Soccer

EPL Betting Picks for Matchweek 29: Can Aston Villa Bounce Back?

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere
EPL Betting Picks for Matchweek 29: Can Aston Villa Bounce Back?

After a week full of Champions League action, the EPL is back for Matchweek 29.

Matchweek 29 runs from Saturday to Sunday and contains four matches, with six matches postponed due to the FA Cup quarterfinals, which are also scheduled for this weekend. The slate is highlighted by a clash between Aston Villa and West Ham on Sunday.

When looking at the EPL soccer odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, which bets make the most sense for this matchweek?

EPL Betting: Matchweek 29

Aston Villa at West Ham (10 a.m. ET Saturday)

Aston Villa Moneyline (+140)

Both sides enter this clash coming off matches in Europe on Thursday -- Aston Villa faced Ajax while West Ham clashed with Freiburg. These two sides are just three places apart on the league table but are separated by 12 points. On expected goal difference (xGD) -- per FBRef -- the gap is even wider. Aston Villa rank fourth in xGD/90 (+0.40) while West Ham sit in 17th (-0.40).

After overperforming their underlying metrics for the first half of the season, the Hammers’ results have come back down to earth of late. West Ham has just two wins in their nine matches, with three losses and three draws. Against Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, and Burnley, they managed three draws and one loss. Their two wins came against Brentford and Everton, two midtable sides on xGD/90.

Villa will be the best side West Ham has faced since their back-to-back losses to Arsenal and Manchester United by a combined scoreline of 9-0. The Hammers enter this fixture in good goal-scoring form, with nine combined goals across their last three EPL fixtures, but they have conceded multiple goals in five of their last six matches and haven't kept a clean sheet since January 2nd.

Villa is coming off a dismal 4-0 loss to Tottenham last Sunday but had won four of their last five -- albeit against lesser competition -- before that. They have also been one of the best away teams in the EPL this season. Their xGD/90 in away matches (-0.04) this season ranks fifth-best, and they have just one loss in their last eight road fixtures and two in their last 11.

For West Ham, London Stadium has not been a fortress. They have six wins, five draws and three losses from 14 home fixtures. In the split, they have a goal difference of +3 from an xGD of -4.8. Their xGD/90 in home matches (-0.34) is tied for 17th, one spot below Luton Town (-0.19). West Ham have just one loss at home since late October, but they have several draws against teams playing at a lower level than Villa this season.

Tottenham at Fulham (1:30 p.m. ET Saturday)

Tottenham Moneyline (+100)

This match sees Fulham’s home form tackle a Tottenham side that has the fourth-best goal difference (+10) on the road this season.

Fulham’s home form has been built on defense. They have taken the eighth-most points from home fixtures this season while allowing just 1.07 goals per match -- behind only Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal. The difference between Fulham and that elite trio is their underlying metrics, which suggest that the Cottagers have been fortunate to concede as few goals as they have.

Fulham has allowed 19.2 xG at home this season, 12th-most. That's a respectable number, but it's also well above their 15 goals allowed. Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool all also rank inside the top three in xG allowed at home.

Fulham’s defense at home has been impressive, but it hasn’t made them invincible. They have eight wins in 14 matches but also have five losses, tied for eighth-most with Manchester United and Bournemouth. Since the start of December, they have suffered home defeats to both Burnley (2-0) and Aston Villa (2-1).

They have also been somewhat fortunate with their schedule as they have yet to have a home fixture against Manchester City, Liverpool, or Tottenham -- three of the current top five. Outside of their 2-1 win over Arsenal in December, Fulham have struggled against better opposition at home.

On their current goal-scoring form, Tottenham fall into the category of better opposition. They are coming off a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa and have just one loss in their last eight matches. Their finishing, since the start of December, has been a huge reason for their success. In their 14 matches in that time, they have scored at least two goals in 12 of them, including seven goals across their last two matches. Spurs has scored the second-most away goals this season (30) and has scored multiple goals in six consecutive road fixtures.

This is an intriguing fixture between two sides that both have reasons to feel confident heading into Saturday. Tottenham has been the better side overall this campaign, and I like getting them at +100 given their success on the road this campaign.

Player Props

Ivan Toney to Score (+125): After scoring four goals in his first five matches, Toney is goalless over his last four fixtures. Facing Manchester City, Arsenal, and Chelsea in those matches had something to do with it. Now the Bees will face Burnley side that has allowed the second-most goals/90 (2.14) and fourth-most xG/90 (1.76) this season. Burnley has allowed multiple goals in nine of their last 11 fixtures, including each of their last seven.

Son Heung-Min to Score (+170): Son enters this fixture in excellent form, with two goals, two assists, seven shots, three shots on target and five chances created combined over his last two fixtures. Fulham have been excellent defensively at home, allowing the fourth-fewest home goals (15), but Spurs’ goal scoring has been elite since the start of December. In the four matches since Son returned from international duty, Spurs have scored 2.5 goals per match.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.