last year’s leading scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic beginning the game on the bench and midfield steamroller Palhinha out injured, the Cottagers were bested in terms of the quantity and quality of chances created.
Everton generated 2.7 xG, only to be victimized by some wasteful finishing from Neal Maupay in particular, an excellent performance from Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno and a fortunate refereeing decision that took a first-half goal away from Toffees center back Michael Keane.
And yes, Fulham won several games while being out-created while exceeding expectations to finish 10th a season ago. But in the 15 matches in which Marco Silva’s squad allowed opponents more than 2.0 xG last campaign, Fulham posted a 3-12-0 (W-L-D) record.
Palhinha — who did so much of the Cottagers’ dirty work a season ago — remains out while recovering from a dislocated shoulder.
Reports continue to link Mitrovic with a move away from the club, but he was involved with the final 33 minutes of Saturday’s competition after a protracted preseason. He still looked dangerous on the field, with two shots total and one on goal in those closing stages.
Brentford continue to deal with their own key attacking absence, that of England striker Ivan Toney, who is banned until January due to a gambling-related suspension.
There isn’t any Premier League club who wouldn’t feel sting from losing a 20-goal scorer. Yet so far the Bees have fared better than most would’ve expected without their No. 9, winning their last three games of the previous season following the start of his suspension and scoring twice in their season-opening draw.
Against Spurs, Brentford manager Thomas Frank opted for the same 5-3-2 formation he instituted in six of the Bees’ final 11 fixtures last season, with Bryan Mbuemo and Yoanne Wissa taking up opposite sides on the front line with the lack of a true central target man.
Each forward scored — albeit with Mbuemo’s goal coming from the spot — and Brentford were good value for their draw, creating more non-penalty xG than Spurs.
Praised for their insistence on refusing to bunker against the EPL’s elite, Brentford played slightly more open games on their travels than at home last season. Bettors who wagered on over 3.5 goals on the Bees’ travels cashed their tickets in six of their 19 league fixtures.
Stars move money at times. Perhaps that’s what is happening here with regards to an over/under line where the over immediately stands out.
These are two sides that generated 7.8 combined xG in their two previous meetings last year, and 7.7 combined xG across each side’s Premier League opener.
The over also cashed in both these teams meetings last season. And when Fulham played at home and Brentford played away last season, the combined xG between teams averaged 2.77 per 90 minutes.
Maybe what’s happening with the odds here are that bettors see Toney is out and Mitrovic is questionable and are trying to gain an edge from that info.
But the biggest absence in this match may be Palhinha. Without him, the Cottagers will struggle to contain Brentford in midfield, which could lead to a wide open game all around.
So, I’m taking the over here at -105 and a 51.2% implied probability. I still like goals if the line moves a little bit, but at more expensive than -125, I might be searching for an alternative wager — maybe the same-game parlay on the over and yes on both teams to score, or selling a goal and playing over 3.5 goals.
Pick: Over 2.5 (-105 via Caesars)
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